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Saltford Environment Group
  towards a sustainable future for our village

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Recent News (click on links or scroll down this page)

LATEST!

Saltford Wombles : Litter Pick Sunday 30 June

SEG at Saltford Festival "Old Village "Day"

SEG submits statement on North Keynsham SDL to West of England JSP Public Examination

OTHER NEWS

Family Treasure Hunt (for Saltford Festival) is OPEN

Re-Use idea : Prescription Glasses and Sunglasses

Getting our area buzzing

Saltford Wombles: Litter Pick Sunday 2 June (Festival preparations)

Report from the 2018 archaeological dig in Saltford published

SEG calls for "Significant Ecological Gain" in the planning system after alarming UN report

Election Results for Saltford (2nd May election): SEG's Saltford 20/20 team all elected

SEG objects to housing development in the Green Belt at Avon Farm


You can find more news in our News Archive.


Current VOLUNTEER assistance sought by SEG >>




Saltford Wombles : Litter Pick Sunday 30 June

There will be a litter pick on Sunday 30 June, 2.00-4.00pm, meeting outside The Little Coffee Shop on Manor Road. This will be in readiness for summer and the better weather.

If you have litter pickers, gloves and high viz vest please do bring them, but if not we can provide them. We have bags provided by B&NES Council.

As with any Saltford Wombles litter pick, everyone takes part at their own risk and it is essential that children are supervised at all times by a parent/carer.

If you would like to attend this litter pick, or would just like to find out more about the Saltford Wombles, please contact Barbara at the following email address: saltfordwombles@gmail.com

June 2019

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SEG at Saltford Festival "Old Village "Day"

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SEG's Frances Eggbeer, Madeleine Town & Barbara Turner (Wombles) on SEG stall

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Outside Saltford Heritage Centre, Old Village Day, Saltford Festival

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Visitors at Saltford Heritage Centre

Thank you everyone who visited our stall in the High Street and the Heritage Centre in Queen Square for Saltford Festival's Old Village Day (Sunday 16th June 2019). The Heritage Centre will next be open to the public on the afternoon of Sunday 22nd September (2.30-4.30) but private openings can also be arranged for groups (see our website for details).

Congratulations to Saltford Community Association for putting on yet another brilliant Saltford Festival.

There is still time to enter SEG's Treasure Hunt (entries due in by 28th June) - see news story below for details.

June 2019

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SEG submits statement on North Keynsham SDL to West of England JSP Public Examination

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On 14th June 2019 SEG submitted its formal statement on the proposed North Keynsham Strategic Development Location (SDL) to the West of England Joint Spatial Plan Public Examination (Matter 7.1). SEG expects to attend the hearing in September to make and support its case for protecting the Green Belt between Keynsham and Saltford in the context of the proposed North Keynsham SDL.

The key summary points of SEG's statement are as follows:-

The proposed North Keynsham SDL does not represent sustainable development. If however this SDL is to proceed the following mitigating factors are recommended:-

  • An incremental approach be taken to ensure (i) transport and other infrastructure is coping satisfactorily with new developments added in increments before additional and relatively significant volumes of new houses are built (i.e. an "infrastructure first" approach allied to intermediate tests to ensure unintended negative consequences have not arisen and that any problems are resolved before making matters worse), and (ii) the genuine need for continued new developments is tested and proven during the plan period.
  • The relocated Avon Valley Wildlife and Adventure Park remains as designated Green Belt land to protect against future inappropriate development and to help maintain Keynsham's Green Belt buffer.
  • New housing developments within the SDL and the relocated Avon Valley Wildlife and Adventure Park should be designed so as to contribute to a "significant environmental gain" (rather than a paltry net environmental gain) to help local ecology and wildlife recover from the significant losses of recent decades. Such an approach provides an opportunity to be an example of excellence in meeting environmental needs first to underpin social and economic needs.
  • All development associated with this proposed SDL should meet the B&NES Council March 2019 cross-party decision to declare a climate emergency and that "B&NES is well-placed to champion both rural and urban decarbonisation through renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart energy development, zero carbon homes, local & sustainable food, sustainable travel, carbon sequestration".
  • The SDL should be Local Plan led (i.e. by the planning authority taking account of local democratically made decisions and agreements) and not developer led.

