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.

“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

 

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.

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.

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.

Widespread opposition to Government White Paper Proposals

A big thank you to all who responded to the Yare Valley Society call to respond to the Government’s White Paper “Planning for the Future” Consultation. It was not an easy undertaking. The consultation ended on 29 October.

Another thank you if your added your name to the CPRE (Council for the Preservation of Rural England) petition against some of the key proposals.

The YVS committee saw the government’s proposals as a major attack on local democracy and a threat to the ability of the YVS and its members to safeguard the green space of the Yare Valley in the future.

We are not alone.

On 8th December the CPRE with other campaigners headed to Westminster, to hand in 310,265 signatures calling for the government to stop its “disastrous plans” to change our planning laws.

The CPRE writes:

“We commissioned a poll of MPs and found that over half of Conservative MPs weren’t happy with the proposals – the same proposals that had come from their own party! So it came as no surprise to us to see a fiery debate in the House of Commons where 46 MPs spoke out against the plans – and even more wanted to, but the debate simply ran out of time.

Of these 46 MPs publicly voicing their unhappiness with the suggested changes, a huge 33 were from the Conservative Party – including former Prime Minister Theresa May. The issues that they were raising were just as we’ve been saying for many months: that the plans would lead to building on green spaces near to where people live (the very local green spaces that have been so important to so many of us during the pandemic year); that fewer homes that people could actually afford to live in would be built; and that the chances for people to get involved in shaping the future of where they live would be eroded.

And it’s not just the government’s own MPs who have problems with the plans. Organisations from across the environmental, housing and planning sectors have come together to say a big NO to the existing proposals. We were one of more than 30 groups who sent a letter to the Prime Minister warning of the disastrous impacts on nature and people if he dismantled the planning system.”

YVS will be looking for a positive response from the government to address the concerns raised. If it fails to do so YVS will be asking members to take action again.

Yare Valley Society responds to “Planning for the Future”

The Yare Valley Society response to the consultation on the Government’s White Paper on the future of Planning can now be read on the Consultation Page.

Do not leave it to the Society alone. Please make your personal response to the consultation. More information on how to do this is on the Consultation Page.

Don’t forget to sign the Council for the Protection of Rural England’s (CPRE’s) petition