Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Campaign to Protect Rural England

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According to an invertebrate survey obtained via a Freedom of Information Request, Wenny Meadow in Chatteris is home to a “substantial and healthy population” of rare pseudoscorpions. Otherwise known as “false scorpions”, these invertebrates are like scorpions but without a “stinger” on their tail-end.

The survey, from 2015, was produced in support of the East Chatteris Broad Concept Plan application, but had not been published by the developer or Fenland District Council.

The species found at Wenny Meadow is described as "the largest British false scorpion, as well as one of the rarest".

More details can be found on the Ely Standard's website here.

Thursday, 02 December 2021 13:36

Ouse Washes: Middle Level Barrier Bank raising works

Written by Cambs Admin

The Middle Level Barrier Bank is the bank of the Ouse Washes reservoir extending from Earith to Welmore Lake Sluice. The Environment Agency are carrying out work to comply with recommendations made by the reservoir Inspecting Engineer to complete the works under the Reservoirs Act 1975.

The bank works for 2021 are now complete, following a year when a season of wet weather caused delays to the current construction programme. It is expected that the overall bank raising works will be completed in 2022.

You can download full details from the Environment Agency update here

Our response has been prepared through collaboration between our national charity and the five local CPRE groups within the Arc area: Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

This response document is in three parts:

  • CPRE’s overall critique of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc as it has emerged so far;
  • CPRE’s agenda for what we would wish to see the Spatial Framework do;
  • Detailed comments in response to the consultation questions.

CPRE’s longstanding support for the concept of strategic spatial planning is predicated on the potential to deliver better, more sustainable and more integrated outcomes. Unfortunately, the Arc as currently proposed appears at risk of doing the opposite, in particular by detracting from the levelling up agenda and by missing a crucial opportunity to rise to the climate challenge.

Click here to download full details of our response.

Thursday, 14 October 2021 12:24

More than 90% of survey respondents reject Ox-Cam Arc

Written by Cambs Admin

More than 90% of survey respondents across five counties of the ‘Ox-Cam Arc’ (Beds, Bucks, Cambs & Peterborough, Northants and Oxon) have told campaigners they reject government plans for the region.

Click here to view and download the full, comprehensive report

Thursday, 14 October 2021 12:13

New bus service TING to launch this month

Written by Cambs Admin

Ting is a the new 'Uber' style bus service which is being operated in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area by Stagecoach East.

This is part of plans to introduce a more people-friendly transport service to support rural communities across west Huntingdonshire.

The new service launches on October 25. Unusually, this is a "demand responsive" bus service which isn’t fixed to a specific route or timetable.

The Ting service is on a six month trial and will provide passengers with the option of booking the service in real time, on demand. This is done using the app or by calling the local call centre, allowing people to order a bus from even the most remote locations.

More details of the new Ting service can be found here: https://www.elystandard.co.uk/news/st-neots-preview-event-for-bus-service-ting-8400588

David Rogers, professor of ecology at the University of Oxford has said “You will destroy the reason why people like to live in Cambridge”, warning about the impact of over development in the city.

The Supersize Cambridge talk at which Professor Rogers is the lead speaker is happening on Thursday October 7. It has been set up by environmental campaigners to highlight the effect of plans for major housing growth in Cambridgeshire on resources, transport, the green belt and nature. 

More details here: https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/cambridge-will-be-destroyed-by-supersizing-plans-says-uni-9219500/

In July the Government launched the first of three public consultations on the Spatial Framework for the Ox-Cam Arc, which will remain open until 12th October. The government’s official website with three important accompanying documents and a link to the online consultation survey is here.

The Ox-Cam Arc is a Government plan to increase the total number of jobs, houses and people in the five counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire by 60-65% by 2050 to help “achieve the area’s full economic potential”.

Ox-cam Arc Districts

The region currently has a population of c. 3.7 m people who will be massively impacted by the proposed 1 million homes to be built, plus associated infrastructure and industry/businesses. There is no doubt at all that all the government is interested in is GROWTH. Not climate change, or the environment, or quality of life. Yet the government documents imply that the Arc can do everything: provide great economic growth AND a wonderful environment AND make everyone healthy and happy.

Decisions on such major developments cannot be made just by government and property developers (many of whom are major donors to government). The voices of the people need to be heard loud and clear, and the government consultation has too many “leading” questions for it to deliver accurate results. That is why the campaigning group Stop the Arc has created an alternative questionnaire to that created by the government for the stage 1 consultation. The survey is quick to complete (about 5 five minutes) so PLEASE take the time to do it, and then to pass on the link to as many people as possible: https://tinyurl.com/5MinArcSurvey. It is vital to get a real feel for what people think about the Ox-Cam Arc’s growth agenda over the next three decades.

 

Cambridge based campaigning group "Friends of the Cam" are holding their fifth talk on rivers and watercourses online on Tuesday 12th Oct 2021 at 7pm.

This is following a porevious postponement. Those who have already booked for the talk should have been informed of the changes by Eventbrite, and should not need to re-book.

More details can be found at https://www.friendsofthecam.org/content/new-date-tuesday-12th-october-2021-7pm

Friends of the Cam would welcome additional bookings from others who can now attend the changed date.

Their guest speaker is Professor Steve Ormerod, and his talk is entitled “The state of British rivers: out of sight, out of mind?”

Steve Ormerod is a former Chairman of the invertebrate charity Buglife, and a former Chairman of the RSPB for whom he is currently Vice-president. He is currently Professor of Ecology at Cardiff University, Deputy Chairman of Natural Resources Wales and a member of the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee.

Drawing on more than 40 years' experience of research into global change effects on freshwater ecosystems, he will consider some of the pressures on rivers - for example from climate change, legacy pollutants and microplastics - and some of the consequences of these pressures for river organisms. His talk will also reveal some of the benefits of actions taken to reduce impacts, for example through regulation or sensitive catchment management.

For more information about Friends of the Cam, see https://www.friendsofthecam.org/. On 21st June this year, they declared the Rights of the River Cam following the Universal Declaration of River Rights:

 Universal Rights of River Cam

Cambridge based campaigning group "Friends of the Cam" are declaring the rights of the River Cam on midsummer evening Monday 21st June at 6pm with a celebration for people of all ages from 4pm to 9pm. The group hopes this will highlight the urgent need to reverse over-abstraction and pollution of the river and the encroachment of massive levels of unsustainable building and infrastructure in our area and across the region.

To join the gathering, meet west of the footbridge on Jesus Green from 4pm for a celebration of the river with a picnic, drawing and painting for children, songs, music, poetry and an art display. There will also be an open mic where people can tell of their connection to the river.

At 6pm there will be a formal declaration of the rights of the river following the Universal Declaration of River Rights (see image) and the practice of indigenous peoples over thousands of years. Messages of support will be read from areas of the world where river rights are already recognised.

 Universal Rights of River Cam

 

The declaration of river rights will be adapted for the Cam, including:

  • the right to flow and be free from over-abstraction
  • the right to be free from pollution
  • the right to be fed by sustainable aquifers
  • the right to perform essential functions within the ecosystem
  • the right to native biodiversity
  • and the right to restoration.

In declaring the rights of the river participants will become its guardians, recognising that its rights have been breached in the past, and will oppose all new building and development which override the rights of the Cam and its feeder chalk streams.

Music for relaxing and dancing will continue up to around 9pm.

For more information about Friends of the Cam, see https://www.friendsofthecam.org/

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