Friday, 24 February 2017

Protecting Green Spaces At Every Scale

Ysgol Penweddig

We've written about how, over time, more and more paths are laid, slicing up green areas. "Death by a thousand cuts". It happens at every scale. The photo above was taken recently at Ysgol Penweddig, Aberystwyth. At one point that was one large piece of grass. Then a path was laid across it "for convenience" because some people cut across the grass. Then the footpath was widened. Then, as people cut across the grass, further paths were laid (some fairly recently). A green area gets sliced up into smaller and smaller wedges. No-one takes an overview of it, no-one steps in to protect the green spaces - perhaps planting bushes, trees and flowerbeds across the areas people were cutting across. It's always just "one more path". And it is the same with roads and housing estates, up to the scale of things like the proposed M4 extension that would destroy huge areas of important wildlife green spaces, without even fixing the underlying problem - too many people, too many cars, and an assumption that the earth is ours to do as we wish. In another thirty years there will be so much traffic the bypasses will need bypasses, the roads will need widening, and the same process that has been going on at an accelerating rate for hundreds of years will continue.

Most people – and most politicians too – don’t see or care about the big picture.

Another example is the way people replace back gardens with paving. "For convenience." But it has a big impact on wildlife. Likewise, we've seen many front gardens concreted over for parking spaces. Please don't pave your gardens! Instead take up the slabs and plant bushes, trees and flowers.

Every road that's built isn't a one-off. It's an ongoing drain on resources. In Aberystwyth at the moment a mile of road has been dug up, to be resurfaced with hundreds of tons of chippings and toxic chemical tars. It didn't have any pot-holes, and some suggest it is just the Council using up money at the end of a budget year so that they can claim the same amount next year. Money that would have been better spent on creating wildlife-supporting green areas, or clearing up litter.

Cambrian News, Thu 2 Feb 2017, p6.

Until we stop covering green areas with roads and paths and paving slabs and new housing estates there isn’t going to be much hope of a future. But if we all look at the big picture, and make changes at every level, and talk about the things that are being lost, maybe we can halt this process, so that future generations of humans and other species don't inherit a degraded planet.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Welsh Government Consultation On Forestry And Woodland Policy In Wales

The Welsh Government is running a consultation on Forestry And Woodland Policy In Wales. Details here; you have until 7 April 2017 to respond. Here are a few points we made.

Responding to climate change – coping with climate change and helping reduce our carbon footprint

Prevent all building on greenfield sites. Protect current green spaces, whether agricultural or not, from development and housing; new housing should only be on existing and brownfield sites.

Cease all new road-building. Discourage car use; create a nationalised, fast, cheap, reliable, regular and connected public transport system that is better than using cars.

Make sure very new development in Wales, of any kind, must include wildlife areas – trees, bushes, flowers and so on, planted in the earth (not sterile pots, which are just ornamental). They need to be connected up to provide wildlife corridors.

Implement a policy to create X amount of new woodland in Wales every year.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Save The Gwent Levels From The M4 Bypass

Contact your Assembly Member about this!
More information here.

Help to save Magor Marsh Nature Reserve and the Gwent Levels from the proposed M4 bypass, for the sake of the environment and for the wildlife. The proposed 'black route' M4 relief road around Newport, Gwent in South Wales will damage 2 nature reserves, 5 of Wales’ most precious nature sites (SSSIs), the Wales Coastal Path and the Celtic Trail, part of National Cycle Route 4. Pollution from construction and traffic will enter the ancient reen (ditch) systems that are home to, among other wildlife, rare birds, water beetles, aquatic plants, otters and water vole. And it will cut a dangerous divide across the Gwent Levels, right through their habitats. The new elevated bridge over the River Usk will be noisy and disruptive for people in South and Central Newport and experts believe the new road will not solve any traffic problems. It will cost the public over £1 billion, probably more than £2bn. But with the support of AMs it can be stopped.

And none of that will do anything about the longer-term problem of unsustainable road-building and increasing car use. Until our society does something about over-dependence on cars, there will be no end to this problem.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Wales Consultation On TB Eradication (Including Badgers)

Wales consultation on TB eradication (including badgers)

Urgent - responses due back by 10th Jan

The Welsh Government is consulting on bovine TB. Seems that they are proposing a regional approach, and although it's hard to tell from the document, possibly badger killing. Ceredigion is affected - as are all areas - by the consultation. Please read and respond to the Government.

There's lots of useful info on our site, tagged under "badgers".

Some of our thoughts on what they should do:

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Popular CIN Posts Of 2016

What were the most popular CIN posts of the last 12 months? These! If you have missed anything then now is your chance to catch up. CIN has been nominated for environmental awards in the past thanks to the work we do. Best wishes to you all in 2017. (You can see 2015's best posts here).

February 2016
Scallop Dredging In Cardigan Bay (results from November - sadly, dredging to go ahead)

March 2016
Democracy In Ceredigion

April 2016
Ceredigion County Council Wasting Money And Pulling Out Hedges

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Wildlife Trust Reserves

The Wildlife Trust has some great reserves all over the country, often supported by volunteers. Here is a list of the many reserves in Ceredigion - well worth visiting! Find out more about the Welsh Wildlife Trust here, and the parent organisation here.