logo + link

Saltford Environment Group
  towards a sustainable future for our village

photograph

image

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

The real value of wasps

Cigarette butts in the environment

Saltford Heritage Centre open 16th Sept (2.30 - 4.30pm)

B&NES Council confirms its opposition to the Government's proposals on fracking

SEG objects to premature planning application for another 80 houses between Keynsham and Saltford

Air quality improving

1st August is Earth Overshoot Day...

Decision on premature planning application for another 200 houses between Keynsham & Saltford delayed again

Threat from large plastic dinosaurs to Saltford's Green Belt withdrawn

CPRE responds to revised national planning policy

Government trying to make fracking easier without your consent as Brexit diverts attention

The big butterfly count (20 July to 12 August)

Water bottle filling point & drinking fountain at Bristol Airport

Fines for littering and fly-tipping increase in B&NES

Saltford Upcycling Craft Group to make "Ecobricks", July 19th

Support Saltford Community Library and Post Office when shopping at Waitrose in July

#Refill your water bottle at the Jolly Sailor

#Refill your water bottle at the Bird in Hand

Saltford gets its first #refill station: Refill your water bottle & avoid plastic waste

Saltford Wombles: Summer Update

Saltford's Green Belt: B&NES Local Plan & HELAA Update

'Our Power' clean energy scheme launched in B&NES

Eastover Farm - Open Garden 1st July in aid of Citizens Advice

Saltford Wombles: Litter Pick Sunday 24 June

Website skills wanted!

21st June is #OurCleanAirDay

Saltford Parish Council also objects to premature planning application for another 200 houses between Keynsham and Saltford

You can find more news in our News Archive.

Current VOLUNTEER ASSISTANCE SOUGHT by SEG >>



The real value of wasps

photograph

Whilst many find wasps annoying and associate them mainly with the risk of being stung, it is important to regard them not simply as pests that can sting, but as an important part of our ecosystem (the community of animals and plants) and thus our economy.

Wasps as a group help protect farm crops by predating insects and, like bees, they are important pollinators. Wasps also play a valuable clean-up role by scavenging vast amounts of waste organic material as they gather protein to feed to their larvae. It is not clear whether, if all wasps were eliminated, that other parts of the ecosystem would expand to take over their roles. The well-established fact that pollinators, as a group, are under severe decline in England suggests a high risk that if the wasps disappeared, their pollination services would not be replaced in full by other means.

There are many species (about 9,000!) of wasp in the UK. The vast majority of these species are solitary, cannot sting people, and perform, in total, an amazing variety of ecosystem services. All these species cause no upset to us humans.

Many are strikingly beautiful (such as the iridescent ruby-tailed wasps Chrysis, a genus readily observable in Saltford) and many have remarkable natural history, often involving extraordinarily specific parasitic relationships with other insects. For example Cotesia glomerata develops inside the caterpillars of a cabbage white butterfly, the Large White; by killing up to 70% of the caterpillar population this wasp provides enormous economic benefit to cabbage-growers. This species is also common in Saltford.

Amongst the very few species of wasps in the UK that can be problematic for people, it is the familiar "social wasps" in particular the Common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) with its black and yellow stripes and the very similar, slightly larger, German wasp (Vespula germanica), that cause the most upset. These species occur almost throughout the UK. Their stings allow them to capture and immobilise their prey (e.g. aphids, caterpillars, flies and spiders) and they may also sting to defend their nest or themselves if they feel threatened - if you just ignore them they will often just fly off (unless you're consuming sugar-rich foods in which case they probably won't!) whereas flapping at them can provoke them and make a sting more likely.

But even these species perform valuable ecological services. The exact same species can readily be observed foraging at nectar-rich flowers, during which they pollinate these plants. This is especially so in late September to October, when insects which overwinter as adults (such as Vespula wasps) are foraging intensively to make provision for the winter.

That is a good way to move beyond seeing wasps as nothing more than a nuisance, but to come to value and appreciate their role in helping to maintain balance in the natural environment and supporting the productivity of many species of plants, including some that provide the food that we eat.

August 2018

Return to top of page


Cigarette butts in the environment

"Please discard your cigarette butts responsibly - stub it, bin it!"

A Keep Britain Tidy survey in 2014/15 found smoking related litter to be the most common littered items; cigarette butts being the most prevalent. Many do not realise that cigarette butts are made of non-biodegradable plastic (cellulose acetate - a type of plastic; some have added charcoal) and therefore persist in the environment when dropped/flicked away.

While ultraviolet rays from the sun will eventually break them into smaller pieces, the toxic material never disappears. The e-cigarettes now widely used by smokers may be a new source of environmental contamination, with the batteries and used nicotine cartridges being carelessly discarded.

Toxin-filled cigarette butts work their way into our waterways primarily through storm drains that empty into our rivers. Although the damage done to our bodies by cigarettes is well known, we still don't yet fully understand the health implications for our oceans, beyond that other forms of micro-plastics and microfibres pose a serious risk to marine organisms. A scientific study from San Diego State University (2011) suggests one smoked cigarette butt in a single litre of water is sufficient to kill both marine and freshwater fish.

