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  towards a sustainable future for our village

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LATEST NEWS

Broken Saltford Lock and the winter mooring ban

SPC backs Wessex Water's bridge & wetland habitat proposals

Support for Wessex Water's new bridge will help protect the Green Belt

Plant a (suitable) Tree for the Jubilee

New parking restrictions to help protect riverside access

The wonder of hedgerows

International Dawn Chorus Day (2 May)

Pandemic & research proves need to re-think strategic planning for green spaces

Prince Philip (1921-2021) - A champion for the environment

2021 Big Garden Birdwatch results

Saltford Parish Council's new "Policy Overview" backed by Ward Councillors

SEG responds to Wessex Water's new access bridge & wetland habitat proposals


More news in our news archive >>


Current VOLUNTEER assistance sought by SEG >>




Broken Saltford Lock and the winter mooring ban

June 2021

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The broken lock at Saltford Lock (by the Jolly Sailor PH) is closed to navigation and currently awaiting repair by the Canal and River Trust (see CRT boat by the broken lock gate above). This is a reminder of why the winter mooring ban (November to February inclusive) in Mead Lane is so important on safety grounds. It was for reasons of safety that the B&NES Council Cabinet approved the winter ban at its 8th October 2020 meeting at which it decided the future of moorings in Mead Lane.

When the river is in spate during winter months not only can the river overflow the riverbank, an increasing occurrence in recent years, but boats moored in Mead Lane can be either washed away and/or capsize with potentially catastrophic outcome for any occupants, damage to other boats downstream with again, a potentially catastrophic outcome for any occupants, and damage to bridges, locks and weirs. Or, if stranded on the riverbank, this then blocks the access to Wessex Water sewage treatment works that requires 24/7 access as well as to homes and businesses in the lane. The possibility of contamination of the river by fuel, oil and sewage from capsized/sunken boats is a further risk.

As an example of those dangers, in February 2019 a relatively small boat moored with other larger and also inappropriately moored boats in Mead Lane sunk and broke free when the river was in spate and was washed downstream where it was stuck at Saltford Lock. Fortunately there were no casualties or damage at the time to the lock.

At the B&NES Council Cabinet meeting in October last year, specific actions were agreed by the Cabinet and these included to identify alternative sites for 14-day moorings along the watercourse before ending 14-day moorings in Mead Lane and to create a joint River Warden post with the Canal and River Trust (CRT). SEG made the following response on our website on the B&NES Cabinet decision:-

SEG RESPONSE (October 2020)

The Atkins survey of the riverbank lacked a full condition survey of the rock armour below the water level so whilst Atkins found that the riverbank was stable at present (from only a visual surface inspection) it is not known how long it will hold throughout its full length. It is inevitable that the mooring of boats including narrow boats will gradually damage and reduce the lifespan of a rock armour stabilisation scheme designed and installed at a 45o angle.

As was acknowledged by Cllr Crossley at the meeting, the Mead Lane riverbank is very close to a narrow single-track road and to residential housing whilst the lane provides sole road access to Wessex Water's Sewage Treatment Works including Wessex Water's Scientific Services laboratory for testing drinking water and wastewater/effluent samples where 24/7 access is essential. Those factors together with the design aspects of the bio-engineered rock armour stabilisation scheme that protects the roadway and key utility service pipes including a pumped sewer main beneath the road, means that Mead Lane is unsuitable for moorings; B&NES Cabinet has by its mooring ban decision unanimously accepted that.

SEG supports B&NES Council's objective to identify alternative 14-day mooring sites for the live-aboard community along the watercourse before ending 14-day moorings in Mead Lane. However the 2+ year timescale does mean a prolonged period of risk to the riverbank's rock armour and stability and other factors that have made this such a contentious issue that has been difficult to resolve. The continuation of the parking ban should help keep the lane open at all times.

