Three minutes to save 114 trees: guest blog from Russell Miller on the St Ann's Hospital application

What would you say if you only had 3 minutes to save 114 mature trees? The text below is a good start which Russell Miller relayed to the planning committee last week. Whilst councillors weren't listening, the evidenced based commentary will still be here when the natural environment and our children's future is firmly cemented under concrete. He attests: - 'However you spin it the fact is this development is bad for climate change, bad for wildlife, bad for air quality and increases car dependency. It fails local strategic planning policy objectives on Climate Change, Biodiversity, Air Quality, Walking and Cycling, Trees, as well as the GLA London Plan and Environment Strategy. 1. St Ann’s has a remarkable collection of trees, in an area of currently low (18.7%) canopy cover. This proposal’s will result in ‘the loss of 114 trees, 30 tree groups and 260.5m hedgerow’ –representing nearly a hectar

Another greenfield bites the dust: with loss of hedgerow containing oak standards, Hook.

The Hedgerow Regs. are complicated. To qualify a hedge must be >30 years old, be longer than 20m, abutt another hedge and surround open land. The Regs. could  offer greater protection for a habitat and maintain ecological function for a group of veteran oak trees than say, a TPO order. They are in essence, very different: - the latter is an amenity designation; and the other serves to protect a habitat. A dynamic system such as a hedgerow, constantly regenerating itself, can be many hundreds of years old and a good place to start to identify them, is on old maps. This is a section from an old map of the area from 1842, the red line indicates the same oaks that can be seen in the photo above (taken in 2021). The vegetation was managed grading the habitat from the veteran oak trees down to the scrub layer and was an aesthetically beautiful natural asset in our suburbs.  As far as I am aware, the council began investigating the status of the oaks ~ decade ago when a developer bought up

Thames Young Mariners, Riverside Drive, TW10 7RX Planning application 22/3139/FUL

  Application 22/3139/FUL During  April this year, we visited the expo at the Thames Young Mariners who were expounding their vision for expansion..... We fed back our views and now we are trying to match this to a planning application that has just been submitted. Demolition of existing buildings and construction of replacement buildings with associated residential accommodation, changing block, replacement staff accommodation and outdoor activity equipment including high ropes, climbing wall, coasteering course, supporting pontoons with associated hard and soft landscaping and parking. History For eighteen years, I was the volunteer wildlife ranger on Ham Lands, which crossed over into the Mariners site. Back in the day, it was considered a 'reservoir' for wildlife, especially for slow worms & badgers as well as a nesting site for kingfishers and a large stand of bee orchids. I used to monitor - amongst other things - the birds and butterflies - and a file was kept in the

Consultation on the reduction of pavement herbicide treatment

  The current 'weed survey' at seeks your views on the reduction of herbicide spraying from two to one annually. Anyone with a love of plants, birds and insects will be enjoying the greening of the urban environment. There are many obvious benefits such as the plant above, which is Jersey Cudweed Gnaphalium luteoalbum. This is a protected species on Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside act, a critically endangered plant but becoming more and more common in the London boroughs. Often appearing on development sites, as here on the Cambridge Road Estate (CRE). Up until recently the plant had to undergo translocation but it is likely it will be removed from Schedule 8 before too long. Another advantage of the suffusion in pavement plants is the amount of seed produced  for birds such as house sparrows. Large stands of persicaria's and knotgrasses particularly are great for birds. Lining the route from my house to Norbiton station, a water bent gra

To Save A Sacred Grove: fighting the expansion of Luton Airport, guest blogger Dr. Simon Leadbeater @OurSacredGrove

Climate change is a problem because it drives extinction. What some of us forget even acknowledging this truth, is that climate change is thereby a source of fathomless suffering.......... Sentiments in Dr. Leadbeater's planning statement to the Luton Airport Inquiry (27.9.22)  have become a universal language amongst those concerned about our land and its use. He asks the question, 'how can our woodland possibly survive in a rapidly and radically changing world'? This resonates in the night sweats regarding our own local plots, whether it be the hedgehogs on the allotment, the wax caps in the cemetery, or the bats flying along the river. His introduction and statement are reproduced below and Margo is pictured above. All photos are from Simon and Toni's Sacred Grove.   He begins, 'I am going to speak to rather than read from my submitted statement (Ref. IP-06). I am taking this approach in order to contextualise, to personalise, based on the off-grid life my wif