Update 3rd July 2020
Update 3rd July, 2020
FeCRA AGM via Zoom July 16 – Eventbrite link to follow
We would like to give Notice that our AGM for 2020 is Thursday 16 July. It will need to be virtual on Zoom. We will be sending out an Eventbrite link to register to join the AGM.
The meeting will start at 7.00 pm but the meeting room will be open from 6.30 pm.
Green infrastructure in Greater Cambridge Survey ends 27 July
South Cambridgeshire parishes, Cambridge Residents Associations, and Friends Groups are asked to continue to help identify opportunities to improve green spaces in the area. This will inform the emerging Greater Cambridge Local Plan being developed by Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District
Let us know your thoughts. This is an opportunity to record concerns about drought, water stress, trees , climate change etc. Opportunities for ‘improving’ landscape, verges, hedges, views, footpaths, trees, style, character is about prioritising and/or protecting what makes Cambridge special and making that more resilient. How do people want to live? This doesn’t have to mean future parks and destination opportunities. See comments of Cam Valley Forum and Conservation and River groups on the University of Cambridge’s Biodiversity Plan. Link below.
Opportunities to improve could also include: tree protection orders https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/protected-trees wildflower rich verges, commons, meadows, chalk downland. It could mean pollinator friendly, not using pesticide, planting bulbs , restoring hedges for wildlife, footpaths, allotments, green roofs, securing landscape views, tree lines etc For suggestions residents have made previously, see link.
The survey here will be open until 27th July. If you will have a problem responding by this date the consultants say let them know. Most questions are optional, so fill in as many as are appropriate.
The survey has two parts:
Part 1 where they ask you to tell them about assets, weaknesses and gaps in the green infrastructure network in Greater Cambridge, and share your priorities.
Part 2 where they ask you to let them know about ongoing green infrastructure projects your organisation is involved in or aware of. This will inform the Greater Cambridge Infrastructure Delivery Plan ( “IDP”), which will list all the infrastructure projects needed to support the local plan.
As well as the survey itself, you can view the Introductory Guide to the Green Infrastructure Opportunity Mapping Project through the Consultation Hub. This explains the project’s purposes, what green infrastructure is and where you fit into the process.
At this stage planning and environmental consultancy, Land Use Consultants, (LUC), say they are seeking views from ‘a focused group of stakeholders with specific knowledge and expertise in local green infrastructure’. ‘There will be many opportunities for wider feedback from residents and other people not involved at this stage of the process. If you are aware of other groups or organisations that you think should have been contacted as part of this survey, please contact the LUC team so that the mailing list can be updated to include them’.
If you have any questions on this study or require assistance in responding, contact LUC at GreaterCambridgeGI@landuse.co.uk.
Prolonged Dry Weather (developing drought) Environment Agency Briefing – June 2020
The Environment Agency has advised Prolonged Dry Weather (developing drought) status for the Cam & Ely Ouse. Despite welcome rain over recent weeks, the catchment has seen just 40% of the long term average rainfall for June, and far lower quantities during May. This has led to reduced river flows and groundwater levels.
Additional updates about the water situation can be found via East Anglia’s monthly Water Situation Report.
To help build the best possible picture of the water situation and potential impacts, the Environment Agency say please let them know if you notice any signs of environmental stress linked to dry weather. Photos, locations and basic details would be useful – email here .
Stantec consultants appointed to assess water issues
Stantec have been appointed to undertake a Water Cycle Study for Greater Cambridge ‘to look at all aspects of the water environment and ensure that water infrastructure can be managed sustainably alongside the level of growth being identified as the Local Plan is developed’.
They are exhibiting at this event at which the Chief Executive of South Cambs is speaking.
Natural Cambridgeshire Partnership Forum
The Natural Environment and Planning Policy Group of Natural Cambridgeshire has been merged with the board of the Local Nature Partnership, Natural Cambridgeshire, following the board’s decision to apply to become a Charitable Interest Organisation.
Natural Cambridgeshire is now the Natural Cambridgeshire Partnership Forum.
Residents say that it is not clear what is the ‘standing’ of the board of the Local Nature Partnership, Natural Cambridgeshire? Who is to be represented on it? What is its standing in local government and local community organisations, voluntary groups and NGOs, and why it is so seemingly dominated by business interests. This is important as Water Resources East ( set up by Anglian Water) say there will be no formal consultation on the regional water plan. This body will be one of the consultees.
Natural Cambridgeshire’s ‘doubling nature’ vision supports the CPIER high growth strategy which is sustained by inward migration, an OxCam Arc Expressway and other transport initiatives and building one million homes in the Oxford Cambridge Growth Corridor by 2050. See link.
Recent media reports ask if NGO’s who signed up to supporting ‘Nature’s Arc’, with curated parks, new woods and wetlands are greenwashing a level of growth that is unsustainable.
