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

What next after coronavirus: conversations about ‘The Flip’

People might remember the 2009 film ‘The Age of Stupid’, an independent film which looked at how we were ignoring the signs of the impending climate crisis.

Franny Armstrong, who directed the film, is now making a series of videos in which leading thinkers discuss how we can ‘flip’ from corona virus to climate safety in just a few years.

In the first of these conversations, hear George Monbiot, Caroline Lucas and Faiza Shaheen discuss what is ‘the flip’, what they would like to see flip, how to make good flips stick, what the dangers are and what happens next. About 45 minutes.

‘Local Futures’ and the coronavirus epidemic

Local Futures is the organisation which made the film ‘The Economics of Happiness’ which we showed a few years ago.  Their mission is ‘to renew ecological, social and spiritual well-being by promoting a systemic shift towards economic localization.’  It is possible to subscribe to a weekly email with interesting articles,  blogs etc

They have recently published several items relating to the coronavirus epidemic.   They are quite short, easy to read, and full of good ideas.  See for example

5 ways coronavirus could help humanity survive the ecological crisis

and

Comparative Resilience: 8 Principles for Post-COVID Reconstruction

 

 

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