Whilst more research is needed to assess the impact of butt consumption among wild animals, there are anecdotal reports of butt consumption by dogs, fish, turtles, birds, and other marine life. 5.5 trillion cigarettes are consumed globally every year. Of these, 4.95 trillion have filters, deposited somewhere in the environment.

As Keep Britain Tidy says, "cigarette butts are a unique type of litter - small, smelly, on fire and sadly commonplace on the ground. Even smokers don't like them much, and together these little butts add up to a very big problem."

Want to stop smoking? According to the NHS wherever you live in the UK, there is easy access to a free service proven to help you stop smoking. Here in Saltford our local pharmacy Day Lewis Pharmacy (497 Bath Rd) provides a stop smoking service including advice on vaping with a qualified adviser and can issue prescription vouchers for nicotine replacement therapy (e.g. nicotine patches and other products).

Information sources:
Keep Britain Tidy
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3088407/
US-based "Cigarette Butt Pollution Project" (www.cigwaste.org/).

August 2018

Return to top of page


Saltford Heritage Centre open 16th Sept (2.30 - 4.30pm)

image

Saltford Heritage Centre will next be open to the public from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on the afternoon of Sunday 16th September as part of the B&NES Heritage Days initiative (6-16 Sept). Saltford Brassmill will also be open that day (10am - 4pm) so why not make it your local heritage day and visit both venues?

New!

In addition to our displays describing Saltford's fascinating past and examples of local artefacts we shall be displaying some historic maps of the village (from 1742) including the first OS map showing Saltford (1817) and the 1837 Tithe Map showing the original field names. We shall also have an internet linked display screen so that we can show visitors how to access our comprehensive online material.

Admission will be free. You can find out more about the Heritage Centre here: Saltford Heritage Centre.

August 2018

Return to top of page


B&NES Council confirms its opposition to the Government's proposals on fracking

We reported in July the Government's proposals to streamline the planning process for fracking and reduce the ability of local communities to influence fracking applications. This is by treating non-hydraulic exploratory drilling as 'permitted development' as well as proposals to designate fracking projects as 'Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects'.

We are pleased to report that the B&NES Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Development, Cllr Bob Goodman, confirmed to SEG in August in response to our seeking the Council's support for opposition to the Government's proposals that "the Leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council has written to the Secretary of State, Greg Clark to strongly object to the proposals".

August 2018

Return to top of page


SEG objects to premature planning application for another 80 houses between Keynsham and Saltford

image

On 4th August SEG submitted a strong objection to B&NES Council concerning planning application 18/02899/OUT for up to 80 houses etc. on Green Belt land safeguarded in the B&NES Core Strategy, i.e. land "safeguarded to meet longer term development needs". This land is adjacent (south) to the site where 250 new houses are about to be built by the A4 and Wellsway School.

SEG's objection included the following:-

SEG strongly objects to this outline planning application for up to 80 dwellings on Green Belt land safeguarded in the B&NES Core Strategy, i.e. land "safeguarded to meet longer term development needs". The purpose of safeguarded land has been to consider it for development (i) AFTER the other developments identified in the Core Strategy have been completed, not before, and thus when infrastructure is already in place and found to be coping with existing and new demands placed on it, AND (ii) if a genuine demand for additional new housing remains after the other Core Strategy developments have been completed.

The revised NPPF (2018) requires 'exceptional circumstances' for releasing land from the Green Belt. Whilst in this case this is land that has already been released by B&NES Council from the Green Belt in the Core Strategy, that release was safeguarded for later development. No exceptional circumstances for releasing the land for development early have been given in the planning application.

To allow this to proceed before other developments that were allowed in the B&NES Core Strategy on Keynsham's Green Belt would put undue and additional pressure on transport infrastructure and public services. Those services and infrastructure already struggle or fail to cope with the existing housing density before the proposed Core Strategy developments have been built and supporting infrastructure for those developments put in place beforehand. Those transport problems affect people travelling to, from and through Saltford and increasingly grid lock local roads leading towards Keynsham Town Centre, Saltford's closest town.

SEG agrees with comments from the B&NES Senior Highways Development Control Engineer who referred to the fact that the Inspector for the B&NES Core Strategy was clear that the development here should only come forward after the Local Plan review and that traffic impacts of any scheme at this location need to be "properly assessed".

SEG also agrees with the Senior Highways Development Control Engineer's objection to this proposed development as "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. The proposal is therefore considered to be contrary to Policies KE3b and ST7 of the Bath & North East Somerset Placemaking Plan, and contrary to paragraph 32 of the National Planning Policy Framework."

It is thus far too premature to even consider giving outline planning permission to this application and to permit this would overrule the whole purpose for safeguarding land in the Core Strategy for longer term development needs when those needs have not yet been assessed and the effects caused by existing plans for development of the Green Belt have not been experienced, assessed and remedied where found to be negative.

