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 studio@bcr-infinityarchitects.co.uk.”

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.

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.

CCF Sustainable Fashion Festival 21 March

Fashion for good
Cambridge’s second Sustainable Fashion Festival will make it easier than ever to look good whilst caring for the environment.

Festival organiser, Nicole Barton of Cambridge Carbon Footprint, says: “This day is all about solutions. For alternatives to buying new you can talk to The Nuw Wardrobe about renting your clothes in the Cambridge area, or swap your unworn clothes at a big Swish (clothes swap party).  30% of the average wardrobe is unworn so why not refresh it with pieces that fit you and you’ll actually wear? ”

The sustainable pop-up market will be a great place to find new clothes that will allow you to #WearYourValues. At the luxurious end will be beautifully made organic cotton garments, vegan shoes by NOAH and bags made to last a lifetime.  And an array of upcycled, second hand and vintage stalls will mean there should be something for everyone.

Sustainable stylist Roberta Lee will be running workshops on colour analysis and creating a capsule wardrobe.  Meanwhile, the Cambridge Sewing Repair Café team will fix your ripped, worn and tired clothes for free.

The public are invited to bring all their empty make-up containers and paraphernalia to the BeautyCycle recycling point run by John Lewis who’ll also be there sharing news of a new cash-for-clothes scheme that’ll pay customers for unwanted clothes.

The Sustainable Fashion Festival takes place at St Barnabas’ Church, Mill Road, Cambridge CB12BD, 11am – 4:30pm on Sat 21 st March.

Everything is free, apart from the styling workshops; booking is required for workshops.

See http://circularcambridge.org/fashion-fest-2020/ for the full programme.

2G3S Walk round Dernford Reservoir, September 2019

In warm sunshine a dozen residents completed the walk around Dernford Reservoir,  just south of Stapleford, in late September.  The reservoir area was opened for public access last year following amelioration of the former gravel quarry.

The group were introduced to several late flowering plants including bright yellow Toadflax and purple Upright Vetch. A large dragonfly was seen skimming over the water. There was a group of more than 50 gulls on the water, including Black-backed gulls.  We watched a Grebe taking a series of dives to catch small fish and a Cormorant flew low over the reservoir.  One of the group spotted a Common Sandpiper on the shore and we shared binoculars to see it bobbing about on the shoreline. A group of dogs splashing in the water drove the wary birds to the other side of the reservoir, the owners ignoring the fencing and deep water warning signs.

The reservoir is becoming a more popular walking venue and provides a useful local wildlife asset. It will be interesting to observe how it develops over the next few years.  Note the reservoir is in Sawston Parish, one of the villages that the 2G3S group represents (Shelfords, Stapleford and Sawston).

John O’Boyle

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!