You can download a copy of SEG's 3-page submission statement, that sets out our case behind the key points listed above, from our website here:-

Any enquiries concerning this JSP submission should be addressed to SEG's Chairman, Phil Harding (see submission paper for contact details).

June 2019

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Family Treasure Hunt (for Saltford Festival) is OPEN

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The Treasure Hunt starts here!

SEG has organised with SCA support a Family Treasure Hunt for the Saltford Festival.

  • Fun for all ages - take part in family groups, trios, pairs at any time from 8th June. Entries to be received by 28th June.
  • An enjoyable guided walk around the village while you search for the answers to clues.
  • Test your searching skills as you look for further answers online.
  • Prizes for the winners and runners-up!

The Entry Form can be downloaded here:- Family Treasure Hunt Entry Form (pdf opens in new window) or is available at:

Have fun and good luck!

The amazing team at SCA have organised 80+ events for you and your family during the Saltford Festival (8-16 June) - full details at www.saltfordfestival.org.uk.

June 2019

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Re-Use idea : Prescription Glasses and Sunglasses

Old glasses and sunglasses :
local opticians collect these for re-use overseas

SEG member Sue Hewitt has provided the following information:-

If you've been having a Spring Clean and like me found many old pairs of glasses in a drawer and wondered what to do with them; local opticians collect them for Lions International. Lions International then sort them and send them overseas to be used as glasses once again and give improved vision to those who would not otherwise have access to optical correction.

It is a national scheme and most opticians of all sizes have collection bins; certainly in Keynsham, Norville Opticians, Specsavers and Boots Opticians all have them.

Saves them from landfill and gives someone else the benefit of better sight. Good news all round.

Editor's comment: Thanks Sue, we welcome ideas/news like this to share with members.

June 2019

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Getting our area buzzing

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By mowing our lawns less frequently we too can help wildlife

Signs are being put up at 30 different locations across Bath advising residents that verges in the area will be cut less often as part of B&NES Council's effort to halt the decline in insect pollinators. From Twerton to Widcombe verges will be cut less frequently, between one and three times a year, in order to allow wild flowers to grow to provide nectar and pollen for insects.

Councillor Paul Crossley, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said "The number of bees and other pollinators has declined significantly in recent years through loss of habitat, the use of pesticides and new diseases. These creatures are critical as they pollinate trees, whose oxygen we breathe and which help mitigate the climate crisis. They also pollinate the plants that feed other animals and play a vital role in the pollination of agricultural crops that provide our food."

"We need to give these insects space to thrive and have based our decision on research from the Urban Pollinators project. Their evidence shows pollinators have suffered particularly badly in the countryside and that urban areas represent an important refuge for them. By allowing wildflowers to grow in verges we can ensure these insects have access to the food sources they need through the summer."

The decision to cut verges less often forms part of the council's Get Bath Buzzing Pollinator Action Plan launched at the Bath Festival of Nature at Green Park Station on Saturday 1 June.

The plan spans five years and will see the council working with a variety of partners to support healthy and diverse populations of pollinators to benefit local residents, the economy and the environment by:

  • Contributing to the West of England Nature Recovery Network
  • Continuing to manage wildflower grasslands and other habitats in Bath & North East Somerset to promote biodiversity.
  • Creating and enhancing habitats and wildlife corridors for pollinators where appropriate.
  • Encouraging community involvement in events and practical activities, including surveying and monitoring pollinators.
  • Raising awareness of the plight of pollinators and the actions needed to help reverse species declines.

The council is already working to preserve and create habitats in which pollinators can thrive for example its parks department incorporates nectar-rich plants into formal planting schemes and provides allotment holders and community groups with information on how to create similar habitats.