In addition to the above, SEG said that this development would be contrary to the principle of sustainable development and referred to the lack of natural or semi-natural land in B&NES that is required to provide ecosystem support for local farmland for food security, i.e. our local Green Belt should be protected from development. SEG also reminded B&NES of the principle of "net environmental gain" for housing and infrastructure development announced by the Prime Minister when launching the Government's 25 year plan for the environment in January 2018 and referred to the need for "net environmental gain" for new developments in the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published recently in July 2018.

SEG members and others wishing to comment on this planning application (deadline is Monday 6th August 2018) can follow this link and key 18/02899/OUT into the search box: B&NES Development Control. If you encounter difficulties with the B&NES website you can email your objection/comments to development_management@bathnes.gov.uk but make sure you include the reference number for this planning application (18/02899/OUT).

The B&NES target decision date for this planning application is 4th October 2018. Saltford Parish Council will be considering its response to this planning application at its 4th September meeting.

August 2018

Return to top of page


Air quality improving

Wide-ranging work to improve air quality across Bath and North East Somerset has been outlined in an annual status report published on 1st August by B&NES Council which shows decreases in harmful levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (measured in micrograms per cubic metre, g/m3) across the district. The detailed report says the average decrease in nitrogen dioxide across the district was 10 per cent in 2017 compared with eight per cent the previous year. In Saltford all the monitoring sites are below the objective of 40g/m3.

That is encouraging news (that we reported in March) but SEG is naturally concerned that the additional 250 houses about to be built on former Green Belt land in Keynsham East (by the A4 before the Waitrose roundabout) allowed under the B&NES Core Strategy will further increase traffic congestion and thus air pollution on the A4 through Saltford.

The Saltford monitoring stations are The Crown and 562 Bath Road. Saltford Library is no longer monitored as it has been below 40 g/m3 at this location for several years.

In Keynsham High Street there has been a 15% decrease in NO2 concentrations following the introduction of a trial one-way system. For Bath, the report details a series of actions already in place to improve air quality as part of the council's Clean Air Plan called Bath BreATHes 2021 as well as proposals for a charging Clean Air Zone in Bath. For further information about air quality in Bath go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/bath-breathes-2021 and for the B&NES Air Quality Report news announcement report on the B&NES website click this link to air quality annual report news where there is also a link to the Air Quality Action Plan for Saltford.

August 2018

Return to top of page


1st August is Earth Overshoot Day...

photograph

The "Blue Marble" - the first full Earth image photographed by the Apollo 17 space mission (7.12.1972). This was widely seen as a depiction of Earth's frailty, vulnerability, and humanity's need to live within the planet's 'carrying capacity'.

... and it gets earlier every year as the world's population grows along with the growth in consumption of non-renewable resources, natural or semi-natural land lost to development, and pollution. Last year (2017) it was 2nd August.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity's demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. We maintain this deficit by liquidating stocks of ecological resources and accumulating waste, primarily carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Earth Overshoot Day is hosted and calculated by Global Footprint Network (www.footprintnetwork.org), an international think tank that coordinates research, develops methodological standards and provides decision-makers with a menu of tools to help the human economy operate within Earth's ecological limits.

But living within the means of our planet is not out of reach. Plenty of solutions exist in four major areas for improving sustainability: population, food, cities, and energy - taken together the date can be delayed later each year (to #movethedate).

Further information can be found from www.overshootday.org.

July/August 2018

Return to top of page


Decision on premature planning application for another 200 houses between Keynsham & Saltford delayed again

We reported in April that on 30th March SEG submitted a strong objection to B&NES Council concerning planning application 18/01509/OUT for 200 houses etc. on Green Belt land safeguarded in the B&NES Core Strategy, i.e. land "safeguarded to meet longer term development needs". The decision deadline has been delayed again by B&NES and is now 24th August (was previously 5th then 27th July).

July 2018

Return to top of page


Threat from large plastic dinosaurs to Saltford's Green Belt withdrawn

In March we reported that SEG had submitted a strong objection to B&NES Council concerning planning application 18/00515/FUL for the creation of an 18-hole "Adventure Experience golf facility" including car parking, ancillary theme props (dinosaurs!) and kiosk at the Glenavon Farm site by the A4 on the west side of Saltford on Saltford's Green Belt.

Saltford Parish Council and many residents also submitted objections to the plans.

We are pleased to advise members that on 27th July B&NES Council confirmed that the applicant's withdrawal of the planning application had been accepted. No reason for the withdrawal is given on the B&NES Council website.

July 2018

Return to top of page


CPRE responds to revised national planning policy

image

The Campaign to Protect Rural England has described the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that was published by the Government on 24th July as a 'speculative developers' charter'.

Despite a promise to 'build attractive and better-designed homes in areas where they are needed', CPRE points out that far from fulfilling this promise, the NPPF will continue to favour the delivery of any development, rather than development that meets communities' needs, respects the environment, and adheres to policies in the NPPF other than those which deal with housing delivery.

Matt Thomson, Head of Planning at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: 'Rather than delivering "what communities want" as it claims to promise, the new planning rulebook and its new "housing delivery test" will result in almost all local plans becoming out of date within two years. It is a speculative developers' charter and will lead to the death of the plan-led system.

