CONCERNED Umtentweni residents say they fear for wild life in the area as Ray Nkonyeni Municipality has apparently approved an application to lease land for a community and skateboard park. One of these residents believes the municipality should have consulted the public more before approving the development.The resident, who wants to be known as “Mrs van Niekerk”, said Umtentweni residents are extremely privileged to live so close to nature. “The green belt is a breeding habitat for all kinds of wildlife, including birds of prey, porcupines, large spotted genets, river otters, tree hyraxes, Egyptian Geese and more,” said Van Niekerk.Over the past 10 years, she said there has been a drastic decline of wildlife in the area, which in her opinion is mainly due to the fact that more and more of the wildlife’s natural habitat has been encroached upon. “Snares are being set every day, and as a result, we are either forcing the wildlife to seek a safer environment or they are being exterminated at an alarming rate.” She said the community is not only worried about the nature and wild life, also noise levels from skateboarding.“We would like to propose that an impact study be done in order to ascertain whether this proposed park will be in the best interests of our wildlife,” she said.She believes the municipality should find a more central area for the skateboarding park that is not near the green belt so the park could be enjoyed by not only Umtentweni residents, but all communities.Ray Nkonyeni Municipality spokesperson Nomusa Zulu confirmed that the park will be established next to the Umtentweni Tennis Club.“The objectives of that application were to create a protected play area,” said Zulu. She said cleaning and maintenance will be by the applicant, Tweni Community Park Committee, to prevent vagrants, litter, safety hazards and preservation of fauna and flora. She emphasised that erection of all structures will be subjected to approval by relevant departments. “When funds become available the municipality will proceed with its plan to design and install the skateboard and other facilities,” she said.