The effectiveness of the new River Warden will therefore be key to ensuring the temporary re-commencement of 14-day moorings from 1.3.2021 does not lead to the problems caused by a minority of boaters since moorings started to occur in Mead Lane from 2015 when boats first started to moor there and then became much more numerous from the B&NES 2017 mooring trial that served to attract more boat moorings at this location.

It is therefore to be hoped that rapid progress can be made in finding new and suitable moorings for boaters well before 31.12.2022, preferably in 2021, so that moorings can end in Mead Lane and the riverbank can revert to being an open space sooner rather than later - including as a Local Nature Reserve as SEG and others have called for - and the rock armour can be repaired and be the subject of a regular inspection, care and maintenance programme.

A positive outcome from all this can be more and better mooring provisions for the live-aboard community whilst Mead Lane riverbank reverts to being a public open space with excellent wildlife habitat enjoyed by the local community and visitors alike.

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SPC backs Wessex Water's bridge & wetland habitat proposals

June 2021

On the evening of 1st June Saltford Parish Council approved its supportive response to B&NES Council on Wessex Water's planning application, reference 21/02322/FUL, to construct a new permanent access route into their sewage treatment and water recycling works in Mead Lane. The SPC response agreed was as follows:-

   SUPPORT: Saltford Parish Council is supportive in principle of this planning application. As these proposals keep Green Belt loss to a minimum and taking account of environmental and sustainable development considerations, we strongly prefer this proposed route including a bridge over the River Avon connecting the site to the A431 compared to alternative proposals considered by Wessex Water before this application was submitted. The Bath Road (A4) already has severe traffic congestion at peak periods arising from new housing developments in the area; sharing the volume of vehicles travelling to and from this important infrastructure facility between the existing access from the A4 and the A431 should help spread the load on local roads more evenly.

   Saltford Parish Council also supports the proposals for wildlife enhancement to be provided by the wetland scrape that, if implemented successfully and taking account of our further comments below, should result in a welcome net gain in biodiversity for the overall project. This would be seen as a useful example of B&NES Council implementing a planning policy response to its declaration in July 2020 of the ecological emergency.

   Saltford Parish Council wishes to emphasise that to avoid compromising the new habitat's value to wetland birds, a habitat that has previously been lost in this part of the Avon floodplain, it will be important to ensure disturbance to wildlife from the adjacent public footpaths is minimised and avoided wherever possible. Suitable screening and fencing together with management of existing or new trees to an appropriately low height, i.e. a regular pollarding regime, around the margins of the wetland area will also be essential to ensure wetland birds are not deterred from using the wetland habitat. Saltford Parish Council is confident that appropriate professional ecological advice for the finer design and management details of those aspects prior to the creation of the new habitat can reduce their effects greatly.

   If the case officer is minded to refuse this planning application Saltford Parish Council requests that it be referred to the Development Management Committee for determination.
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SEG will be submitting to B&NES Council a similar supportive response soon. We reported in May why SEG will be supporting this planning application. Balancing the ability for the general public to observe wildlife at a safe and screened distance without disturbing and thus deterring shy water birds etc. has to be planned carefully hence SEG will be commenting on that aspect in its response.

SEG members and others wishing to support and comment on this planning application (deadline is 21 June 2021) can follow this link and key 21/02322/FUL into the B&NES Development Control web page search box: Development Control link >>.

If you encounter difficulties with the B&NES website, you can email your objection/comments to: [email link] but make sure you include the reference number for this planning application (21/02322/FUL).

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Support for Wessex Water's new bridge will help protect the Green Belt and local wildlife

May 2021

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We reported in April SEG's supportive pre-application response to Wessex Water's new access bridge and wetland habitat proposals. Wessex Water need to construct a new permanent access route into their sewage treatment and water recycling works in Mead Lane. This is to facilitate construction work to enable the site to meet tighter regulations, which will improve river water quality, and to accommodate projected growth within Bath and the surrounding area. Mead Lane is subject to flooding and the narrow High Street and Mead Lane restricts access for heavy lorries and tankers visiting the site making such access problematic.