He also said: 'Without a local plan, councils and communities have little control over the location and type of developments that take place. This results in the wrong developments in the wrong places - local communities' needs are ignored and valued countryside destroyed for no good reason.'

CPRE's key concern is the new 'housing delivery test' - these annual tests start in November 2018. It says the NPPF continues to encourage councils to set high targets for housing delivery and this new policy has been produced to enforce this delivery. However, the 'housing delivery test' will penalise councils when house builders fail to deliver homes in their areas by removing local control over planning decisions, CPRE maintains, and that this in turn will leave councils and the countryside open to speculative development.

CPRE have a number of other concerns, including: a failure to provide an effective brownfield first policy, the continuing failure to support provision of affordable housing in rural areas, the discouragement of neighbourhood planning because of uncertainty over the validity of plans older than two years, and continued implicit support for hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and gas, despite massive public opposition and little evidence of need.

Despite those criticisms of the revised NPPF, CPRE were pleased to see that the Government had taken some positive actions. They include:

  • National Parks and AONBs reinstated as having the 'highest status of protection'
  • maintaining Green Belt protections (but see* below) and an improved definition 'exceptional circumstances' for releasing land from Green Belts
  • improved clarity and focus for policies on making better use of land
  • clearer guidance for viability assessment and that price paid for land should never be a justification for viability revisions
  • 'Social housing' being reinstated in the definition of affordable housing.

   *Disappointingly but perhaps unsurprisingly the 5 purposes of the Green Belt remain unchanged despite SEG's submission to the NPPF consultation seeking a 6th purpose "to provide ecosystem, i.e. natural capital, support to farmland and the wider natural environment".

Furthermore, like CPRE, SEG is not convinced that Green Belt protection has been sufficiently enhanced in the revised NPPF to deter developers from continuing to target profitable Green Belt and other green field sites rather than brown field sites outside the Green Belt that also meet genuine housing need rather than demand.

SEG also notes that the NPPF refers in several chapters to economic, social and then environmental objectives/priorities, in that order. It is apparent that Government continues to fail to see the very basic concept for planning policy that the economy is subordinate to the environment, i.e. for the economy to work it needs a healthy environment and not vice-versa.

But at least the revised NPPF retains the policy of presumption in favour of sustainable development - we just need land-use planners and the Government itself to grasp a genuine understanding of what sustainable development really means (if only it was that easy!).

You can see the revised NPPF from this link (pdf on external HMG website) and for future reference there is also a link on our Green Belt page.

July 2018

Return to top of page


Government trying to make fracking easier without your consent as Brexit diverts attention

Whilst Brexit consumes much Government and media attention away from other important issues, two Government 14-week consultations that opened on 19 July are attempting to streamline the planning process for fracking and reduce the ability of local communities to influence fracking applications.

This disregard for the widespread opposition from the general population to fracking and the destruction of the natural environment brings to mind US photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams who once said

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment".

The first consultation looks at proposals for whether non-hydraulic exploratory drilling should be treated as 'permitted development' - a planning tool that is normally intended where developments would have no unreasonable local impact. This would mean fracking proposals would be scrutinised less and the views of local communities ignored.

The second consultation proposes to designate fracking as a 'Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project'. If that is approved, fracking proposals would go through a national planning process that would severely reduce local control. Again, it would take away local councils' decision-making powers and ability to reflect their communities' wishes - the very communities that have to live with the consequences of such unnecessary damage and upheaval to their local environment.

Daniel Carey-Dawes, Senior Infrastructure Campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said: "It's as if the government doesn't realise the scale of the opposition. If they press ahead with these proposals, the protests, outrage and anger from local people across the country will undoubtedly intensify. These proposals would be a complete perversion of the planning system and trample over the rights of local communities - all to fast-track an industry bringing environmental risks that would massively outweigh any suggested 'benefit' to our energy security."

Campaign group 38 Degrees have a petition against these proposals at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/don-t-fast-track-fracking. It had over 149,000 signatures on 20th July!

38 Degrees state on their petition web page: "These proposals could see scores of new drilling sites appear over the next couple of years in the English countryside - with the risk of untold environmental, landscape and climate impact."

Background information about fracking can be found on our fracking page.

July 2018

Return to top of page


The big butterfly count (20 July to 12 August)

photographphotographphotograph
Speckled Wood, Comma 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 60,000 people took part in 2017, submitting 62,500 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK.

This year's big butterfly count is from 20 July to 12 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

Return to top of page


Water bottle filling point & drinking fountain at Bristol Airport

Members will be aware of our wish to help reduce plastic waste and therefore encourage the use of re-fillable rather than single use water bottles for drinking water on the go.

A SEG member returning from holiday recently has advised us that when flying from Bristol Airport if you take an empty water bottle through security there is a water bottle filling point in the airport. It is just along the walkway to Gates 7-16 on the left hand side. The information desk can give directions if you forget where it is.

Map of location in airport: link to Bristol Airport mezzanine map.

