Saltford Environment Group
© Jon Godfrey
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SEG's Newsletter page carries past and recently published news stories; click here to see: Newsletters >>
Brass Mill open for national heritage weekend (10/11 Sept)
Saltford Brass Mill will be open for the National Heritage Open Days on the weekend of 10/11 September from 10am to 4pm. The Brass Mill is the only surviving building, still with a furnace and working water wheel, remaining from a group of 18th Century mills making copper and brass goods in the Avon Valley between Bristol and Bath.
If you haven't visited the Brass Mill in the Shallows before or recently, this is highly recommended. The Brass Mill is a fascinating part of Saltford's heritage and the volunteer project team who maintain and look after it do a magnificent job. Much time and money has been spent on the mill in recent years to repair and restore it after flood damage.
SEG will have a stand at the mill for the heritage weekend describing our history project and what SEG is doing for the community.
Saltford calendar 2017 is coming soon
As announced previously in our July newsletter SEG and Saltford Community Association are working together to produce a Saltford calendar each year. Plans for the 2017 calendar are now well advanced and we hope to have this available for sale (from SCA) in October - it will make a great Christmas present and also a keepsake showcasing what makes Saltford such a beautiful place to live.
If you have a great photo of Saltford and haven't submitted it yet there are just a few days left to send it to SEG's Chairman Phil Harding.
The photograph needs to be landscape shape (i.e. the same proportions as a 6" x 4" photograph) and high resolution, preferably at least 300 dpi - unfortunately most smartphones or bridge cameras cannot produce the required picture quality for printing to a high standard of definition. Photographs of lower resolution might still be useable for SEG's website as these are compressed to a lower resolution to enable rapid download time so if in doubt send it in.
Great shots taken in all seasons (this year or in past years) of interesting views, attractive buildings and local landscapes are what we seek. All photographs published on SEG's or SCA's website or the Saltford calendar will name the photographer (unless the photographer wishes to remain anonymous) and the copyright will rest with SEG and/or SCA.
So, get taking those photographs in and around Saltford and build up your own portfolio. If your son or daughter is interested in photographic art or likes photographing the local landscape, wildlife and interesting buildings, do encourage them to get involved. We may even be able to hire out at modest cost (to benefit SEG's funds) a Nikon Digital SLR if your son or daughter is interested in getting started in photographic art and supporting the annual calendar - contact Phil for details.
You're never too young or too old to be a published photographer!
Discovering Roman Saltford - next stage in the hunt for the Roman dwelling
Many members will recall the successful geophysics survey of the Roman coffin field in Saltford by Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society (BACAS) supported by volunteers from SEG in autumn 2015 and the discovery of the apparent corner of a building in our search for the Roman farmhouse of villa. We are now preparing to continue the geophysics survey on the south side of Saltford possibly this October and will need the assistance of volunteers from our membership to help mark the grid lines for the survey equipment.
The search has reached an exciting stage as we are hopeful that on this forthcoming survey we can identify the full extent of the dwelling. We will need to undertake the survey at just a few days' notice as we need to fit in with the harvesting of the crop in the field, the weather and the availability of BACAS geophysics equipment and operator(s). We therefore need to expand our team of 14 able-bodied survey volunteers to ensure we have enough people to help.
If you would like to go on the list and be a potential part of this exciting project please contact our Chairman, Phil Harding. When we are ready to survey an email will be sent to our volunteers list at short notice asking for availability on the few days we expect to undertake the survey during daylight hours.
For further information about Roman Saltford and last year's geophysics survey visit our Online Museum from this link: Online Museum. You will be able to see many fascinating Roman artefacts found in Saltford including a rare Roman gilded brooch complete with black gemstone found near the location where we are searching for the dwelling. Many remarkable Roman artefacts have been added in recent months and much is ear-marked for the new Heritage Centre.
The emerging plans for Saltford Heritage Centre
Safeguarding Our Past, Guiding Our Future
With the huge success of SEG's history project it is important to have a location for displaying some of Saltford's historic artefacts and to create a learning and educational resource.
The purpose of a new Saltford Heritage Centre will be to undertake the stewardship of Saltford's history by actively collecting, preserving and interpreting documents and artefacts, and by promoting this heritage, for the purpose of learning and providing an educational resource, community building and understanding. It will also incorporate a pop-up-heritage display to take to local events.
