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.

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.

“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.

 

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

 

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.

“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.

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.