July 2018

Return to top of page


Fines for littering and fly-tipping increase in B&NES

Lazy people who drop litter, fly-tip or dump their household rubbish by public bins in Bath and North East Somerset will face tough new fines when caught. From Tuesday July 17th anyone caught dropping litter, including cigarette ends, will be handed a 150 Fixed Penalty Notice.

Also anyone caught fly-tipping in the area, or disposing of bags of household or business rubbish next to public bins, will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Fine up to 400 or, on summary conviction, a fine of up to 50,000.

Councillor Bob Goodman, Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods, said: "Our message could not be clearer - we are watching and when we catch you dropping litter you will get a Fixed Penalty Fine of 150. If you are caught fly-tipping then it is 400 and if you fail to pay that then you could end up with a court fine of up to 50,000. It really isn't difficult to find a bin and dispose of your litter and if the bin is full then take your rubbish home and recycle it or put it in the general waste. Bath and North East Somerset is a beautiful place and we want residents and visitors to make sure it isn't spoiled by fly-tipped rubbish and litter."

The law changed from 1 April to allow all enforcement agencies to fine up to the maximum which is 150 for littering and 400 for fly-tipping. And the law has also changed so that the registered keeper of a vehicle can now be fined for throwing litter. This means it is the owner's responsibility to make sure they and their passengers don't throw litter out of their vehicle (a major UK problem, not just in Saltford). If a bin is full please report it to B&NES by calling 01225 394041 and quote the bin location number or report it via the web: www.bathnes.gov.uk/reportit.

SEG is pleased to see this tougher approach to the lazy, selfish and anti-social behaviour of littering. Quite apart from spoiling the appearance of our village and countryside, we need to prevent plastic entering our natural environment. Over time plastic waste doesn't biodegrade but breaks down into micro-particles and never goes away. These small bits of plastic end up in the guts of animals or wash up on shorelines, where humans are most likely to come into direct contact with the toxins. Plastic is entering our food chain through the sea life that we eat. The breaking down of plastic into toxins that are then ingested by fish and other ocean species sends toxins up the food chain, ending up on your dinner plate.

Rather than just moaning about litter and the thoughtless people who drop it, if everyone could remove and put in their own bins the litter that appears on or near the boundary of their homes together we can keep Saltford relatively clean and litter-free. And if you really want to help keep our village clean, consider joining Saltford Wombles for the monthly litter-picks and/or adopt your street to help keep it clear of litter. See our regular Saltford Wombles news items for further details.

July 2018

Return to top of page


Saltford Upcycling Craft Group to make "Ecobricks", July 19th

This month we will be learning all about Ecobricks!

1. What is an Ecobrick?

It is a plastic bottle filled with any non recyclable plastic and used to build with. We can make benches, planters, walls, shelters etc.... take a look at www.ecobricks.org for more information.

2. Why make an Ecobrick?

We will be teaming up with a project led by local scout groups to reduce the surface area of waste plastic dramatically - it is incredible how much will fit into a bottle! I personally have halved the waste I put in my wheelie bin - 1 black bag per fortnight now (Tina)!

Can you imagine that spread all over the ground or burnt and the amount of CO2 released from it?! We will be containing it and preventing it from degrading and giving off gasses into the biosphere then using it as a building material. Seems odd I know but just go with it and you will be hooked!

3. Please bring a 500ml plastic drink bottle and top - clean and dry and a wooden kitchen spoon (to tamp down bottle filler) plus any of the listed items below, the more the better!

IMPORTANT, EVERYTHING MUST BE CLEAN AND DRY

This is Upcycling at its best. Look us up on Facebook - Saltford's Make it Magic Group.

Everyone is welcome, just turn up, we are looking forward to seeing you.

Please feel free to ring Frances Eggbeer on 07789--528834 if you would like some more information.

Tina and Frances
Signs of Saltford - through works entrance
559 Bath Road, Saltford

ECOBRICK FILLERS

Must all be CLEAN and DRY. Don't worry about paper labels. Any stretchy plastic wrapping or bags can be recycled at the supermarket.

Biscuit wrappers
Black plastic trays (cut up small)
Bottle label wraps (plastic)
Bread bags
Bubble wrap (popped first)
Carrier bags
Case packing (i.e. clear stuff around beans, cans of coke, bottles of water, cartons of juice)
Cereal packets
Cellophane bags
Chocolate/cereal bar wrappers
Cling Film
Crisp & snack packets
Cups - plastic
Cutlery - plastic
Document packets from parcels
Drink and yoghurt pouches
Flower bouquet wraps
Frozen veg/chips/fruit packets
Fruit and meat tub tops
Fruit and Onion nets
Gravy Granules (LID ONLY)
Ice lolly/cream wrappers
Magazine bags
Multi pack wrapping (crisps, biscuits, yoghurts etc)
Packing tape
Peanut/Nut packets
Pens
Polythene bags
Polystyrene - cut up small
Popcorn packets
Postal bags
Pringles tube (LID ONLY)
Silica gel packets
Smartie tube (LID ONLY)
Straws - plastic syringes
Take away coffee cup LID ONLY
Tea bag foil
Tetrapacks
Toothbrushes - plastic
Wrapping paper (plastic foil type)
Yoghurt pots (if you cant recycle them)
Yoghurt tops (plastic) supermarket with carrier bags

July 2018

Return to top of page


Support Saltford Community Library and Post Office when shopping at Waitrose in July

image

Waitrose has kindly allowed Saltford Community Library and Post Office to participate in their 'Community Matters' (Green Token Scheme) during July, and the box is now in place.The library and new Post Office will undoubtedly save considerable car mileage. When shopping at Waitrose in Keynsham during July please give this project your support by taking some green tokens from the check out server and put them in the appropriate box. If they forget to offer you a token simply ask for some.