Having explored several alternative routes including the construction of a new 1.6 km road through Saltford's Green Belt just north of Saltford's Conservation Area that would have a significant impact on the Avon Valley landscape and putting much of the area under threat of future inappropriate development, on 13th May Wessex Water submitted its planning application, reference 21/02322/FUL, for a new bridge route over the River Avon with the addition of a new wetland habitat in Saltford Mead (on Wessex Water land).

Saltford Parish Council will be discussing its response to Wessex Water's planning application at its meeting of the full Council on 1st June. SEG will submit its response to B&NES Council after the SPC response.

SEG members and others wishing to support and comment on this planning application (deadline is 21 June 2021) can follow this link and key 21/02322/FUL into the B&NES Development Control web page search box: Development Control link >>.

If you encounter difficulties with the B&NES website, you can email your objection/comments to: [email link] but make sure you include the reference number for this planning application (21/02322/FUL).

The three main reasons for supporting the planning application are:-

  • ENVIRONMENT: The bridge proposals keep Green Belt loss and damage to the natural environment to a minimum compared to other routes considered by Wessex Water.
  • TRANSPORT: The Bath Road (A4) already has severe traffic congestion at peak periods; sharing the volume of vehicles travelling to and from the Wessex Water site between the existing access from the A4 and the proposed new A431 access should help even out the traffic load between those two roads*. There are genuine safety concerns about HGVs frequently passing through Saltford's narrow residential streets including the Conservation Area.
  • WETLAND HABITAT: The proposed wetland habitat will help our local wildlife recover from existing habitat losses whilst its protection from inappropriate disturbance from the general public will be important.

   *The Transport Statement by Atkins accompanying the planning application forecasts a post-construction increase in traffic on the A431 of just 1% eastbound and 2% westbound whereas the redistributed traffic impact on Norman Road routing through the High Street and Mead Lane (all residential side-roads) will be a 20% decrease of existing traffic.

Vehicular use of the new bridge will be for the Wessex Water site only. Proposals include a footpath on the bridge providing a new access route for walkers to and from the existing riverbank footpath. The Mead Lane access to the site will remain open for light vehicles etc. after the new access route is built as an alternative means of access so that those who visit or commute to the site including the laboratory will still be able to get access where Saltford provides a shorter and more direct route than from the A431.

In view of the existing overloading of the Bath Road (A4) with traffic at peak periods, there should be advantages from sharing the traffic load for Wessex Water between the A4 and the A431. The proposals also mean heavier vehicles can avoid the narrow single lane streets of Saltford whilst the loss of Green Belt land will be considerably less than other options considered.

Due to the need to minimise overall impacts on residents living on both sides of the River Avon and to minimise loss of Green Belt land whilst enabling the improvement of sewage treatment and water recycling capabilities of this important strategic infrastructure facility, SEG supports the planning application for the new bridge access as the most viable and sensible option. Having a new wetland habitat in Saltford as part of the project, a habitat no longer present in this part of the Avon floodplain, will be an excellent outcome for the natural environment. A net gain for biodiversity!

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Plant a (suitable) Tree for the Jubilee

May 2021

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The Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) is a tree planting initiative to mark Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee in 2022. People from across the UK are invited to "Plant a Tree for the Jubilee."

Everyone from individuals to Scout and Girl Guide groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and corporates will be encouraged to play their part to enhance our environment by planting trees from October, when the tree planting season begins, through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022 and have a share of 3 million free saplings from the Woodland Trust as part of the project.

With a focus on planting sustainably, the QGC will encourage planting of trees to create a legacy in honour of The Queen's leadership of the Nation, which will benefit future generations.

SEG is mindful of the need to plant "the right trees in the right places". It is much better for supporting our local wildlife to plant trees from our list of native tree species ecologically appropriate to Saltford on our wildlife page (link to list) which also gives guidance on the long term viability of the tree(s) and for benefitting wildlife where possible.

Further details about the Queen's Green Canopy can be found at queensgreencanopy.org; if you are planning to plant new trees in Saltford please select a species from the SEG list.

