Yare Valley Society AGM and Talk Wednesday 29th June

Anyone who values the green space of the Yare Valley has free entry to the YVS AGM and talk. The business of the AGM is followed by a talk by Matt Tomlinson from the John Innes Centre:

We normally manage to complete the business of the AGM in the first half hour. We will then be able to enjoy, “Strawberry field: from Ragwort to Riches”, a talk by Dr Matt Tomlinson from the John Innes Centre. Matt works on the anticancer benefits of natural plant compounds. The talk will be of interest to all who wish to see the biodiversity of the Valley improved, and also to those seeking to rewild their gardens. Matt started his interest in the Strawberry Field as a lockdown 2020 project. Over the last two years the Friends of Strawberry field has formed, and is working with the landowner to make changes to the management the field. The field is now rapidly heading towards being a rich community wildflower meadow. Spurred on by these successes the Friends are now also assisting with adjacent hay meadows. More on the work of the Friends and some of the wildflowers that can be seen on the Strawberry field are on their Facebook page

Path upgrade for Cringleford Meadow

The path in Cringleford Meadow has long been muddy and difficult in times of bad weather. Both the path and the carpark are having their surfaces improved by laying compacted hardcore. The new all-weather path surface should make it easier to stay on the path and avoid trampling the vegetation in attempts to bypass the mud.

Present hard path end

The Meadow will be closed from Monday 16th May for 8 weeks. On site notices give the  diversion details. YVS understands the contractor will enable evening and weekend pedestrian access to the riverside path when and where safe to do so.

The full works comprise improvements to the path surface of the existing Yare Valley Walk alongside the river between Cringleford Meadow Car Park and the footbridge just north of the A11 flyover. The car park will also receive improvements with a gravel filled plastic grid system, similar to that at Danby Wood carpark, to regularise the surface and make the car park easier to use.

One of the alternative routes uses the not so widely known path alongside the flyover that was brought into being as part of the McCarthy and Stone development.

Eco Fair Display

Our three representatives on the Yare Valley Society Eco Fair display were kept very busy throughout by interested and enquiring viewers. The display highlighted the important roles the Yare Valley green corridor has in promoting biodiversity and combatting the effects of climate change:

  • It is a wildlife highway for the migration of flora and fauna
  • Its wildflowers sustain pollinators
  • Its grazing livestock promote biodiversity
  • Its vegetation and marshes reduce flood damage and pollution
  • Its marshes and woodlands act as a carbon sink
  • Its ease of access for a large urban population reduces carbon emissions by reducing dependence on car use.

It referred also to the factors that continue to threaten the Yare Valley in performing its roles effectively.

Eco display with YVS representative  June                                  Photo: Marilyn Evans

The photo was taken prior to opening – after that it was largely hidden by people!

Detail of Panels:

Panel 1

Panel 2

Panel 3 (part)

 

Eaton Eco Fair, Dawn Chorus Walk, Eco Trail, and Swaps

The Yare Valley Society will be at the

THE EATON SPRING ECO FAIR

at St Andrew’s Church and Church Hall in Church Lane, on Saturday 7 May 2022, 10 am to 12 noon.

The Society’s display will highlight the important roles played by the Yare Valley green corridor in combatting and mitigating the effects of climate change. The Society will by joined by organisations such as Norfolk County Council Waste Management, the local Allotment Association, Conservation Volunteers, and more. There will also be stalls run by local companies, shops and business outlets selling environmentally-friendly goods and supplies.

ECO TRAIL

An ECO TRAIL for children and families will be in the Church grounds.

DAWN CHORUS WALK     

EVRA (Eaton Village Residents’ Association) are inviting you to start the day with a dawn chorus walk  – meet Phil Atkinson at the gate to the Eaton marshes near the golf course at 6.30 am on 7 May.

SWAP EVENT

There’s also a “Swap” event at 5.30 pm in the Hall when you can update your wardrobe, library and toys.

The EVRA website has more details, and the event Flyer is here.

Spring on the Marsh

June Gentle

The river valley  has woken to Spring. A soft green haze over the trees has begun to appear.
Yellow gorse, dandelions, celandine and Marsh marigolds shine golden in the sun. Swans are nesting  and the birds are singing.  Butterflies are emerging now, and the marsh walks are being enjoyed by all.