Note: Saltford Library will transfer to community ownership on Monday 16 July and will be run by volunteers. The community library will open to the public on Tuesday 17 July at 10am and will initially be open for the same hours as previously i.e. all day Tuesdays and Thursdays and the morning on Saturdays, but will open each day once the Post Office reopens in the same building. Volunteers will be offering full library services on each day that it is open and the books will continue to be provided and refreshed by B&NES Library Service. B&NES Library Service are also providing training to the volunteers. As well as the library reopening, 2 PCs will be available for community use together with a printer and a free wifi hot spot will be added. Then from Tuesday 31 July the Library will start to stock and sell a wide range of greeting cards and stationary to help fund this community enterprise. Meanwhile, SCA continues to progress plans for the reopening of Post Office.

July 2018

Return to top of page


#Refill your water bottle at the Jolly Sailor

image
Saltford's Jolly Sailor provides free drinking water refills.

We are delighted to report that another Saltford venue, the Jolly Sailor pub (Mead Lane BS31 3ER), is now a Refill station for free tap water. Refill is a national, practical tap water campaign that aims to make refilling your bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by introducing refill points on every street.

According to the UK Charity WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) in the UK we use a staggering 36 million plastic bottles every day, that's 13 billion a year and enough to go around the world 31 times, but we recycle only 58% of them.

There are a rapidly growing number of Refill points across the UK. For more information about the scheme including how to download the app which helps you find the Refill Stations and collect reward points on each refill visit www.refill.org.uk.

Saltford Hall was our first Refill station in Saltford - see earlier news item.

July 2018

Return to top of page


#Refill your water bottle at the Bird in Hand

image
Saltford's Bird in Hand provides free drinking water refills.

We are delighted to report that the Bird in Hand pub (High Street, Saltford BS31 3EJ) is now a Refill station for free tap water. Refill is a national, practical tap water campaign that aims to make refilling your bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by introducing refill points on every street.

According to the UK Charity WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) in the UK we use a staggering 36 million plastic bottles every day, that's 13 billion a year and enough to go around the world 31 times, but we recycle only 58% of them.

There are a rapidly growing number of Refill points across the UK. For more information about the scheme including how to download the app which helps you find the Refill Stations and collect reward points on each refill visit www.refill.org.uk.

Saltford Hall was our first Refill station in Saltford - see previous news item.

July 2018

Return to top of page


Saltford gets its first #refill station: Refill your water bottle & avoid plastic waste

image
Saltford Hall generates clean solar electricity
and provides free drinking water refills!

Refill is a national, practical tap water campaign that aims to make refilling your bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by introducing refill points on every street. Saltford Hall in Wedmore Road (BS31 3BY), open during the daytime and on most early evenings, is Saltford's first venue to be registered as a Refill station and promoting the Refill scheme by registering with the Refill app. Anyone can download the Refill app (Google Play or the Apple App Store - via www.refill.org.uk) which helps you find the Refill Stations and collect reward points every time you refill.

According to the UK Charity WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) in the UK we use a staggering 36 million plastic bottles every day, that's 13 billion a year and enough to go around the world 31 times, but we recycle only 58% of them.

There are a rapidly growing number of Refill points across the UK. For more information about the scheme including how to download the app visit www.refill.org.uk.

SEG congratulates Saltford Community Association on registering Saltford Hall as a Refill station and is hoping more venues in Saltford will join the scheme to help us cut down plastic waste arising from single use plastics that is such a blight on our environment and a major threat to wildlife.

B&NES Council is supporting the Refill scheme (#RefillBath) and its caf at the One Stop shop in Lewis House, in Manvers Street, was the first council venue to be added as a refill station.

July 2018

Return to top of page


Saltford Wombles: Summer Update

Sunday 22 July Litter Pick combined with Canoe Club River Clean

The next litter pick will be combined with the annual Canoe Club River Clean. The specifics of times and meeting places are being worked out but if you are interested in attending please email Jo at saltfordwombles@gmail.com.

August: No formal monthly Litter Pick

There will not be a formal litter pick this month but please keep up the good work on your streets.

Autumn Season

Monthly litter picks will resume in September. The monthly litter picks will be on the last Sunday of each month from 2-4 pm. Meeting places will vary depending on the hot spot area but will be posted here on the SEG website beforehand. The monthly pick dates are: 30 Sept; 28 Oct; and 25 Nov. We will announce further details in due course.

If anyone would like to know more about joining us, whether to adopt your street or the monthly meets, please contact Jo at the following email address: saltfordwombles@gmail.com.