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New parking restrictions to help protect riverside access

May 2021

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Following responses giving overwhelming support from Saltford's residents, Saltford Parish Council and our B&NES Ward Councillors for proposals in the recent consultation on Traffic Regulation Order reference 20-014 affecting The Shallows and Mead Lane in Saltford as reported in our March 2021 news story, work by contractors for B&NES Council to install parking restriction measures (primarily double yellow lines) was completed between 10th and 25th May.

Saltford's residents are all too well aware of the long-standing road blockage issues arising from the parking of visitor's vehicles in Mead Lane and The Shallows which are mainly single carriageways and where the parking of cars and vans prevent larger vehicles including emergency vehicles from getting past whilst blocking access for residents needing to travel by car. The permanent parking bans seeks to help address these safety issues for the benefit of the local community and visitors.

Concerns had been raised by residents, visitors, the police and the Fire Brigade regarding safety and access; last year the problems reached such a peak that to ensure safety and access the police had to close roads but this had been a growing and persistent problem for at least the previous 5 years during busy periods.

SEG agrees with SPC that the measures should help protect the amenity value of the Saltford riverbank for residents and visitors whilst also helping to reduce incidents of damage to the riverbank and breaking up of the roadside edge itself in Mead Lane from vehicles attempting to park partly on the riverbank; the riverbank's structure is not designed to accept vehicle parking.

A residents parking scheme element has been incorporated in The Shallows to maintain and improve parking access for residents without off road parking; this is viewed as necessary due to the high number of vehicle-using visitors to The Shallows.

The Shallows and Mead Lane are residential areas. It is a matter of balancing the needs of residents, nature and visitors. Other measures to protect the local riverside environment will still be necessary and discussions between SEG, SPC and B&NES Council will continue. B&NES Council has an ambition to remove moorings from Mead Lane, which is not designed to accept boat moorings due to the nature of the bio-engineered stabilisation of the riverbank in 2005, by the end of 2022. B&NES Council is intending to identify alternative 14-day mooring sites for the live-aboard community along the watercourse.

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The wonder of hedgerows

May 2021

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If you have got a hedge of native species, and especially one that is 150+ years old, nurture it. Whatever you do, don't replace it with something else.

Hedges can originate in different ways. Some may be woodland hedges, formed out of woodland trees/shrubs left as remnants after woodland clearance. Some may originate from scrub growing on boundaries between cultivated fields or they may be planted with single or a mix of species, whilst some may be a combination of different origins.

Hedgerows are part of our cultural heritage and historical record, in addition to their great value to wildlife and the landscape. They are increasingly valued too for the major role they have in helping to prevent soil loss and reduce pollution, and for their potential to store carbon, regulate water supply and to reduce flooding.

Long-standing hedgerows have an important key role supporting and allowing the mobility of invertebrates as well as for supporting plants and fungi. They tend to support the greatest diversity of plants and animals so we need to value, protect and retain them.

Further information on hedgerows can be found from these links:-

This article is also published on our wildlife and gardening pages.

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International Dawn Chorus Day (2 May)

April 2021

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Spring is the best time of year for listening to bird song and the dawn chorus is a sound that heralds the approach of warmer summer days. In the colder air at dawn, bird song can carry a lot further than later in the day and with less competing human sounds like traffic it really can be an uplifting experience just listening to our tuneful local birdlife at dawn. Different birds start up at different times, with Robins and Blackbirds amongst the first to start singing.

You can join the RSPB online live at 5am - 9am on 2nd May for International Dawn Chorus Day - just follow this link: RSPB Dawn Chorus Day.

If you want help identifying different bird song visit the RSPB website from this link which takes you to their bird song identifier.

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Pandemic & research proves need to re-think strategic planning for green spaces

April 2021

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The following is based on an article from SEG for the May/June edition of Saltford Community Association News (SCAN). The photograph above shows a peaceful scene at The Shallows during lockdown, May 2020, before the visitor influx.

