Saltford Environment Group
Recent News (click on links or scroll down this page)
You can find more news in our News Archive.
HMG planning policy to embrace principle of 'net environmental gain'?
In her speech on the environment on 11 January 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
"In the United Kingdom, we are blessed with an abundance and variety of landscapes and habitats. These natural assets are of immense value. Our countryside and coastal waters are the means by which we sustain our existence in these islands."
"The natural environment is around us wherever we are, and getting closer to it is good for our physical and mental health and our emotional and spiritual wellbeing."
She also said, and this will be important as our community defends its Green Belt from inappropriate development, "To make more land available for the homes our country needs, while at the same time creating new habitats for wildlife, we will embed the principle of 'net environmental gain' for development, including housing and infrastructure."
SEG makes its response to emerging local planning policies
On 9th January SEG submitted its response to B&NES Council for the B&NES Local Plan 2016-2036 Issues & Options document and to the West of England Partnership on its proposed Joint Spatial Plan (JSP). Although Saltford's Green Belt is not identified for development in the JSP or the Local Plan, we are aware that developers are lobbying to build new developments on our Green Belt.
Summaries of our responses can be found on our Green Belt page. A particular point we made in both responses for not destroying the Green Belt in this area was as follows:-
81% of B&NES is farmland compared to the national average of 57% yet only 5% of B&NES is natural or semi-natural land (heathland, natural grassland etc.) compared to a national average of 35% (data source: Dr Alasdair Rae, University of Sheffield, using Co-ordination of Information on the Environment (Corine) land use codes, 2017). Farmland requires the eco-system support (e.g. habitat for pollinating insects) of surrounding Green Belt and natural/semi-natural land to function. It would be irresponsible not to protect B&NES' natural/semi-natural land that underpins the economy of the B&NES and wider West of England area and our future food security in a changing climate made more critical by unmanaged population growth.
WWI Centenary: Help with tracing your World War I ancestors
As part of the village activities for marking the end of World War I, Saltford Parish Council is working with Bath Record Office: Archives and Local Studies (BRO) to help Saltford families trace their ancestors who were involved with the 1914-1918 conflict. This can include those who served in the armed forces at that time but could include nursing or other civilian volunteers. Quite often such information has been lost or has not been passed down the family line as many of those that survived active service during WW1 did not discuss their experiences. The findings of the research will be shared at a public event in Saltford in November 2018 and in other ways.
If you live in Saltford and would like to be considered for this research funded by the Parish Council please apply to the Parish Clerk, Tricia Golinski, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01225 873300 for an application form by no later than the end of February.
Funding is limited and the successful applicants will be selected by the Parish Council with BRO. Those applications with the strongest links to Saltford at the time of WWI may be given preference, but if your ancestor has a particularly interesting story or the genealogists feel they have a good prospect for finding the missing information sought that will also be taken into consideration.
The WWI public event planned for the afternoon of 11 November at Saltford Hall is still in its early planning stages with discussions between the Parish Council, Saltford Environment Group (History Project) and Saltford Community Association currently ongoing. More information about the event will be published in the SCA newsletter SCAN closer to the event.
Environment Agency flood advice
With 5.2 million properties in England at risk of flooding the recent wet weather is a reminder for householders that live in a flood risk area that they need to "prepare, act, survive". The image above is from the Floods Destroy campaign at floodsdestroy.campaign.gov.uk where advice on flood prevention and preparedness measures can be found.
The Future of Saltford Post Office and Saltford Library
The following announcement by email was made by Saltford Community Association (SCA) on 21 December 2017:-
As many will know, the Post Office is due to close on December 23rd 2017 and there are no plans to re-open it at its present location or at any of the adjoining shops in Saltford. Furthermore, the cutbacks in B&NES Library Services mean that the Saltford Library is also likely to be closed in a year or so.
Both the Post Office and the Library are important local community assets and the Saltford Community Association (SCA) has been looking at ways in which both might be kept open. The SCA has been working hard over the last few weeks, since McColls pulled out, to find a way to stop the Post Office closing this week. Regrettably this has not proved possible but an option for the future has emerged.
The most promising future option is for both the Post Office and Library to be located in the present library building and discussions with Post Offices Ltd, B&NES Library Services and the Parish Council in this respect have been positive. A viable option appears to be the following:
The operation of the joint Post Office/Library would need to be as a Community Interest Organisation or as a subsidiary charity to the SCA. There would need to be a management committee, again formed from volunteers, who were responsible for the Post Office business, the library and for the building.
The need for financial support from the local community is a key feature, as is the need for a volunteer force to form the management committee and to staff the library. Note that in this proposal, the future of the Post Office and the Library (the source of available space) are closely linked.