Residents are also being encouraged to help by planting nectar and pollen rich plants and leaving long grass and overgrown areas to provide nesting sites for insects.

Members may have noticed grass verges have not been cut recently in Saltford. Ward Councillor Duncan Hounsell reported on the B&NES Council policy of creating and enhancing wildlife corridors to assist pollinating insects to thrive and nature in urban areas to recover to the Saltford Parish Council meeting on 4th June. He informed the meeting that grass verges, green corridors and green roundabout islands are being cut less frequently than in the past. The green corridor between Morgan Close and the school playing field has three cuts a year and borders strimmed every 4-6 weeks.

June 2019

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Saltford Wombles: Litter Pick Sunday 2 June (Festival preparations)

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A litter-free High Street during the 2017 Saltford Festival

Our next monthly litter pick is on Sunday 2 June, 2.00-4.00pm, meeting outside The Little Coffee Shop on Manor Road. This will be our big clean up before the Festival so that the village is looking its absolute best for villagers and visitors alike. The pick focus will be on areas in the village hosting Festival events. Please do come along.

If you have litter pickers, gloves and high viz vest please do bring them, but if not we can provide them. We have bags provided by B&NES Council.

As with any Saltford Wombles litter pick, everyone takes part at their own risk and it is essential that children are supervised at all times by a parent/carer.

If you would like to attend this litter pick, or would just like to find out more about the Saltford Wombles, please contact Barbara at the following email address: saltfordwombles@gmail.com

May 2019

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Report from the 2018 archaeological dig in Saltford published

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The "Archaeological Field Evaluation and Post-Excavation Assessment" report from the August 2018 dig by volunteers from the Bath and Counties Archaeological Society (BACAS) and SEG has been published this month.

As the report states, finds range in date from the Bronze Age to modern times. The finds comprised: bones (some butchered), ceramic building material, charcoal and coal fragments, daub or burnt clay, flint, Roman coins, pieces of glass, iron and lead, sherds of pottery, stone objects, and slag or clinker.

A specific area of the field was targeted for the excavation as the geophysical survey suggested that there might be Romano-British structures in that location. Numerous artefacts of varying types mostly from the Romano-British period were recovered. Also ceramic building material and Pennant sandstone tiles were found, but no evidence of a building was seen. However, the recovered finds do suggest there is a structure, probably a working farm with workshops, yards etc. in the very near vicinity to the position of the 2018 excavated trench. The full report can be downloaded from our Online Museum Roman Saltford Section (buildings).

SEG is very grateful to the landowner, Adam Stratton, for allowing access to the field, to BACAS for supervising and carrying out the dig and also writing up the report after analysing the finds, and of course to all the volunteers that took part in the dig. We are currently considering the next steps in this fascinating project.

May 2019

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SEG calls for "Significant Ecological Gain" in the planning system after alarming UN report

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The devastating impact of humans on the natural world that sustains us is made strikingly clear in a compelling UN report released on 6th May 2019. The global assessment of nature took 3 years to make and draws on 15,000 reference materials, and has been compiled by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

The rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely. The Report finds that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades. Nature is declining globally at rates never seen before in human history.

Here are just some of the headline findings from the assessment:-

  • Biodiversity - the diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems - is declining faster than at any time in human history.
  • 75% of the land surface is significantly altered, 66% of the ocean area is experiencing increasing cumulative impacts, and over 85% of wetlands (area) has been lost.
  • Globally, local varieties and breeds of domesticated plants and animals are disappearing. This loss of diversity, including genetic diversity, poses a serious risk to global food security by undermining the resilience of many agricultural systems to threats such as pests, pathogens and climate change.
  • Marine plastic pollution in particular has increased tenfold since 1980, affecting at least 267 species, including 86% of marine turtles, 44% of seabirds and 43% of marine mammals. This can affect humans through food chains.
  • In the past 50 years, the human population has doubled, the global economy has grown nearly 4-fold and global trade has grown 10-fold, together driving up the demands for energy and materials.
  • Economic incentives generally have favoured expanding economic activity, and often environmental harm, over conservation or restoration.
  • Areas of the world projected to experience significant negative effects from global changes in climate, biodiversity, ecosystem functions and nature's contributions to people are also home to large concentrations of indigenous peoples and many of the world's poorest communities.
  • Climate change is projected to become increasingly important as a direct driver of changes in nature and its contributions to people in the next decades.
  • Nature can be conserved, restored and used sustainably while simultaneously meeting other global societal goals through urgent and concerted efforts fostering transformative change.