The COVID-19 lockdowns raised a greater awareness of the importance and value of the natural world and the open, green spaces where we live. The rural countryside that (still) surrounds Bath and rural villages like Saltford is critical not just for nature and the wildlife attracted to the Avon Valley, but for our own well-being too. An increase in home working and taking exercise locally that is likely to follow the COVID-19 pandemic will increase that awareness still further.

As the first lockdown eased in summer 2020 large influxes of visitors descended on riverside areas along the River Avon, including Saltford. Do we need more evidence that the new residential developments built on the east side of Bristol in recent years were not given an adequate provision of new green open spaces and public parks?

As SEG enters its second decade, COVID-19 and the growing use of riverside areas and the countryside for recreation has raised the importance for SEG to further develop the case for protecting the Green Belt and local wildlife habitat from development. This is at a time when many in the UK now recognise from the serious decline in wildlife that there is an "ecological emergency". Never has protection of the local Green Belt been more relevant than it is now.

Protecting the Green Belt from development to benefit wildlife and nature whilst providing green space for low environmental impact recreation is a key priority for SEG.

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As we reported in March (Planners asked for space for wildlife & nature), like other communities, Saltford is already paying the price of over-development in the wider area. This is not just from congestion on local roads but our community is losing access to its local green spaces to increasing visitor influxes whilst river and riverside wildlife and habitat also take a heavy toll.

The recent and ongoing construction of many more homes in the West of England without increasing green recreational space (i.e. large public parks) for the inhabitants of new housing means existing green spaces are inundated with visitors more often and wildlife increasingly "removed" from our environment.

Where are all the new and existing residents in the West of England supposed to relax and take outdoor exercise when they need a break from their homes? And, as Sir David Attenborough crucially once asked, "Can a growing human population leave space for wildlife?"

ONS report: How has lockdown changed our relationship with nature?

Using data from several sources looking at the impact of lockdown on exercise levels, usage of public green spaces and the link between nature and wellbeing, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in a report* this month highlighted the importance of natural spaces for well-being during the pandemic. From its review of surveys and data on the role of nature and green spaces in the past year, ONS said changes in personal behaviour and corporate attitudes could mean that after the lockdown the UK will value and interact with nature on a much greater scale than before.

Looking at research data from Natural England, ONS reported that during the pandemic 41% of adults felt that visiting local green and natural spaces was even more important. 38% felt that nature/wildlife was more important than ever whilst 33% were visiting local green and natural spaces more than before the pandemic. ONS reported that the closer people were to their nearest park, the more likely they were to visit during lockdown.

Whether these changes in personal behaviour brought on by the lockdowns are temporary or a new way of life remains to be seen but it seems likely that such a raising of awareness of the importance of nature and green spaces for our physical and mental well-being will have a lasting effect after the significant challenges to people's personal values and lifestyles posed by the pandemic.

*NOTE: The ONS report (26.4.2021) "How has lockdown changed our relationship with nature?" can be found on the ONS website from this link: ONS report 26.4.2021.

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Prince Philip (1921-2021) - A champion for the environment

April 2021

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"The conservation of nature, the proper care for the human environment and a general concern for the long-term future of the whole of our planet are absolutely vital if future generations are to have a chance to enjoy their existence on this earth"
HRH Prince Philip

SEG members will be saddened to have learnt of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, today (9th April). He was a champion of environmental causes, an environmentalist, long before wider acknowledgement of the threat from mankind to the natural world had become widely accepted and warned of the "greedy and senseless exploitation of nature."

The Duke of Edinburgh was the patron of many organisations, including WWF and the Duke of Edinburgh Award that "equips and empowers young people from all communities to build the skills, confidence, and resilience they need to make the most out of life". The Duke was the first President of WWF-UK from its foundation in 1961 to 1982, and President of WWF-International from 1981 to 1996 and then President Emeritus of WWF International.

Pavan Sukhdev, President of WWF International, said:

"The Duke of Edinburgh has been a tireless champion for the environmental cause and a passionate ambassador for conservation issues around the world for decades. His Royal Highness helped chart the course of WWF from its very beginning and has truly made enormous contributions to the organization.

