Fromebanks Nature Reserve under threat near Rodborough Fields' Lioncourt housing development in Stroud, Gloucestershire.
CAMPAIGNERS fear a wildlife area could become the next target for developers as they oppose plans for 100 new homes on adjoining Rodborough Fields.
The Fromebanks Nature Reserve next to Dr Newton's Way in Stroud is owned by Gloucestershire County Council.
It has been managed for the past 20 years by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
The trust's director Colin Studholme said the nature charity's agreement with the county has recently ended and all attempts to reinstate it or pass the reserve on to a community organisation had come to nothing.
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Dr Studholme is worried Shire hall may consider selling Fromebanks, possibly to potential Rodborough Fields developer Lioncourt Homes.
He said: "The field has never been ploughed or fertilised. It is full of wild flowers. It is irreplaceable."
Stroud Town Council mayor Coun Amanda Moriarty is concerned about any development.
"We would like the reserve to be safeguarded by being taken on by a community group," she said.
Gloucestershire county councillor Sarah Lunnon (Green), whose Stroud East ward covers Fromebanks, is concerned officers' information about the site that was not available to her.
"Obviously, the wishes of the community are incredibly strong to do with this piece of land," she said.
The county's head of corporate property services Neil Corbett said there were no plans to sell the land "at the minute".
"We have been talking to Stroud Town Council and other interested parties about its future," said Mr Corbett.
"We will look closely at any proposal the town council, in particular, would like to make."
The county confirmed Lioncourt was among the interested parties.
The development company's strategic land director Andy Faizey said, if the county wanted to sell Fromebanks, Lioncourt would buy it and offer any surplus back to the wildlife trust.
The proposed Rodborough Fields estate would be accessed by a bridge from the bypass over Fromebanks although Mr Faizey said acquiring the reserve was not essential to his company's scheme.