GREEN Party European candidate Magid Magid has visited a York nature reserve - and added his voice to the protests against controversial plans to build 500 homes on land nearby.

The party’s lead candidate for the European Parliamentary elections on Thursday has been taking part in ‘Tour de Magid,’ inspired by the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race, to find out more about the region he hopes to represent.

Yesterday he came to York to meet local party members, campaign in the city centre and address an audience at St Lawrence Church Hall, but first of all he went for a guided tour of Askham Bog on the city’s western outskirts.

Members of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, which runs the reserve, where wild Exmoor ponies run free in the summer, told him why it is opposed to plans by Barwood Homes to build 500 homes on fields off Moor Lane, close to the bog.

For example, it cited concerns about the impact on the bog’s hydrology of the housing development, which were revealed in Saturday’s Press.

Magid told The Press: “This is a national and local scientific treasure and i think it’s important we do as much as we can to protect that.

“Nobody is against development because we need more housing - there’s a massive housing shortage not only in York but all across the country -but the question is: is this the right place to do it, and I would argue this is completely the wrong place.

“It will cut off the water and have a devastating effect on the entire life cycle of the site.

“It’s a local issue but David Attenborough is on board and we need as many influential figues in support of the bog as possible, be that activists, councillors, MPs, MEPs - we need to put as much pressure on as possible.

“I will definitely be coming back down again and working with local campaigners to make sure it is protected.”

Magid added he had visited York on many occasions and was looking forward to returning to learn more about ‘this amazing city.’

Fellow MEP candidate Lars Kramm from York Green Party said: “I know Magid well and I’m proud to support him as our lead MEP candidate.”