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The review of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) 2020

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    The SINC review has at last been released for public consumption and the results do not make for enjoyable reading. Four large  sites are 'at risk' of de-listing and all bar one are council owned.  The site that is privately owned - Seething Wells - has been defended from development by the council at no less than three public inquiries - on account of it being Metropolitan Open Land - but the council have not defended its descent into a poisonous desert.The Review states that there are 'anecdotal records of Himalayan balsam at the site'. This appears to be hearsay as it is not on the list of plants held by the London Biological Records Centre (GIGL). Unfotunately it is the reason that the Environment Agency issued a permit to spray glyphosate at the site without any evidence of it existing. The Review also fails to mention Crassula helmsi - a notifiable weed- at the ponds at Alexandra Milenium Green and Jubilee meadows. So there are important  species that  have be

Public Space Protection Orders

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  Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) are intended to deal with nuisance or anti-social behaviour in a particular area that is detrimental to the local community's quality of life. Just before Xmas I was walking along the towpath by Ham Lands and saw someone sawing branches off a tree I know to be a native black poplar and one of only ~7,000 in the country. I thought twice about challenging that person, but later contacted Richmond council who said,  'We have a PSPO order for that', and 'We can even emphasise the point about dead/standing/fallen/living wood being protected - especially native black poplar as it shouldn't be used for firewood - by putting additional signage up to remind people'.  Richmond Council have an eleven page document on PSPO orders ranging from forbidding picking or damaging plants and trees to feeding animals and causing nuisance through attracting vermin, ride a horse in a restricted area; ride a bike skateboard, motorbike etc.

Coombe wood lawn tennis 20/03258/FUL

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  Another potentially damaging application affecting wildlife corridors, trees and the natural environment. This objection has been written by a colleague. There has been no Ecological Assessment submitted with the application and it is not made clear which trees will be lost. I have added photos of the archaeological interest referred to including the watercourse not mentioned in the application. A. Health and Safety Key reasons claimed for the proposed path are safety and security for pedestrian access, yet:- i) the proposed path does not follow the entire length of the route and pedestrians and vehicles will still share some of the route even after the works, so the path does not appear to fully separate pedestrians   ii) the proposed front entrance to the path (Appendix 2) appears far less safe than using the current road - the proposal routes the path immediately behind the bin store and a 2m hedge (!) so that pedestrians entering and exiting would disappear from view