"Across more than 50 years, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip's efforts on behalf of WWF have been inestimable - visiting WWF projects in over fifty countries on five continents, promoting conservation issues at the highest government and corporate levels, and helping with essential fundraising and awareness promotion.

"On behalf of all of us at WWF, I extend my sincere sympathies to Her Majesty the Queen, to the Royal Family and to the family of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip at this very sad time."

SEG respectfully shares and extends those sympathies.

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2021 Big Garden Birdwatch results

April 2021

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The results for the 2021 Big Garden Birdwatch held on the weekend of 29 - 31 January are now published by the RSPB. Do they match what was in your garden? The top ten most commonly observed birds across the UK were (change on 2020 position in brackets):-

   1. House Sparrow (=)
   2. Blue Tit (+1)
   3. Starling (-1)
   4. Blackbird (+1)
   5. Wood Pigeon (-1)
   6. Robin (+2)
   7. Great Tit (=)
   8. Goldfinch (-2)
   9. Magpie (+1)
   10. Long-tailed Tit (-1)

Top spot goes to the House Sparrow for the 18th year running! Blackbirds and Robins have also done well this year, both moving up the table and coming in at 4th and 6th place respectively.

While House Sparrows and Blue Tits may be the UK's most commonly sighted in this year's Birdwatch, data shows that numbers have in fact dropped dramatically since the Birdwatch began in 1979. Over the last 50 years, since 1970, 40 million birds have vanished from the UK's skies. And it's not just birds that are suffering according to the RSPB. The latest State of Nature 2019 report (link to report) found that around two-fifths of UK species are in decline including Turtle Doves, Red Squirrels and Water Voles.

The reasons behind these declines are complex. The State of Nature 2019 report states that "agricultural management, climate change, hydrological change, urbanisation, pollution, woodland management and invasive non-native species" are among the most significant of pressures acting upon terrestrial and freshwater wildlife. It also reports "At sea, climate change and fishing are having the most significant impact upon marine biodiversity."

More information on the results of the 2021 Birdwatch can be found on the RSPB website. You can also find more information on social media using the hashtag #BigGardenBirdWatch.

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Saltford Parish Council's new "Policy Overview" backed by Ward Councillors

April 2021

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At its monthly meeting on 6th April Saltford Parish Council updated its "Policy Overview" to guide the work of the Council; this was to reflect the urgency now widely accepted for meeting the twin challenges of climate change and the threat to nature and our ecosytems. The new policy unanimously adopted by the Council was as follows:-

   Saltford Parish Council endorses the need to respond to the climate and ecological emergencies. SPC's decisions and policies will take account of whether they are good for the climate, the ecology of Saltford and for residents. SPC is in favour of protecting the Green Belt around Saltford from development including from a road bypass (that would be infilled with housing); reopening the railway station on the existing site; Fairtrade; and that Saltford should continue to be an inclusive and caring community.

In response to the updated policy, Saltford Ward Councillors for B&NES Council, Cllr Duncan Hounsell and Cllr Alastair Singleton, said "As Ward Councillors for Saltford, we fully support Saltford Parish Council's principled stance in addressing the threats we all face through the Climate and Ecological Emergencies. We join SPC in putting these threats at the heart of all of our work."

For more about this focus by SPC on the environment including recent environmental actions and initiatives by SPC (some in partnership with B&NES Council), see SPC's website from this link: SPC's new policy overview.

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SEG responds to Wessex Water's new access bridge & wetland habitat proposals

April 2021

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Over Easter SEG submitted a pre-planning application response to Wessex Water on the company's proposals to build a new access route to the Saltford Water Recycling Centre, including the welcome proposals for wildlife habitat enhancements.

On environmental grounds, SEG strongly prefers the currently proposed route, from the A431 just east of Swineford, over alternative proposals involving lengthy road construction through Saltford's Green Belt to connect with the A4, particularly as those proposals keep Green Belt loss to a minimum.

