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.

Help Create a Meadow

The Yare Valley Society has received the following request from Matthew Tomlinson

“Help needed to pull ragwort on Strawberry Field (Eaton, NR4 7LE) on Saturday the 17th of July at 10am. We are working with the landowner to change the way the field is managed, allowing us to treat it as a hay meadow and convert the site into an amazing 8 acre community wildflower meadow. It has been left uncut this year and a large number of bee orchids have popped up, along with a few pyramidal orchids and a huge amount of insect life. Please bring gloves and long-sleeved tops.”

Matthew is working with the landowner and the owners of the adjoining donkey field to get the fields management changed to turn it into a wildflower meadow. He has had good local support and hopes to do a moth trapping night over the summer. The ragwort is being pulled as an alternative to cutting the field which would kill any cinnabar moth caterpillars present. When the ragwort is pulled, any caterpillars on it will be transferred to plants off-field.

Warning. Ragwort is a highly toxic plant, and there is evidence that it can affect humans. Any pulling of the plant should be done wearing protective gloves, and although it may seem a fun activity for children, it is perhaps not wise to involve them.

If you have a special tool for the job e,g. a lazy dog weed remover please bring it with you. It is probably more effective for long term eradication.

 

Slow Ways in the Valley

We all enjoy our slow ways in the Valley, but a new project involving large scale collaboration aims to create a national network of “Slow Ways”. “A Slow Way is a route for walking (or wheeling) between neighbouring cities, towns and villages, using a variety of existing paths, ways, trails and roads.”

Slow Ways from Norwich cross the Yare at Cringleford, Harford and Lakenham Bridges, but only one route, Norwich-Mulbarton, passes along part of the Valley.  It uses the Bridleway from the Mulbarton Road across to Keswick Mill, before turning south west to head past Keswick Hall, to picking up the Bridleway beside the Southern Bypass across to Intwood  Road.

Elaine Tucker Plaque Restored

You may have noticed that the memorial plaque to our past Chair, Elaine Tucker, near the Mathematical bridge at UEA had become detached from its base. YVS have funded a replacement Plaque and it has now been installed. The wording on the plaque is the same as the original.

Elaine Tucker took over from John Thurman as Chair of YVS in 1993, and served as Chair until her death in 2007. Elaine was a very active campaigner for protecting the Yare Valley against undesirable development, including representing the Society at Planning Enquiries. She was fortunate to have the support of her husband Frank, who was very experienced in planning matters. The Plaque was erected and a tree planted in memory of her contribution to the Society and the wider community.

Our thanks to John Thurman for making the arrangements for restoring the Plaque. Our thanks also to the UEA who provided the stone slab, and to their staff who fixed it, having removed the old steel plinth by pulling it out with a chain attached to truck!

Yare Valley Society declares GNLP unsound

The Yare Valley Society is objecting to the GNLP on the grounds of the Plan being unsound in respect of two of its policies:

Policy GNLP0133DR: Land between Suffolk Walk and Bluebell Road

Policy GNLP0133-E: Land at the UEA Grounds Depot Site, Bluebell Road University of East Anglia.

See Consultations page for more details.

Wildlife Wildlife Trusts launch petition to write nature’s recovery into law

“The Environment Bill is currently making its way through Parliament and we have a once in a generation chance to put the weight of the law behind protecting nature. The Wildlife Trusts have written to the Prime Minister asking that the Environment Bill is strengthened to legally bind the Government to reverse wildlife declines by 2030.”

The Trusts ask you to sign their petition to the Prime Minister calling for a legal guarantee for nature’s recovery by 2030. Sign to show you want our wildlife to be better protected.

Sainsbury Centre proposes new addition to Sculpture Park

Anthony Caro’s “Goodwood Steps” has been offered to the Sainsbury Centre on a three-year loan from the Anthony Caro studio.  The Sculpture is a large steel structure 33 metre long and 6.5 metre high. April 2021 is the projected installation date.

The intended site for the sculpture is on the open grass parkland beside the University Broad and facing the Ziggurats between Norfolk and Suffolk Terrace. “The placement of this work in proximity to the Lasdun buildings has been specifically selected to resonate and form a powerful echo or reflection of the Ziggurat architecture.”

The Planning Application for the Sculpture can be viewed on the Norwich Planning Website and searching under reference 21/00124/F. Any comments you have should be with Norwich Planning Department by 26th February 2021.

The Yare Valley Society has concerns about the intrusion of this large structure into the open green grassland space so close to the Broad.  YVS will ask for it to be positioned further away from the Broad and closer to the ziggurats.

 

The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review: What is our green space worth?

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is currently used to compare the wealth and growth of national economies is  increasing recognised as seriously flawed for this purpose. The blind spot in this measure is that it almost completely ignores the rate at which a nation’s natural resources are being depleted, and its biodiversity is being degraded. The Dasgupta Review, commissioned by the UK Treasury and published today argues, that better economic measures need to be in place to avoid catastrophe for our planet.

You will be relieved to know there is an abridged version of the report as well as the full report. Both are available here.

Water storage on Marston Marsh

What are the economic assets of the Yare Valley that might be more highly valued? The present flooding of the Valley shows its ability to store large quantities of water and so reduce flooding and damage downriver. Its vegetation also helps by slowing the rate of water run-off. At all times the Valley is a key wildlife corridor for flora and fauna; and its wetlands act as a carbon sink. To add to all this are the mental and physical health benefits its green space ecosystems confer upon us all (See p 24 of abridged version of review). This should surely add up to a tidy sum.

Covid19 takes up almost all the news space at the moment, and many important issues are not getting the attention they deserve. We all need to make the ideas in this review more widely known, and help to ensure that it is a real milestone on our way to a sustainable future. Safeguarding and extending our green space has economic value!

Next Phase of Local Plan Consultations

The Greater Norwich Local Plan will go forward for a six week Regulation 19 publication period, which will start at 09.00 on Monday 1 February 2021 and close at 17.00 on Monday 15 March 2021.  No representations will be accepted outside of this period. See Consultations.