Discussions are well underway between SEG and St Mary's Church PCC on a possible joint collaboration to create a new Saltford Heritage Centre within the church hall on the first floor. This would be part of a refresh and update of the facilities at the hall in Queen Square.
With its location at the centre of Saltford's Conservation Area, close proximity to Saltford's oldest built structure (the Anglo Saxon tower of St Mary's church, about 1,000 years old) and St Mary's desire to increase its involvement within the wider community, this has the potential to provide Saltford with a useful showcase of its fascinating heritage.
SEG has recruited from our membership Lottie Smith-Collins MA (Heritage Management) AMA, to assist SEG's Chairman Phil Harding and heritage centre project manager Odette McCarthy to design, plan and deliver the new heritage centre. During August a detailed proposal was submitted to St Mary's Parochial Church Council (PCC) Standing Committee.
The project has endorsements from Saltford Church of England Primary School, Keynsham and Saltford Local History Society and Friends of Saltford Library.
This is all very much at an early stage and we await the PCC's September meeting when the PCC will make a decision on whether or not to proceed. If you want to know more or wish to provide your own ideas do speak to SEG's Chairman, Phil Harding, or to the Rector, Rev. Daile Wilshire.
Concrete: friend or foe?
We can constantly make new things but we can't make a new world - Kentaro Matsuura
Concrete is the most widely used material in the world after water. With 4.6 billion tonnes produced annually (2015 data) or over 1/2 tonne produced per person living on the planet per year, the world is slowly becoming covered in it.
Concrete is a versatile construction material that can be formed into any shape. It has strength and durability and is a composite material made from cement, aggregate (both coarse and fine), water and invariably an admixture - an admixture is one of several chemicals used to modify the properties of hardened concrete that helps ensures the quality of concrete during mixing, transporting, placing, and curing that can also reduce its cost.
Its basic ingredients date back to the ancient Egyptians, and the earliest large-scale users of concrete technology were the Romans, with concrete being widely used in the Roman Empire. The Colosseum in Rome, for example, was built largely of concrete, and the concrete dome of the Pantheon that stands in the business district of Rome and was built 18 Centuries ago, is the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.
After the Roman Empire collapsed, use of concrete became rare until the technology was redeveloped in the mid-18th century. Today, concrete is the most widely used man-made material (measured by tonnage) and large concrete structures such as dams and multi-storey car parks are usually made with reinforced concrete (where steel bars are embedded to provide tensile strength).
But concrete manufacture is very energy intensive and accounts for around 5% of global anthropogenic (manmade) emissions of carbon dioxide and affects a wide range of sustainability issues, including climate change, emissions to air and water, natural resource depletion and worker health and safety (e.g. dermatitis, alkaline skin burns and lung disease from dust inhalation).
For those reasons emphasis worldwide has been increasingly placed on recycling. Rather than sending concrete debris to landfill, recycling of the recovered concrete from demolition sites is increasing due to improved environmental awareness, governmental laws and economic benefits. Recycled concrete can be made into blocks or it can be crushed and reused as aggregate.
Whereas wood is regarded as the most naturally renewable mainstream building material, concrete may never be seen as a green building material. However with more care and attention by its manufacturers, users, and re-users its ecological footprint can be reduced.
Information sources used for this article:
NOTE: SEG members wishing to research and write short, informative, evidence-based articles on topical environmental/sustainability issues for our website and newsletters are invited to contact our Chairman and website editor, Phil Harding.
Reducing Saltford's litter
According to Keep Britain Tidy, 62% of people in England drop litter, although only 28% admit to it. Let's buck the trend here in Saltford and by keeping litter clear from the pavements surrounding our homes encouarage each other to keep Saltford tidy.
Saltford Wombles are at the forefront for helping to keep Saltford tidy. They are holding their first autumn litter-pick on Saturday 10th September (meet 9.30am at The Little Coffee Shop, Manor Road). If you haven't taken part in a litter-pick before, why not come along and see how satisfying it is to clear the litter that spoils our village?
Protecting Saltford's Green Belt: Joint Spatial Plan update
Councillor Adrian Betts, Saltford Parish Council's Planning Committee Chairman, Councillor Phil Harding, Saltford Parish Council's Vice Chairman (and SEG's Chairman), and Councillor Francine Haeberling, Saltford Ward Councillor (Cons) met with Liz Richardson, B&NES Cabinet Member for Homes & Planning, and senior B&NES Council planning officers on 19th August. This was to receive and discuss an update from B&NES on progress for the West of England Joint Spatial Plan.