"The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture," said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson. "The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide."

"The Report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global," he said. "Through 'transformative change', nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably - this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganisation across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values."

Never has it been more important to protect the Green Belt

Looking at how we can respond at the local level to this alarming report and with particular reference to land-use planning, the report illustrates how the modest objective of "Net Environmental Gain" in the planning system is nowhere near good enough when new housing developments are planned for the West of England and for Bath & North East Somerset. What we need is "Significant Ecological Gain". Not only should the Green Belt surrounding villages and towns like Saltford and Keynsham, be fully protected from development but new developments should be planned in a way that enables a significant increase in the local ecological habitat to start to redress the ecological infrastructure losses incurred from the housing and other developments of recent decades.

We need to design nature back into our local area as we "think global, act local".

Link: The UN's IPBES website can be found here: www.ipbes.net.

May 2019

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Election Results for Saltford (2nd May election):SEG's Saltford 20/20 team all elected

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The 2nd May Saltford Parish Council election results were counted today (3rd May).

All ten candidates fielded by SEG for the "Saltford 20/20" team were elected together with Duncan Hounsell (standing as an Independent for the SPC election). A huge THANK YOU! to everyone who voted for our candidates.

The results were (votes cast):

SALTFORD 20/20 team (all elected)

- Adrian Betts 710
- Marie Carder 870
- Will Feay 611
- Jon Godfrey 729
- Gary Graveling 648
- Phil Harding 947
- Adam Rees-Leonard 590
- Rob Taylor 762
- Sally Turner 912
- Chris Warren 857

OTHER CANDIDATES

- Duncan 1074 (elected)
- Robert King 570 (not elected)

There were 29 spoilt ballot papers.

SEG would like to thank the outgoing SPC Councillors who stood down at the election, Ben Eve, Kyle Rice, James Macnaughton, Liz Macnaughton and Farida Wilson for their support and service to the community during their term of office.

B&NES Council Results

In the B&NES Council local election also on 2nd May there was a 42.7% for the newly expanded Saltford ward. The Lib Dems took control from the Conservatives of B&NES Council and they also took the two Saltford Ward seats.

The Saltford ward results were as follows:-

- Duncan Stuart Hounsell (Liberal Dems) 1124 Elected
- Alastair Graham Singleton (Liberal Dems) 944 Elected
- Emma Clare Dixon (Conservative Party) 775 Not elected
- Elizabeth Mary Alice Carter (Conservative Party) 724 Not elected
- Antony Stuart Dobson (Green Party) 241 Not elected
- John Anthony Bull (Labour Party) 139 Not elected

Congratulations from SEG to Duncan Hounsell and Alastair Singleton and thank you to the two outgoing Ward Councillors Francine Haeberling and Emma Dixon for their public service for Saltford on B&NES Council.

SEG looks forward to working closely with the newly elected B&NES Council so that the issues that really matter to Saltford and its local environment can be best served in a spirit of co-operation, partnership and trust.

May 2019

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SEG objects to housing development in the Green Belt at Avon Farm

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Image depicts a nearby area of the Green Belt.

On 1st May SEG submitted to the B&NES Council's Senior Planning & Enforcement Officer a planning objection for each of the two planning applications for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use at Avon Farm:-

19/01731/CLEU Avon Farm Avon Lane BS31 3ET - Use of "The Dove Cote" as a separate dwelling (Use class C3) (Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use). Mr Clive Franklin. and

19/01732/CLEU Unregistered Dwelling 1 Avon Farm Avon Lane Saltford - Use of "The Garden Room" as a separate dwelling (Use class C3) (Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use). Mr Clive Franklin.

