Proposal for a Cambridge Great Park to encircle the city

From ‘The Cambridge Independent’, 14 April 2020:

“Campaigners who want to see a new Cambridge Great Park for the city to protect green belt land are asking the public to add their own ideas to the proposals.

Led by retired architect Neil Ruffles, the group has already submitted an outline idea to Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council to be considered as part of their next Local Plan.

Now they want to hear from anyone who has a suggestion about how they could link up local green spaces into one huge green space that is open to the public and what they would want to see in the park………

……….to submit your ideas, email *protected email*.”

See the full article for more details.

Ask the County Council to reduce mowing of verges

The charity Plantlife are urging councils to reduce verge cutting.  They say:

“Roads have fallen quiet as lockdown is observed, as has the drone of many councils’ mowers. Councils are under considerable pressure due to the Coronavirus crisis and many have understandably reduced grass cutting down to essential management to maintain visibility and ensure road safety. There’s hope that reduced cutting frequencies might be a silver lining for verge wild flowers, giving once-familiar flowers, such as white campion, betony, greater knapweed and harebell, the chance to grow, flower and set seed. 

As well allowing precious wild flowers the opportunity to thrive, reducing cutting and adopting a more wildlife-friendly management regime will also help tackle the climate crisis. Over 300 local authorities have now declared a climate emergency, so sustaining reduced cutting regimes will also help councils bring down carbon emissions.”

You can sign a petition to the county council here

Coronavirus epidemic

Please note that, as you would expect, we are not able to meet in person during the current lockdown conditions.

Planning is still going ahead online.  Contact us if you would like to participate.

Pioneering WaterWorks project on the Fens

Water Works is a two year project aiming to look at ways to develop a more sustainable future for fenland resources – its soil, water and people. The project is trialing new farming methods designed to protect our precious peat soils and water resources, by using new science and technology to develop and monitor these techniques and by applying for UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status to support and unite people to create a thriving fenland economy and countryside.

The grant-funded project is managed by a partnership between the Wildlife Trust Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire; Cambridgeshire ACRE; The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; and the University of East London.

For more info read the blog here

and for the latest on how they will introduce the amazing sphagnum moss and other plants, read here

 

Greater Cambridge Local Plan

Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are working together to develop a Local Plan for the area, to cover the period until 2040.  The big themes are:

  • Climate change – how the plan should contribute to achieving net zero carbon and the mitigation and adaptation measures that should be required through developments.
  • Biodiversity and green spaces – how the plan can contribute to a ‘doubling nature’ vision, the improvement of existing green spaces and the creation of more.
  • Wellbeing and social inclusion – how the plan can help spread the benefits of growth, helping to create healthy and inclusive communities.
  • Great places – how the plan can protect what is already great about the area, and design new developments to create special places and spaces.

Further information here

Details on how to comment here.  The closing date for comments is 24 February 2020 at 5 pm.

Cambridgeshire County Council Climate Change and Environment Strategy Consultation

Cambridgeshire County Council is developing a Climate Change and Environment Strategy and Action Plan. The Strategy outlines how they will reduce the carbon footprint of the Council and the County; help our communities adapt to the change already happening; and enhance nature and the benefits it provides.

They are currently inviting feedback on the draft Strategy.

The consultation is running from 20 December 2019 to 31 January 2020.

For more information and to take part in the consultation, click here

 

 

Don’t forget to respond to the Sawston Greenway consultation

We are hoping that the Greater Cambridge Partnership will go ahead with the construction of a ‘Greenway’ (a route for cyclists, walkers and equestrians) from Cambridge through Stapleford to Sawston.  They are gauging public support for the project by means of a survey; responses have to be in by end of Monday, 5 August.  Local residents should have received a hard copy through their door, but you can also complete the survey online here:

https://consultcambs.uk .engagementhq.com/greenways-melbourn-sawston?tool=survey_tool#tool_tab

and it only takes a few minutes to complete the form.

Details of the proposals are linked from https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/greenways-melbourn-sawston

We are encouraging people to strongly support option 5b over 5a.  This is an extract from our Summer 2019 newsletter:

Jim Chisholm writes:

Stapleford: most crucially, a new route ‘B’ is proposed that avoids the difficult section through Mingle Lane and Church St.  A roughly similar route was proposed in 2000, but this failed due to landowner objections.  At that time, Sustrans did obtain a licence, which still holds, for a 500m strip of land adjacent to the rail line S from Shelford station, under London Road and as far as Wedd’s land off Granta Terrace.  The newly proposed Route B would run close to the railway as far as the new Dernford reservoir, before using a path, with public access already agreed, around the reservoir perimeter to rejoin the existing route beyond Dernford Lane. Please strongly support route B from Shelford station.

Without such support negotiations with landowners for access to a 450m strip needed between the agreed Sustrans bit and the reservoir will be difficult.

If a further short link were to be created from the proposed path to the housing development on the old garage site, this would give a route from these dwellings to the London-bound platform at Shelford station, as well as an almost traffic free path to Sawston Village College.

A route alongside the Sawston by-pass to the ‘Spicers’ crossing is also proposed.  For this to be a 24/7 commuter route and to be family friendly it will need to be behind a hedge, as routes directly adjacent to busy roads are unsafe in the dark due to vehicle headlights, and difficult for families because of the proximity and noise of heavy traffic.  Please support this path, but with a hedge.

Thank you!