The key news from that meeting as it affects Saltford is as follows:-
HOUSING MARKET AREA (HMA)
The Parish Council has lobbied strongly for ensuring Saltford is part of the B&NES HMA, not in the Bristol HMA, as backed up by 2011 census travel to work data. The data and underlying case was explained again by Adrian and Phil at the meeting and whilst relieved to hear of the change, Phil and Adrian will not feel confident about this until it is put in writing by B&NES.
TIMING FOR JOINT SPATIAL PLAN
SALTFORD'S GREEN BELT
(i) Background and (ii) Policy paper submission by SEG
The West of England's Joint Spatial Plan and Transport Study (www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk) will
"set out a prospectus for sustainable growth that will help the area (Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset) meet its housing and transport needs for the next 20 years."
Estimates state that the area needs at least 85,000 new homes by 2036, that is 29,000 more than the number already planned in Core Strategies, as well as the transport and other infrastructure needed to support that level of growth.
In B&NES, the B&NES Core Strategy (2014-2029) that was agreed in July 2014 after lengthy negotiations and public consultation is undergoing an early review in tandem with the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP). Once agreed the JSP (2016-2036) will in effect override the B&NES Core Strategy for determining the location and size of new housing developments in B&NES until 2036. The B&NES Core Strategy is being reviewed simultaneously so that its timespan will be extended to match that of the JSP.
Policy paper submission by SEG
On 27 January 2016 SEG submitted a policy paper 'Very special circumstances and the Green Belt' to the West of England Partnership as its response to the consultation for 'Issues and Options' in the West of England JSP. The Green Belt is a much valued designation the protection of which is increasingly vital. The paper covers these topics:-
You can download SEG's paper from our Green Belt page or here:
Upcycling in September (12th)
The next meeting of the Saltford UPCYCLING Craft Group will be held earlier in the month than usual on MONDAY 12th September, 7-9pm at Signs of Saltford (works entrance), 559 Bath Road, Saltford.
It may only be September but we are thinking about Christmas already. Jewellery always makes a lovely present or a treat for yourself and creating your own unique designs will make it all the more special. Instead of putting pretty paper bags, wrapping paper or colourful magazines out for recycling you can use it to design and make your own jewellery.
Come along on the 12th and learn how, Frances and Tina look forward to meeting you. We have everything you need but do save any paper that takes your fancy. If you would like to know more about our free, friendly group do give Frances a ring on 07789--528834, everyone welcome.
British Food Fortnight, 17th Sept to 2nd Oct
Now in its 14th year, British Food Fortnight is the biggest annual national celebration of British food and drink, with communities across the country flying the flag for home grown. Taking place from 17th September to 2nd October, B&NES Council is championing our own fresh and fabulous local produce by co-ordinating a lively programme of celebrations and activities throughout the area and launching an online Local Food Directory.
To find more updates about what events are going on in our area for British Food Fortnight, such as the 'Great Bath Feast' visit the B&NES Council webpage.
Saltford Santa Dash, 4th December
The fourth Saltford Santa Dash will be held on Sunday 4th December starting at Saltford Sports Club. There will be 2 separate runs, a 1 mile dash for under 12s starting at 10am and at 11am the 5 mile dash on roads around Saltford and into Keynsham and back.
The Saltford Santa Dash has raised several thousands of pounds for good causes since it started in 2013. Registration for participants from 1 September and details at www.saltfordsantadash.webs.com.
Bath Big Clothes Swap, 14th September
Bring your friends and swap not shop!
On average 30% of clothes in our wardrobes haven't been worn in the last year. The Bath Big Clothes Swap will be held on Wednesday 14 September 2016, 6.30-9pm at The Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 5AH. You can bring any adult clothes, shoes and accessories that you no longer want that are nice enough to pass on to a friend. Tickets on sale at £5 (includes welcome drink) from B&NES Council Connect 01225 39 40 41 or pop in to one of their One Stop Shops.
The event will include the "Love your clothes road show" with tips and advice on how to:
Find out more at www.bathnes.gov.uk/textiles.
Globally 2015 was the warmest year on record as upward trend continues
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US Government in its "State of the Climate" report for 2015 outlines the many climate records broken during the year, with records still tumbling through the first half of 2016.