Some of the NGOS have since amended their press releases.
Cambridge Past Present and Future’s Green Spaces Opportunity Survey conducted by the Wildlife Trust BCN
In a presentation to the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry in 2019 the Vice Chair of Cambridge Ahead said that four new interconnected curated parks were proposed by CPPF, the Wildlife Trust BCN and the National Trust. The schemes included new woods and linear river parks for nature recovery closely allied to the development of the Local Plan.
Beacon Wood A new wood on county council land at Babraham near Wandlebury . The proposal includes a plan for a community land trust to be set up, with CPPF and the local authorities suggested as directors. The wood has been designated as a priority Gogs landscape for investment by Natural Cambridgeshire. Link below.
Consultee comments on the Commercial Estates Group application for the Worts Causeway Gogs development highlight investment in green infrastructure and access and recreation management for future park destinations.
See WWT BCN and CPPF proposal for investment in the Gog Magog Hills area. ‘Gog Magogs Nature Recovery Network: Access & Recreation Management Proposals’
Also the comments of Guy Belcher , Cambridge City Council biodiversity officer
Kingswood – Grantchester Meadows
There are also new proposals for a wood on King’s College land adjacent to Grantchester Meadows http://grantchester.org.uk/uncategorized/kingswood-proposal/
South Cambridgeshire parish councillors’ working groups are also focussing on mainly tree planting in South Cambridgeshire.
Cambridge Canopy Project – tree survey
With partners from Treeconomics Ltd., Forest Research, and Anglia Ruskin University, the Cambridge Canopy Project is conducting a study of the city’s urban forest to explore its structure and make-up, and measure the threats to, and benefits and value provided by, Cambridge’s trees.
A sample of the entire tree population in the city will be surveyed across 200 random plots.
Gogs landscape proposal
GCP’s damaging busway plans for the Gogs chalk downlands were highlighted in the last newsletter.
In 2016 Jean Perraton, the former chair of Cam Valley Forum suggested enlarging the Nine Wells area and for the chalk downland farmland up to the Magog Trust and Wandlebury to be managed as wildflower meadows, a buffer for the springs and a green corridor stretching from the heart of Cambridge to Magog Down and Wandlebury.
Jean’s letter, Cambridge News
“Louise Milbourn (CN 5 November) stresses the need to protect Nine Wells, in the light of the proposal to expand the biomedical campus, noting its unique geology and history. Nine Wells is, arguably, the most valuable and interesting nature reserve near Cambridge, not just for its geology and history, but also for the invertebrates that live, precariously, in its clear, cool waters. It is also a lovely bosky enclave in an area that offers few such delights. It deserves to be celebrated, treasured and protected.
Whether or not the Biomedical Campus is extended, the large-scale increase jobs and houses in this part of Cambridge will greatly increase the pressure on this tiny site. Nine Wells is owned by Cambridge City Council but within South Cambridgeshire. The two local authorities should be negotiating a way to buffer it. Could not some of the Section 106 money, that must accrue from the development, be earmarked to acquire land around Nine Wells, land that would be managed as wildflower meadows for people to enjoy? This, I would suggest, should be part of a longer term plan to create a green corridor, all the way from the heart of Cambridge to Magog Down and Wandlebury.
Her suggestion would preserve the vital green spaces of the Gogs and their views, one of the few places where children can toboggan, a breath of fresh air next to Addenbrookes. The proposal correlates with the Hobsons Conduit Trust’s plans for an enlarged Nine Wells.
S106 funding opportunities
The Market and City Centre
The lowering of the rising bollards times of operation on Trinity Street has been scheduled to change from 4pm to 6 pm. The market traders say this means they will have to wait 2 hours after the market officially closes before they can leave with their vehicles. Some of them are getting up at 2am to make bread and source fresh produce. This will cause their businesses to be inoperable and kill the market.
This change to the city centre has been put into place by the Greater Cambridge Partnership. The market traders ask anyone who shops at the market, to write to Lewis Herbert about this problem as well as the Exec Councillor for the environment, Rosy Moore, and the Market ward councillors.
The details about this issue are on the Greater Cambridge Partnership website.
Thoughts re this weekend of restaurants and pubs opening and retail generally from Ian Sandison of Cambridge BID
‘Cambridge&’ – Greater Cambridge Board papers link below
From page 61 ‘Cambridge&’
Residents are asking what is the legal status of ‘Cambridge&’ and where is the funding for it coming from?
Do we need yet another unelected, undemocratic organisation involved in public policy decisions that should, as a matter of principle, belong to the existing democratically elected councils?
Who is pushing this new scheme and who has funded the report in the agenda?
Why was the report included in the meeting papers when it wasn’t on the agenda