SEG's planning objections were as follows:-

19/01731/CLEU (The Dove Cote) - OBJECTION

   SEG is concerned that the applicant is creating the equivalent of an AirBnB holiday park business at Avon Farm. This is a highly inappropriate development in the Green Belt outside Saltford's housing boundary. Such a development in a sensitive and hitherto quiet area of Saltford's Green Belt that is served by a narrow single track country lane used by cyclists entering and leaving the popular Bristol-Bath SUSTRANS cycle path and walkers including young families sets an unwelcome precedent that is contrary to the provisions for protecting the Green Belt in Chapter 13 of NPPF (2018).

   The application claims that the Dove Cote has been in continuous occupation as a self-contained dwelling for four or more years, however SEG is aware that following the submission of alleged planning contravention evidence by Saltford residents and your own investigations, this is not the case.

   You are aware from your own investigations that this building was in use until at least May 2016 as an office in association with Cash4Cars; there was no planning permission granted for that use. At Annex A to this objection letter can be found photographs of the first 3 pages from the rightmove.com website of the advertisement of the Dove Cote for use as commercial offices including internal photographs of the office layout dated September 2016.

   This and the other outstanding alleged planning contraventions at Avon Farm where several dwellings have been created in an apparent concealed manner are a matter for concern and show a disregard for planning law as it affects Saltford's Green Belt and is therefore of grave concern to SEG whose membership of 530+ places protection of the Green Belt from inappropriate development as a high priority for Saltford.

   Before granting a Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use B&NES Council should first satisfy itself that this property has been inhabited continuously as a domestic dwelling (e.g. Council Tax/Electoral Roll records and evidence to the contrary as supplied by residents and also SEG in this response) and without concealment of such use. SEG's comments on the planning application 19/01732/CLEU (below) are pertinent to that issue of concealment and are a matter of concern to SEG.

19/01732/CLEU (Garden View) - OBJECTION

Similar comments as for 19/01731/CLEU (above) were made and also the following:-

   The application supporting document claims that Garden View has been in continuous occupation as a self-contained dwelling since 2013. Whilst it is difficult to prove the validity or otherwise of the claim of continual domestic use, what is of relevance is whether there has been a deliberate concealment of this change of use since 2013. When B&NES Council visited this site in 2016 to investigate the change of use to offices of the Dove Cote it is pertinent to question whether the use as a domestic dwelling of the Garden View was concealed from the officer during that site visit.

   The use as a dwelling of Garden View and other outstanding alleged planning contraventions at Avon Farm where several dwellings have been created in an apparent concealed manner are a matter of grave concern to SEG whose membership of 530+ places protection of the Green Belt from inappropriate development as a high priority for Saltford.

SEG members and others wishing to comment on this planning application (deadline is Wednesday 15th May 2019), especially those with evidence that these properties have not been in continual use since 2013 as domestic dwellings, can follow this link and key 19/01731/CLEU or 19/01732/CLEU into the search box: B&NES Development Control.

If you encounter difficulties with the B&NES website you can email your objection/comments to development_management@bathnes.gov.uk but make sure you include the reference number for these CLEU applications (i.e. 19/01731/CLEU or 19/01732/CLEU).

The target decision date for both these CLEU applications is 12th June 2019. Saltford Parish Council will be considering its response this planning application at its next public meeting on 17th May.

NOTE: B&NES Council cannot accept anonymous comments for any application; if residents wish to provide representations/evidence but do not want to do it on a personal level B&NES advise that they can do this through the Parish Council who could collate all the evidence/responses.