June 2018

Return to top of page


Saltford's Green Belt: B&NES Local Plan & HELAA Update

image

Here we give an update on the forthcoming B&NES Local Plan that could have a significant impact on Saltford's Green Belt.

BACKGROUND

Through the plan-making process B&NES is required by government to consider all 'reasonable alternatives' in meeting housing needs. The primary purpose of the Local Plan 2016-2036 is to identify and allocate sites to meet the housing and economic development requirements established by the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP).

The B&NES Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) review feeds into the Local Plan process. Following the call for sites by B&NES in early 2017, HELAA will identify which of those sites would fit with being allocated for housing according to B&NES Council's assessment.

The B&NES website, Housing Land Supply page, lists and maps 9 sites on Saltford's Green Belt that have been submitted by developers/land owners. At this stage Saltford Parish Council (SPC) is preparing its response to B&NES on those 9 sites; SPC will be submitting its site assessment response in July. SEG members will be aware that SPC shares SEG's policy to protect from development the Green Belt surrounding Saltford.

It is important to recognise that although 9 sites have been put forward by developers/landowners in response to the HELAA call for sites it does not follow that B&NES Council will accept all, some or any of those as suitable sites for development, but it has to assess them.

TIMINGS

In autumn 2018 the draft HELAA and the draft Local Plan options document will go public and then in spring/summer 2019 the draft Local Plan is scheduled to go public for consultation. At that stage and following consideration of comments on the options document B&NES Council will set out its preferred strategy/distribution for development and identify sites for proposed allocation.

From autumn 2018 respondents (including the general public but developers also) when making comments on the Local Plan options document will be able to refer to the draft HELAA. That is why SPC's prior response to the forthcoming draft HELAA response is an important stage in the process before the draft HELAA is published.

SEG RESPONSE

This has brought out into the open the clear intention of developers to try and build on Saltford's Green Belt, regardless of the negative implications for the local community and local ecology; it is difficult to think of anywhere more unsuitable and inappropriate for new housing in B&NES. However it is important to recognise that B&NES Council has to be seen by government to transparently test and consult on alternatives - that is the purpose of the Local Plan options document in order to inform the preferred approach in the draft Local Plan.

Because the Local Plan sets land allocations for housing until 2036, Saltford as a community needs to make a robust and appropriate response if it is to protect the Green Belt that surrounds our village. SEG takes the sustainable development view that there are no genuine 'exceptional circumstances' that could support a case for building on Saltford's Green Belt when taking account of ecological, environmental, transport, economic, social and employment factors. It is our strong wish that sites in Saltford's Green Belt are not identified for potential development in the draft Local Plan.

Our membership survey in February 2018 revealed that of SEG's activities, protection of the Green Belt interested our members the most. We hope therefore that members will understand why responding to consultations etc. on the Local Plan and other lobbying activity that goes on behind the scenes will be a priority for SEG in the coming months.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

If you want to help SEG defend the Green Belt at this important stage in the local strategic planning process do re-visit our website periodically, watch out for SEG emails to members and also SEG announcements on our Facebook page (follow us there if you are on Facebook). If you live, work or have a stake in Saltford and are not yet a member see our Contact section for how to join.

June 2018

Return to top of page


'Our Power' clean energy scheme launched in B&NES

Two new energy tariffs were launched in June offering a choice of green and affordable deals by supplier Our Power supported by B&NES Council and Bath & West Community Energy (a not-for-profit community business set up in 2010 to deliver clean local energy, community owned for the common good).

The new scheme, called 'Our Power In B&NES', offers locally-generated renewable energy to residents through a collaboration with not-for-profit energy supplier Our Power and local community business Bath & West Community Energy.

The 'Our Local Green Energy' tariff will provide 100% renewable electricity as part of a dual fuel offer with gas. Electricity will be locally sourced and community owned wherever possible, using green energy from Bath & North East Somerset and the surrounding area. This will enable residents to buy from local community owned solar energy arrays in B&NES for the first time.

The scheme will also include the 'Our Fairer Energy' tariff from Our Power, which is currently one of the cheapest tariffs available on the market for dual fuel pre-payment meter customers. Around 11,000 households in B&NES (14%) pay for energy by pre-payment meter.

B&NES Council is endorsing this scheme because it contributes to Council objectives of tackling fuel poverty and supporting renewable energy in the district. Our Power was one of the first not-for-profit energy suppliers in the UK, and was founded by housing associations, community organisations and local authorities with the aim of making energy fairer and greener.

The Our Power In B&NES scheme has a long term vision to address a number of B&NES Council priorities including increasing local renewable energy generation, supporting local economic development and tackling fuel poverty. The scheme creates a platform for future innovation to support these objectives and to help the district transition to a low carbon economy with a smart, low carbon electricity infrastructure.

Residents from Bath and North East Somerset can sign up at https://our-power.co.uk/bathnes or by calling Our Power on 0808 189 3085.

