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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!

Application to build 200 houses between Keynsham and Saltford to be determined by an Inquiry

The big butterfly count (19 July to 11 August)

Giving hedgehogs a helping hand

Family Treasure Hunt (for Saltford Festival) ANSWERS

OTHER NEWS

Saltford Wombles : Litter Pick Sunday 21 July

How many bees can your lawn support?

Saltford Parish Council agrees its statement on North Keynsham SDL

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

Family Treasure Hunt (for Saltford Festival) is OPEN

Re-Use idea : Prescription Glasses and Sunglasses

Getting our area buzzing


You can find more news in our News Archive.


Current VOLUNTEER assistance sought by SEG >>




Application to build 200 houses between Keynsham and Saltford to be determined by an Inquiry

Members will be disappointed to learn that an appeal has been made by Mactaggart and Mickel Homes Ltd to the Planning Inspectorate against the decision to refuse planning permission for the development of 200 houses between Keynsham, and Saltford and that the appeal was not dismissed but will be determined by an inquiry. The inquiry will open at 10:00am on 22nd October 2019 at the Brunswick Room in the Guildhall, Bath. The inquiry is scheduled to sit for 4 days.

Members may recall that over 330 objections were submitted to B&NES Council for the proposed 200 houses on safeguarded Green Belt land in Keynsham (outline planning application 18/01509/OUT). This included an objection from the Senior Highways Development Control Engineer at B&NES Council due to the lack of capacity on the existing road network, a point made by many of the 330+ objections including the objection from Saltford Environment Group - see our April 2018 news item "SEG objects to premature planning application for another 200 houses between Keynsham and Saltford" in our 2018 News Archive.

The reasons for the refusal given on 28th December 2018 by B&NES Council were:-

   1 The application site is safeguarded land and is not allocated for development at the current time. The development of the site has not been proposed for development following a review of the Local Plan. There are no material considerations that would indicate that permission should be granted at this time. The proposed development is therefore contrary to Development Plan polices, including Core Strategy Policies DW1, KE1 and KE3b. The development is also contrary to paragraph 139 of the National Planning Policy Framework which confirms that planning permission for permanent development of safeguarded land should only be granted following a Local Plan Review.

   2 The existing road network in the vicinity of the site has insufficient capacity to accommodate the increase in traffic likely to be generated by the proposed development. In future scenarios, there would be significant delays at several locations, and it is likely that queues would block back across adjacent junctions. The proposed development would contribute towards these problems, and no mitigation measures are proposed to help alleviate the predicted delays on the network. The proposed development would result in a severe residual cumulative impact on the road network. The development is therefore considered to be contrary to policy ST7 of the Bath and North East Somerset Placemaking Plan, and contrary to paragraph 109 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

   3 The planning application has failed to demonstrate that the required education infrastructure can be delivered in a timely fashion in order to accommodate the children of primary school age generated by the proposed development. There is no school in reasonable distance that has sufficient spare capacity or is able to be expanded in a timely manner to create additional capacity to accommodate the pupil needs arising from the development. The development is therefore contrary to Placemaking Plan policy LCR3A.

SEG and its Green Belt Campaign is now considering the most effective way SEG can respond to this unwelcome threat to the well-being of our local community. SEG is also in close contact with Saltford Parish Council and will be making contact with other local interested parties on this matter.

NOTE: The original planning application can be found if you follow this link and key 18/01509/OUT into the search box: B&NES Development Control.

July 2018

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The big butterfly count (19 July to 11 August)

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Speckled Wood, Painted Lady and Peacock. Elizabeth Cooksey

The big butterfly count is a nationwide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and has rapidly become the world's biggest survey of butterflies. Over 100,000 people took part in 2018, submitting 97,133 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths from across the UK.

This year's big butterfly count is from 19 July to 11 August and could be something to also get younger members of the family engaged in over the summer holidays. There's even a free smartphone app for the big butterfly count so that you can carry out and submit your count all in one go while out and about watching butterflies. Details at www.bigbutterflycount.org.

July 2018

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Giving hedgehogs a helping hand

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Hedgehogs are now rarely observed in Saltford's gardens. According to Hedgehog Street here in Britain we appear to have lost over half our hedgehogs from our countryside since the millennium alone, and have lost a third from our towns and cities, although this decline in urban areas does appear to be slowing.

Badgers are hedgehogs' main predators whereas foxes and hedgehogs often live happily together in our cities. Badgers are the only animals strong enough to tackle a hedgehog's spines. Hedgehogs actively avoid areas where badgers live. Where there are many badgers, hedgehogs are likely to be less common. However according to Hedgehog Street while badger numbers have boomed, there is little evidence that suggests they are the main reason why hedgehogs are in trouble.