May 2019

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More and older news stories from SEG

Our 'Newsletter' archive page features most of our past and recently published news stories (click on image):-

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Current areas of local volunteer assistance sought by SEG

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In addition to volunteer assistance with projects such as Saltford Wombles (tackling litter) and the Fairtrade Group we sometimes have specific roles or posts that need filling.

Here are the current vacancies:-

Website skills wanted!

Our website is a popular resource for our members and others which means that in addition to keeping it relevant we want to make sure it continues to function as it should.

If you live in or near Saltford, care about your local environment and have current knowledge of website design and might be interested in using your IT skills for a bit of IT volunteering to help us behind the scenes please get in touch with our Chairman by email to phil@philharding.net for a no-obligation chat on possible volunteer help.

First published June 2018

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Want to get more involved with SEG?

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SEG is seeking new Executive Committee members to help steer and develop SEG's future as we address the environmental concerns of our members at the local level. If you think you might like to get involved and join our Executive Committee (enthusiasm is more important than expertise!), please contact our Chairman, Phil Harding, for an informal non-committal chat.

The Executive Committee only meets 4 times a year and its working method is more about sharing ideas and getting things done in a friendly and productive atmosphere than being bogged down with time-consuming administration.

First published February 2018, updated April 2018

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Contact SEG

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You can contact Saltford Environment Group by email as follows:-


All general, membership & urgent (e.g. Press) enquiries to our Chairman please.

HOW TO JOIN SEG: If you live, work or have a particular interest in Saltford & wish to join our email membership list please send an email to our Chairman. Please include your name, address & contact telephone number in your email application. NOTE: We provide information about membership including personal data protection by SEG on our "About Us page".


CONTACTS:

Chairman & Website Editor*: Phil Harding phil@philharding.net (07814--720763)

Secretary: Vacant Position

Treasurer: Andrew Stainer andrew.stainer@btinternet.com

SEG Green Belt Campaign: - contact our Chairman (contact details above)

Saltford Station Campaign: Chris Warren cherokee1883@live.com

Saltford Fairtrade Group: saltfordfairtrade@hotmail.co.uk

Saltford Wombles: Barbara Turner saltfordwombles@gmail.com

Saltford Heritage Centre
Curators: Phil Harding & Andrew Stainer (contact details above).

* EDITORIAL POLICY INCLUDING SEO AND MARKETING FOR THE www.saltfordenvironmentgroup.org.uk WEBSITE
Will Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), website design and other similar companies please note that this website has all the SEO ranking (1st), social media links, & smartphone compatibility that it requires to meet its specific objectives. The same applies to companies that produce bespoke marketing materials. We are not a commercial enterprise so please do not send marketing emails or requests for placing links to other websites which will not receive a reply as it is our policy not to reply to marketing emails of this nature unless they are from a Saltford-based organisation seeking to assist SEG. As a general rule our editorial content is sourced locally in Saltford and NE Somerset or from reputable non-commercial organisations based in the UK.
 


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Do you care about the village of Saltford, its environment, wildlife and future as a thriving, more sustainable community? Then join us and also follow us on facebook. See our 'About us' page for how to join (membership is free!).

Facebook logo www.facebook.com/SaltfordEnvironmentGroup
- "like" us when you visit our page and you'll then get facebook notifications of our postings.

SUPPORT FROM BUSINESS:
We welcome support from local businesses to help cover our costs and keep membership free for our members. If your local business would like to support SEG (e.g. a logo + link on this page is very inexpensive), please contact our Chairman (see above for contact details).


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For news archive click here:-

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Saltford Heritage Centre's next scheduled public opening will be on Sunday 22nd September from 2.30pm - 4.30pm during the B&NES Council Heritage Open Days initiative when afternoon tea will also be available.
Want a private viewing? We can also open the Heritage Centre for 1-hour private viewings by small groups on request (see the Heritage Centre web page for details).

Special Features:

   Fracking

   Geology, Saltford's

   Green Belt Inquiry 2013

   HISTORY OF SALTFORD

   Railway Path Habitat Project

   Saltford Wombles (tackling litter)


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"Think global, act local"