June 2018

Return to top of page


Eastover Farm - Open Garden 1st July in aid of Citizens Advice

image

The 4 acres of rural-gardens including the wildflower meadow and woodland at Eastover Farm (Manor Road, Saltford, BS31 3AF) will be open for you to walk around and enjoy on Sunday 1st July from 1.30pm until 6pm.

Entry will be 2 per person with Tea and Cakes available to purchase and onsite parking available. The proceeds will support your local Citizens Advice Charity - last year Citizens Advice BANES supported over 8000 clients, including some 800 in Saltford/Keynsham, to secure income gains from benefits etc. of over 5million and helped them deal with recovering from debt, homelessness, employment, family issues and so much more.

Come along for an enjoyable afternoon out and help ensure this vital work continues. The garden has been developed over several years by Ray and Penny Buchanan to be wildlife-friendly and feature mainly trees, flowers and shrubs that are native to this part of Somerset.

DIRECTIONS for Eastover Farm: Turn right at the top of Grange Road, Saltford into the lane (Manor Road) and the entrance to Eastover Farm (BS31 3AF) can be found after about 300 yards straight ahead after the first sharp bend. Parking will be available for a limited number of cars in the field behind Eastover Farm (NOT up the driveway which will be for pedestrian access only).

June 2018 (first published May 2018)

Return to top of page


Saltford Wombles: Litter Pick Sunday 24 June

image

Our next monthly litter pick is on Sunday 24 June, 2.30-4.30pm. The meeting point will be The Bird In Hand car park as the focus for our litter pick will be the riverside paths and The Shallows.

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

If you would like to take part, know more about joining or how to adopt your street please contact Jo at the following email address: saltfordwombles@gmail.com.

June 2018

Return to top of page


Website skills wanted!

photograph

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.

June 2018

Return to top of page


21st June is #OurCleanAirDay

photograph

21st June is CLEAN AIR DAY when you can pledge to do something to help reduce air pollution. It might be:

  • Leave the car at home
  • Walk my children to school
  • Walk/cycle to school
  • Use public transport

You can share your plans on social medie using the #OurCleanAirDay tag and if you can tag B&NES Council with @bathnes as well they will know what is going on in our area. More information about Clean Air Day including ideas, tips and resources at www.cleanairday.org.uk/.

June 2018

Return to top of page


Saltford Parish Council also objects to premature planning application for another 200 houses between Keynsham and Saltford

image

We reported in April that on 30th March SEG submitted a strong objection to B&NES Council concerning planning application 18/01509/OUT for 200 houses etc. on Green Belt land safeguarded in the B&NES Core Strategy, i.e. land "safeguarded to meet longer term development needs".

At its 5th June meeting Saltford Parish Council also agreed to submit an objection as follows:-

"Saltford Parish Council objects to this proposed development and agrees with the fundamentally important objection from the Senior Highways Development Control Engineer at B&NES Council who made it clear that 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. Many of the 330+ objections submitted shared that concern and we consider that the existing road infrastructure will struggle to cope with other new housing already planned for East Keynsham and that the local road network will be even more seriously congested by this proposal should it be allowed to proceed."

"We also draw to your attention your Senior Highways Development Control Engineer's statement that the proposal is contrary to Policies KE3b (safeguarded land) and ST7 (traffic management proposals) of the B&NES Placemaking Plan, and contrary to paragraph 32 (transport statement/assessment support for significant developments) of the National Planning Policy Framework. As this is Green Belt land "safeguarded to meet longer term development needs" in the B&NES Core Strategy it should only be considered for development after the other developments identified in the Core Strategy have been completed, not before. This would therefore be after infrastructure including transport, education provision and other local services is already in place and found to be coping with existing and new demands placed on it. Additionally only if a genuine need (not demand) for additional new housing remains after the other Core Strategy developments have been completed should any consideration for development of this site be considered."

The deadline for commenting was 8 May 2018 but as the Parish Council only meets monthly and was consulted by B&NES too late for the May meeting it was given an extension. The B&NES target decision date is 24th August (was previously 5th then 27th July) 2018.

June 2018

Return to top of page


More and older news stories from SEG

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

image


Current areas of local volunteer assistance sought by SEG

image  image  image

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:-

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

Return to top of page


Want to get more involved with SEG?

photograph

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

Return to top of page




Contact SEG

photograph


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

Saltford Station Campaign: Chris Warren cherokee1883@live.com

Saltford Fairtrade Group: saltfordfairtrade@hotmail.co.uk

Saltford Wombles: Joanne Pike saltfordwombles@gmail.com

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

* EDITORIAL POLICY INCLUDING SEO 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. 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.
 


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

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

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


image

button

For news archive click here:-

image + link

image + link

Saltford Heritage Centre's next scheduled public opening is during the B&NES "Heritage Open Days" on Sunday 16th September 2018 from 2.30 - 4.30pm. 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)


logo + link
is generously supported by:
(click on logos for link to sponsor)


logo + link
Tel: 01225 873203


logo + link
Tel: 01225 874037


logo + link
Tel: 0117 944 4949


logo + link
Tel: 01225 872001


logo + link
Tel: 01225 873335


















"Think global, act local"