It is looks increasingly likely that the aim of the Paris Agreement, of keeping global warming to below 1.5 degrees, signed in December 2015 by 195 countries, will be unachievable. 2015 saw the toppling of several symbolic mileposts: notably, it was 1.0 deg C warmer than preindustrial times, and the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii recorded its first annual mean carbon dioxide concentration greater than 400 parts per million (ppm). A continuing trend in raised ocean temperatures has also been observed.
For those interested in the technical details and data, the "State of the Climate in 2015" report can be found on the American Meteorology Society website from this external link >>.
Station Campaign questions B&NES Council's commitment to station
In an article in the 4th of August edition of local newspaper The Week In Saltford Station Campaign leader Chris Warren says he has been overwhelmed at the support from the majority of the community in Saltford to the campaign to reopen Saltford station but raises his concern that support has not been forthcoming in action, rather than words, from B&NES Council. Of particular concern is the omission of Saltford from the MetroWest timetable studies.
The campaign will be stepping up its efforts to encourage B&NES Council to match the support given to re-opening the station by our local MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. Two representatives met with B&NES Council Leader Tim Warren on 10th August where an assurance was given that B&NES Council would pursue investigations for timetable space for a half-hourly stop at Saltford in the context of the new MetroWest service.
The article can be found on page 20 of The Week In (issue no. 434, 4.8.2016) from this link: The Week In, Issue 434 (pdf on external site).
Rabbit coursing, bull-baiting, bare-knuckle fighting - Saltford in the 19th Century!
During July some fascinating 19th Century stories have been researched and published in SEG's Online Museum that shed light on a society that many of today's older generations would not recognise. The early 1800s were cruel and dangerous times but by the end of Queen Victoria's reign life had changed beyond recognition. Examples of new 19th Century items published that you can now read include:-
You can visit our Online Museum 19th Century page and scroll down the page to find these and many other interesting articles from this link: Online Museum - 19th C.
Businesses can bridge UK electricity capacity gap by 2020 says new report
Manufacturing sites, hospitals and retail stores could provide the equivalent electricity supply of 6 new power stations and address the UK's electricity capacity concerns, says a new report from the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) during July.
The new report says that up to 16% of the UK's peak electricity requirement, or 9.8 gigawatts, could be provided by businesses through flexing their electricity demand and making better use of onsite generation.
One part of the solution is to engage energy users to manage their energy use and onsite generation to help the electricity system in return for payments, known as demand side response. By turning down demand instead of increasing supply, and by employing more local, efficient generation, demand-side response reduces emissions and helps the UK meet its carbon targets.
This potential for demand-side response would represent a nearly 10-fold increase and shows the scale of support that business energy customers could provide to help fill the gap in keeping the nation's electricity supply and demand in balance.
As old power stations shut down and new renewable generation like wind and solar are not always available (until better electricity storage technologies are developed) the ability for the nation's electricity supply industry to keep the lights on by 2020 is a cause for concern, but the report shows there are solutions.
The full from ADE report can be downloaded here: Bringing Energy Together - ADE report (external link to pdf, opens in new window)
New Giant Hogweed warning for Saltford's gardeners
A resident recently discovered three massive Giant Hogweed plants growing in her garden after using locally sourced mulch that contained the plant's seeds. This highly toxic non-native plant has to be treated with care and removed by specialists.
As we have warned in previous news items, contact with its sap or its bristles can cause severe skin burns depending on individual sensitivity. It can sensitize skin to ultra-violet light (sunlight), leading to severe blisters, pigmentation and long-lasting scars; hospitalisation may be necessary. Affected skin may remain sensitive for several years. A minute amount of sap in the eye can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness.
If you find Giant Hogweed growing in Saltford, please advise both the Parish Council and B&NES Council (Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41) as soon as possible - and let SEG know too. For your own safety DO NOT TOUCH or attempt to remove it yourself. When removed, under the Environmental Protection Act (1990) Giant Hogweed is classified as controlled waste. Anyone working amongst Giant Hogweed should wear protective clothing that covers the whole body including gloves, hood and face visor.
More on Giant Hogweed can be found on our wildlife page.
Older news stories from SEG
'The SEG Newsletter' page carries some of our past and recently published news stories.
SUPPORT FROM BUSINESS:
Our September Newsletter is out:-
"Think global, act local"