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.

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.

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.