Alarming view of swan landing

Swan Landing                                                                                                                                  Mike Gorski

Lovely to see on the river, but perhaps a bit too close for comfort when it is immediately behind you, and you are in a coracle. This was the experience of Mike Gorski. Mike regularly takes photos from his coracle on the River Yare upstream of Cringleford Bridge.

Can you help with a green space survey?

An economics student at the University of East Anglia, as part of her dissertation, is investigating the usage of greenspace and parks in Norwich and how these are related to health outcomes and attitudes of Norwich residents.

“There is considerable evidence that usage of and access to green spaces can significantly improve health outcomes in the population. However, throughout the UK, studies have shown that green space is unequally distributed. There is limited research investigating the actual usage of green spaces and how it varies across different urban areas. I hope to help investigate this with my dissertation and see how changes could be made to benefit the Norwich population.”

You can help by responding to her survey here. The survey has been approved by UEA ethics committee, it does not collect identifying information, and data responses will be stored securely online to meet GDPR and will be destroyed after the project is completed.

“A Wilder Norwich for All”

Sweet Briar Marshes Appeal

Norfolk Wildlife Trust has launched an appeal for funds to purchase and manage Sweet Briar Marshes (36.6 hectare) in the Wensum Valley green corridor. 

The Wensum green corridor, in common with the Yare Valley green corridor, is threatened by the surrounding urban development, and the purchase of the marshes by NWT would be a valuable contribution to safeguarding the future of the corridor. The Wensum joins the Yare  at Whitlingham.

“Close to the heart of Norwich lies Sweet Briar Marshes: 90 acres of fen, rough meadow, grazing marsh, old hedgerows and young woodland. This mosaic of habitats, unusually for a city centre, was arable farmland until as recently as the late 1990s, and today provides a treasure trove of nature, wildness and peace.

But this uniquely wild place is increasingly surrounded by urban development, and its sensitive ecology – including a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – is in danger of being lost forever…

Today, with the chance to secure the land, restore its biodiversity, and enhance it for people and wildlife alike, we have the remarkable opportunity to rewrite the story of Sweet Briar Marshes.

We want to create A Wilder Norwich For All with Sweet Briar at its centre an urban green space that is both rich in wildlife and enriching to the lives of the communities it serves; accessible to and valued by all the species who share it.”

More about the appeal is here and there are also some FAQs. The appeal is for £600,000 and Aviva has offered to match £ for £ every donation up to £300,000.

 

McCarthy Stone  (Bluebell Road) Phase 3 Online Consultation

McCarthy Stone are carrying out a pre-planning application consultation for Phase 3 of their development on Bluebell Road. Unfortunately, the window for a response is very short, being barely a week, ending on Saturday 19th February.

The consultation is here.

Pre-application consultations are a valuable opportunity to influence the detail of an application prior to its submission. Once an application has been submitted for approval its details are more difficult to change.

Phase 1 of the development was for more than 60 residences which have already been occupied. Phase 2 of more than 40 residences already has planning approval, but has not yet been started. Phase 3 will be for over 100 residences in apartments and bungalows,  and should complete the development of the site. The Strawberry field has already been released as public green space, and more public green space will be released to the west of the residences as the development progresses. Marshland adjacent to the river will also be protected.

Please make a response to the application if you feel able. Some things you might think about with respect to the Valley are:

  • Protection of views from the Yare Valley including the Strawberry Field and other released green space. Some buildings are three storey.
  • Views from Bluebell Road through the development towards the valley.
  • Access to green space from the development and through the development from the Bluebell Road.
  • Layout and character of footpaths in green space.
  • How green space areas should be managed in the future.
  • Permeability of the development to wildlife
  • Is this density of housing and level of parking spaces appropriate for a development adjacent to the Yare Valley Green Infrastructure corridor?

Have a say on the Lasdun Wall

UEA are preparing a planning application for proposals to refurbish and extend part of the Lasdun Wall. The extension is in the vicinity of the Chancellors Lodge near where Chancellors Drive joins University Drive.

North west side of Lasdun Wall

The extension will be on the north west side of the wall, increasing the width of the wall.

A public pre-planning consultation will be held in the Foyer of the Enterprise Centre at the UEA on Wednesday 2nd February 3–7pm. The proposals are not expected to have a significant impact on the Valley green space, but the YVS committee will scrutinise them carefully.

The Enterprise Centre is the “straw” building on University Drive, opposite the Sportspark car park. 

If you are unable be there in person, the proposals, and an opportunity to comment, will be at www.uea-lasdunwall-phase1.co.uk from 2nd to the 18th  February.