The proposal has been discussed at meetings between trustees of the SCA, Post Offices Ltd, B&NES Library services and representatives of the Parish Council. It was discussed further at a meeting of the management committee of the SCA on December 13th, when it was resolved to try to carry it forward. However, it was made clear that the new management team for the joint Post Office/ Library would have to be formed from individuals other than the current SCA trustees and members of the SCA management committee, who are already fully committed to maintaining the present activities of the Association and whose contribution would be limited to coordinating the initial setting up of the scheme.
The purpose of this email is therefore to ascertain whether there is sufficient interest in the local community and businesses for the required volunteers for the proposed management committee and for library staffing to come forward, and on a continuing basis. If this is not the case, it is the view of the SCA that there would cease to be a Post Office and a local library branch in Saltford.
If you feel strongly about this issue and wish to indicate your willingness to help and in what capacity, please would you get in touch with the SCA by January 15th via email on email@example.com or phone the SCA Office on 01225 874081. We will then arrange a meeting in the New Year of all those prepared to help.
John Davies (Hon Chair, SCA)
Big Garden Bidwatch 27 - 29 January
The RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch will be from 27 to 29 January 2018. It's a great chance to sit back, relax and watch birds and other wildlife for an hour - and to encourage younger members of your family to develop an interest in the local wildlife. By taking part, you'll find out all about the fascinating wildlife that flutters, crawls and hops in your garden or local area. And with a simple hour of mindful watching, you could have an hour to yourself, too.
Details including a free pack can be found on the RSPB website from this link:- RSPB Birdwatch.
Older news stories from SEG
Our 'Newsletter' archive page features most of our past and recently published news stories (click on image):-
Current areas of local volunteer assistance sought by SEG
In addition to volunteer assistance with projects such as Saltford Wombles (tackling litter), Fairtrade Group, and our Railway path habitat restoration project we sometimes have specific roles or posts that need filling.
Here are the current vacancies:-
Want to help staff Saltford's Heritage Centre?
Saltford has a fascinating history as SEG's popular history project has proved. We are aiming to start opening our new and popular Heritage Centre (link) at least once a month for residents and visitors in the mornings. This will be from Easter/April to September and the openings (usually 10am to noon) will be advertised on our website and on facebook. We will also be having special openings for Saltford School children and other groups to visit as well as aiming to open jointly with Saltford Brass Mill for history related events (e.g. during Museums Week).
One of the centre's two curators will usually be present to oversee everything and if you would like to join our team of volunteer stewards that we can call on to staff the centre during openings and you would be able to manage 2 to 3 hour shifts please contact Phil Harding by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) giving your name, telephone, address and email and state if you would be able to manage weekends, weekdays or either. This stewardship role is for SEG members only.
First published December 2017
Future SEG website development - can you help?
Our website has become a very popular resource for our members and others, with over 2,000 unique visitors per month, typically opening over 5,000 pages. Using a relatively simple design and basic html approach, it has grown organically since 2011 into an extensive library of articles, themes, links etc.
Thinking of our ongoing ability to maintain and develop our website we are looking for someone who could give some time to support our Chairman Phil Harding with the html website in the short term, and potentially help us to transfer the site across to a new system such as WordPress in the future, as well as maintaining and developing our presence on social media. Do you have the relevant experience, interest and time to get involved? If so, please get in touch with our Secretary at email@example.com to talk further. You'll be at the heart of SEG's activities and a valued member of our team of volunteers.
First published March 2017
Opportunity to coordinate local habitat project
Just a reminder that Saltford Environment Group is looking for a new volunteer to be our railway path habitat restoration project coordinator as our existing coordinator, who did a great job getting things organised, has had to step down due to other commitments. This local project has seen some notable successes:
The area needs some concerted effort over the next 2-3 years to prevent the area from reverting back to scrub and trees: obscuring views and shading some of the rare sun-loving plants that have so recently returned. This work is likely to involve:
This is a great opportunity for someone with good organisational skills to help deliver a really exciting project: restoring a rare and beautiful habitat and bringing members of the community together through fun, practical activities.
No prior experience of wildlife conservation projects is required and there will be plenty of opportunities to learn more about the rare and beautiful plants and animals which would otherwise disappear from our area, to make new friends and learn new skills along the way. We are looking for someone with a can-do attitude and the enthusiasm to engage with volunteers and provide more of a social side to this worthwhile activity.
If this opportunity to manage and develop a small yet interesting and local outdoor project appeals to you, to express an interest please contact our Vice-Chairman Chris Warren (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
The project has its own webpage: link >>
First published February 2017
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Saltford Heritage Centre will next be open to the public: Easter Sat 31 March 10am - 12 noon.
"Think global, act local"