Hearings on the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP)

The National Planning Inspectors examining the Local Plan will be holding hearings on “Matters Issues and Questions” in two parts. Part One is from 1st to the 10th of February, and Part Two begins on Tuesday 2nd March 9.30 am. It is Part Two that will be looking at “Matters Issues and Concerns” relating to Valley green space. These are contained in Matter 14 “Other site allocations and site-specific policies”, Issues 1 and 2:

Issue 1 University related allocations: c. Land between Suffolk Walk and Bluebell Road (Ref GNLP0133DR) and d. Land at the UEA Grounds Depot Site, Bluebell Road (Ref GNLP0133E).

The YVS has made detailed representations to the inspectors under Regulation 19 on these two sites.

Issue 2 Open space / leisure applications: a. Bawburgh and Colney Lakes (Ref BAW2).

YVS supports the inclusion of the lakes as a Country Park in the GNLP.

More information of the progress of the GNLP on the GNLP website

 

Industry in the Yare Valley

A new Danby Wood display board casts light on the woods industrial past.

Danby Wood Display Board

From the late eighteenth century to the early part of the twentieth century Danby Wood was an industrial site for chalk and flint extraction and had limekilns burning chalk to form quicklime. The chalk and flint was extracted via an extensive network of tunnels that still exists. The tunnels are not open to the public, but some accounts of past explorations of the network are available on the web e.g. EDP article.

Danby Wood is one of five Norwich Local Nature Reserves in the Yare Valley. Details of the other nature reserves are on our Yare Valley Walk page.

Yare Valley celebrated in Eaton’s Knitted Blanket

More than 20 people of Eaton responded positively during lockdown by creating a work of art and sharing companionship through Zoom. The outcome was an embroidered quilt and a knitted blanket to show the good things that had been experienced, even in hard times. Quilt and blanket were assembled from squares created by individuals.

The embroidered quilt and the knitted blanket were exhibited in November 2021 with an audio-visual presentation of the thoughts behind the squares. The Yare Valley features as one of the good things experienced.

Kingfisher

 

More people going for walks and appreciating the natural world, a Kingfisher spotted beside the river Yare at Eaton Common

 

 

 

 

Walkers on Marston Marsh enjoyed the sight of a great variety of wild flowers

Rabbit Goddess appears

 

Rabbit Goddess

After several delays the intriguing Isagi Kannon or “Rabbit Goddess” by Leiko Ikemura has finally arrived in the Sainsbury Centre Sculpture Park at UEA.

“This hybrid, mythical bronze figure was created in response to the Tōhoku earthquake and Fukushima disaster of March 2011. Like the Buddhist divinity Bodhisattva Kannon, Ikemura’s ‘Rabbit Goddess’ emanates compassion and mercy”

 

 

Inside the Rabbit Goddess

 

It is located to the west of the rear of the Sainsbury Centre and makes an interesting detour from the Yare Valley Walk. The sculpture invites  children to explore inside and out.

New Masterplan for East Norwich emerging

The Yare Valley Society is keeping a watching brief on the new Masterplan emerging for East Norwich and has engaged in a Zoom consultation with other stakeholders.

The Masterplan will embrace four sites:

  1. Carrow Works – the former Colman’s factory site
  2. Deal Ground – large site east of the railway
  3. May Gurney – former HQ site for local firm
  4. Utilities sites – former power station site

The Masterplan will impact on the Yare Valley, and the Society’s objectives in relation to the Masterplan are:

  • To safeguard the green infrastructure corridor of the Yare Valley.
  • To promote biodiversity in the Valley
  • To promote walking and cycling routes along the valley to Whitlingham Country Park and to link them with the River Wensum walking and cycling routes.

Information on the developing Masterplan can be found here.

Help make the Strawberry Field a Wildflower Meadow on Saturday 16th October

The Strawberry Field is on the Bluebell Road next to the McCarthy and Stone site. It has now had its end of year cut, but for wildflowers to prosper the cuttings need to be removed.

Matt Tomlinson is organizing another working party to remove cuttings from at least part of the field. He writes:

“I plan to lead a work party to clear the clippings from the very top of the field and dispose of them under the hedge at the top of strawberry field and under the hedge at the top of the donkey sanctuary (we have permission from the UEA). This area is the richest and certainly the most diverse, for plants, on the field. 

If you are free anytime on Saturday the 16th October from 10am (I will be down all day) it would be great to see you and any help is very much appreciated.

Please bring a rake and or fork. 

It is forecast to be a nice sunny autumn day on Saturday”

Please come along if you can and help get the job done.

Is the Bridge of Dreams the haunt of witches?

Jim Moore has been dreaming. He has published the first two books in his projected trilogy of children’s adventure fantasies of Princes and Witches in the Valley: “Radulf the Aetherling” and “The Valley Witches”.

Princes and Witches                                                                                                                      Jim Moore

Characters from the Valley wildlife feature in the books, and the action is set in  locations along the Valley: Earlham Park, University Broad, through Cringleford to Keswick Mill and finally Venta Icenorum where the spirit of Queen Boudicca puts in an appearance. Many of the locations can be walked by the reader.

Jim lives with his wife Sheila and four children in Bowthorpe. He campaigned over many years for the recognition and restoration of the ancient trackway from Bowthorpe to Colney to which the Bridge of Dreams restores a crossing of the river that was lost over 50 years ago.

Haunt of witches?                                                                                                                            Jim Moore

The books can be purchased via Facebook from Jim Moore at £10 plus p+p   or directly from his home address 49 Notykin Street Cloverhill l Bowthorpe Norwich NR5 9DN.  £1 from each book sold will be donated to Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity (SANDS).

A reader’s review of either of the books can be sent to yarevalleysociety@gmail.com for inclusion on our website.

“Planning for the Future” paused – but threat remains

In December of last year YVS thanked members who had responded to what was a difficult government consultation document on proposals for reforms to the local planning system contained in the White Paper “Planning for the Future”. YVS and its members joined many environmental groups in expressing concerns about the adverse impact many of the reforms would have on green space and biodiversity.

It was with considerable relief among environmental groups that following a government reshuffle, which saw Michael Gove become the new housing secretary, it was announced the proposed reforms were being paused.

The CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England) sees this as a campaign win, but paused is not the same as stopped. We must remain alert to any possible relaunch.

Goodwood Steps on Campus

 

Please do not touch

The latest addition to the Sainsbury Centre Sculpture has appeared on the UEA campus. The “Do not touch” signs are rather bizarre on a sculpture that looks so robust. Hopefully the signs and the fencing will disappear once the Steps are fully installed, and it will be possible to relate the sculpture better to its surroundings.

Steps and steps

The Sainsbury Centre comments: “Goodwood Steps is an impressive large-scale work which has been selected to compliment the UEA’s Brutalist architecture and sit within the natural environment of the campus”.

Something to ponder about on the Yare Valley Walk.

Brutalism to the fore

More about the Sculpture Park can be found at https://www.sainsburycentre.ac.uk/sculpture-park/

More ragwort pulling

Matt is organising another volunteer session to pull ragwort on Strawberry field. This time in the evening, as many people find it difficult to come at the weekend. Matt says that in the last session  “8 kind people did an incredible job and the field (now left uncut) is alive with butterflies, ant hills, grasshoppers chirping and dragonflies zipping by”.
The session will begin at 7pm on Thursday the 29th of July. Please bring gardening type gloves and wear long sleeves.