SEG advised Wessex Water that it was delighted that the package will include wildlife habitat enhancement as this provides an excellent opportunity to benefit local wetland ecology through habitats no longer present in this part of the Avon floodplain. SEG sees this as a rare opportunity to make a major Net Gain to local biodiversity and therefore an appropriate response to B&NES Council's July 2020 declaration of an ecological emergency.

At this pre-planning stage, and after consultation with our wildlife advisor, who is in regular discussions with Wessex Water, SEG made two points at this stage. These relate to maximising the ability of existing and any newly constructed wetland habitat to attract multiple wetland bird species which at present occur in Saltford only as stragglers or not at all. The birds require specific attention additional to that for wetland plants and invertebrates in two ways :-

   Firstly, the need to ensure public access in that area does not have a negative effect on wildlife attracted to the habitat. If there is any further public access allowed into the field in question, this disturbance will reduce the use by waterbirds of the field and the wetland habitat created within it. Frequent public access, particularly with dogs, could even prevent any wetland bird species not already of regular occurrence here using the created habitat. It is therefore of particular importance that public access between the riverbank and the west end of the bridge follows either the existing public right of way round the field edge, or a new permissive path through the existing planted woodland in the north-west corner of the field.

   Secondly, the numbers and distribution of trees envisaged for the site. The more tree cover (particularly from tall species like poplars) around the existing and new wetland habitat, the less it will be used by waterbirds. Existing trees around the pools in the NE of the works are already so tall and broad of crown that few waterbird species now use these pools (significantly more species did so when these trees were still small saplings). To maximise wildlife gain, SEG hopes that (i) as many of the existing trees around the pools' margins can removed or at least pollarded; (ii) few if any trees will be planted in the bridge field outside the existing, currently spaced line of trees; and (iii) any trees that are planted will be of species relatively low-growing (to minimise reduction of use by shy wetland bird species), native and ecologically appropriate to the site. Alder and sallows seem the obvious choices.

SEG has offered to assist Wessex Water, after plans are finalised, in communicating to residents the expectations of the net gain for biodiversity and the agreed access/viewing opportunities for it.

An overview of Wessex Water's proposals for the new access bridge, biodiversity gain and environmental improvements can be found on the Wessex Water website from this link: Saltford Water Recycling Centre where comments on the proposals are also invited.

The submission by Wessex Water of a formal planning application to B&NES Council is expected to be made in May 2021.

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Current areas of local volunteer assistance sought by SEG

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Whilst our partner organisations such as Saltford Wombles (for tackling litter) and the Fairtrade Group always welcome volunteer assistance, SEG sometimes has specific roles or posts that need filling. Here are the current vacancies:-

Website skills wanted!

Updated January 2021

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.

Executive Committee: Want to help steer SEG?

Updated January 2021

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 (except during Covid-19 restrictions) 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.

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Saltford Heritage Centre's next scheduled public opening will be announced here.

Special Features:

Geology, Saltford's

Green Belt Inquiry 2013

HISTORY OF SALTFORD

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Contact Us

All general, membership & urgent (e.g. Press) enquiries by email 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 *(see editorial policy below):
Phil Harding
phil@philharding.net (07814--720763)

Secretary: Vacant Position

Treasurer: Andrew Stainer
andrew.stainer@outlook.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 Heritage Centre
Curators: Phil Harding & Andrew Stainer (contact details above).

Saltford Wombles is independent of SEG but contact details can be found on our Less Waste page.


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*EDITORIAL POLICY including SEO, web design and marketing for www.saltfordenvironmentgroup.org.uk

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.

Will Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), website design, "content providers" and other similar companies please note that this website has all the SEO ranking, social media links, and smartphone compatibility that it requires to meet its specific objectives and enquiry emails on this topic including link requests will not receive a reply to save your time and ours.

SEG is not a commercial enterprise therefore companies that produce bespoke marketing materials or sponsored editorial content should also note that marketing emails or requests for placing links to other websites 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.


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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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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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