Fences, walls, new developments and roads are all breaking up green spaces that hedgehogs depend upon. These barriers are making it harder for hedgehogs to get from one green space to another as no single garden is enough. Hedgehogs need neighbourhoods of linked-up gardens to survive.

It is known that hedgehogs love gardens and what they need to survive and thrive in suburbia. This is why Hedgehog Street was created. Hedgehog Street is part of a wider campaign to help hedgehogs, run by two UK-based charities, People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES - https://ptes.org) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS - www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk).

If you want to help hedgehogs in your neighbourhood you might like to pay www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs a visit for tips and advice on how to make your garden more hedgehog-friendly - from providing more than one access and exit gap in your garden boundary fences and making your pond safe with a ramp, to creating a wild corner, dealing with litter, and being careful with strimming.

July 2019

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Family Treasure Hunt (for Saltford Festival) ANSWERS

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The Treasure Hunt started here.

We can now publish the answers to the Family Treasure Hunt organised by SEG for the Saltford Festival. Many thanks to everyone who took part, we hope you enjoyed the hunt and learned a few new things about our remarkable village.

Click here to see the Treasure Hunt 2019 answers (pdf, opens in new window). SCA will be publishing in SCAN the names of the two winners.

July 2019

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Saltford Wombles : Litter Pick Sunday 21 July

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- seen on facebook...

Our next monthly litter pick will be on Sunday 21 July from 2-4pm, meeting place, Bird in Hand pub car park. The focus of the pick will be The Shallows and the Railway path as they are both always very popular areas over the summer months.

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 find out more about the Saltford Wombles, please contact Barbara at the following email address: saltfordwombles@gmail.com.

July 2019

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How many bees can your lawn support?

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Elizabeth Cooksey

Following an enthusiastic response to Plantlife's first ever "Every Flower Counts" over the May Bank Holiday weekend, they are teaming up with BBC Gardeners' World for a special repeat of the survey over the weekend of Friday 12 July to Sunday 14 July.

If you'd like to either repeat the survey (if you took part last time) and find out how your Personal Nectar Score compares to spring or take part for the first time, the Every Flower Counts website will be open from Monday 8 July.

The survey is simple. During the weekend of 12 to 14 July, simply throw a ball onto your lawn to find a random spot, mark out a 1-metre square quadrat (Plantlife will explain how), and then count the number of open flowers you find. If you have a large lawn, you can count several metre-square quadrats. Then enter your results on our website and they will give you your Personal Nectar Score showing you how much nectar your lawn is producing and how many bees it is supporting. You can do the survey on your mown lawn, or on areas of lawn you might have left unmown to grow as a mini-meadow.

The results will be combined to produce a National Nectar Score.

Here's the link: www.plantlife.org.uk/everyflowercounts/.

July 2019

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Saltford Parish Council agrees its statement on North Keynsham SDL

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At its monthly meeting on the evening of 2nd July Saltford Parish Council (SPC) unanimously agreed its statement on the proposed North Keynsham Strategic Development Location (SDL) to the West of England Joint Spatial Plan Public Examination (Matter 7.1) - proposals for the SDL include 1,500 new houses in a mixed-development near Pixash Lane! This was submitted to the JSP Programme Officer today (3rd July).

In its statement SPC said:-

"Saltford Parish Council (SPC) is concerned that Keynsham's infrastructure including services lack the capacity to accept additional housing development of the proposed scale on the east and north side of the town and any development in this area would contribute to over-development of the town with a negative knock-on effect on Saltford. SPC considers the proposed North Keynsham SDL to not be sustainable development."

SPC said it agreed with the statement submitted by SEG submitted on 14th June - see our June news story below) - and attached that statement as an annex to its submission.

SPC also said:-

"SPC therefore also agrees with SEG that if this SDL is to be taken forward despite reservations that it is not sustainable development a number of key mitigating factors need to be taken as listed in SEG's response and these are, in summary, for there to be an incremental approach to ensure that

   (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."

"SPC agrees that the relocated Avon Valley Wildlife and Adventure Park should retain its Green Belt status 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 net environmental gain) and that this approach provides an opportunity to be an example of excellence in providing high environmental standards. All development associated with this proposed SDL should therefore 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"."

"Finally, SPC also considers it vitally important that the SDL should be Local Plan led by the planning authority to protect local democracy and local accountability for planning policy and not developer led."

July 2019

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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). Proposals for the SDL include 1,500 new houses in a mixed-development near Pixash Lane! 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).

UPDATE JULY 2019 - On 2nd July Saltford Parish Council (SPC) unanimously agreed its statement on the proposed North Keynsham Strategic Development Location (SDL) and submitted it to the JSP Programme Officer the following day. SPC said it agreed with the statement submitted by SEG submitted on 14th June and attached that as an annex to its statement.

June 2019 - updated July 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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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!).

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- "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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