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Author Topic: Election Time - Who is for Wildlife?  (Read 958 times)
Cookham Webmaster
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« on: April 22, 2019, 12:12:30 PM »

With the Council elections on 2nd May we have the chance to gain support for policies that will support our local wildlife and biodiversity.  The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) is running a campaign to invite candidates to 'vote for nature'.  It's not party political and at WildCookham we believe it's a good way to get our point across and gain support for nature-friendly policies from the new Borough Council.

The campaign asks each candidate to commit to a pledge that 'I believe we all need nature and I pledge to support the development of a Local Nature Recovery Map for my local authority and the embedding of it into local plans for this area.'

You can see details of the campaign on the BBOWT website, where you will also see which candidates have signed up to the pledge.  Here at WildCookham we are inviting you to contact your local candidates to ask them to sign the pledge.  The BBOWT website has full details of the RBWM candidates: click here to see them.

To achieve many of the things we'd like to see in Cookham we shall need the support of our local councillors.  We'll all have our own views on which candidates we'd like to support but this can be one of the factors you consider.

From the WildCookham committee 
 
 
   
Let's elect councillors who have committed to supporting the natural world and biodiversity as a key objective of their time in office. 
 
 
 
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Watchman
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2019, 02:52:09 PM »

Quote
Let's elect councillors who have committed to supporting the natural world and biodiversity as a key objective of their time in office


Errrr… with all due respect, whilst I agree that "biodiversity and supporting the natural world" are worthy causes,
surely the humans that habit this borough ought to be regarded as having the priority of elected councillors' time,
rather than the natural world, etc.,  claiming the "key objective of said councillors time in office" !!

Let's get real here folks ... there's a lot that needs doing in this borough (after several years of dictatorial mismanagement)
that takes priority over "the natural world"!
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Paris
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 05:47:12 PM »

Hmm, not so sure about that watchman.  It's partly thanks to bad planning decisions that wildlife is in need; think of the swallows denied their nests at Woodlands along with the bats too, the critters affected by the habitat clearance by waterways people before the ecology survey was done for the impact assessment with damage still being done along Strande water so they can make sure they meet the flow required by the EA and the constant threat of building on the greenbelt.  Quite honestly, someone needs to say stop and take a holistic view of the damage being done. not just make a pledge in order to win votes.
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TaylorMadeLiveries
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 10:09:26 PM »

Strand Water is privately owned. I have been working with various wildlife and ecology organisations to develop a long term plan for that section.

The advice to date (from EA) is that the water flow into the Strand 'pond' is too low to support a channel of that size. I have been advised to allow the wetland growth along the northern sections and not remove too many obstructions downstream.

The long term plan for Strand Water is to reintroduce water voles. There are many steps along the path to this goal but I am trying to tick off the list, albeit slowly :-). The next step you might notice is the Mink raft, to establish presence in that area.

I am happy to discuss anything concerning wildlife and our section of the waterway. Please PM or even start a new thread if you'd like to open a discussion.

The countryside is a shared space and I believe there is a way to work together.

Mark
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Watchman
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2019, 10:10:07 PM »

My point is let's not prioritise wildlife over human life.

I'd rather see homeless people housed/taken care of before sorting out the critters affected by habitat clearance.

REAL affordable house building increased so that the lesser well off families have a roof over their head - before swallows nests are restored.

I'm not saying for one moment that the wildlife's lot is ignored … just prioritising the newly elected councillors commitments.
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Paris
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 10:38:25 AM »

Mark, I was talking about damage done in maidenhead before work started on the waterway.  The modelling for the flow of water was exactly as you say back then even but still waterways people are hacking away at parts of Strande water that aren't under your protection.  Thank goodness you did have the foresight to purchase when you did 😊

Watchman, it's the humans first attitude that has got the planet in the mess it is in now.  Perhaps the millions of public money that were spent on the waterway should have been spent on social care, then everyone would have been/be happier - wildlife and humans?  Local changes, can have global impacts; no nest sites for example will eventually mean no swallows and our Council are not the only ones allowing old buildings to be knocked down.

Let's also not forget battlemead common as it is to be known, over a million of public money invested with no public consultation when a well publicised lack of funding was blamed for a rise in Council tax.  Not only that, but by building a new car park, before any ecology surveys have been completed (it takes longer than one quick look round and a desk study of what might be there) in prime breeding season for many species, un-quantifiable damage is being done to what we are told is going to be a wildlife full public space.  
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 11:12:38 AM by Paris » Logged
Birdman
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2019, 09:12:42 PM »

No-one can deny we have a terrible problem in this country creating affordable housing but lets be honest - not a lot of it is going to find its way into the Cookhams. But what we do have (though in decreasing amounts) is the makings of a healthy natural history area which can bring joy to residents and visitors alike - IF WE PROTECT IT.

I recall when the very first Cookham Local Plan (12 years ago) was being devised and at a public presentation in Pinder Hall,when all the 6 or 7 committees working on the topics allocated made their progress reports (Road, schools, housing, businesses etc) I asked the audience why it was they came to Cookham in the first place, or had stayed here for generations etc. Every one of numerous responses linked their desire to live here to the songs of birds, the scenery and wildlife, the sounds of nature and the prospect of birds, bees, badgers and butterflies on local walks. (as a result, a last-minute addition of an envronment team was added to the working groups!) Having monitored much of these wonders of nature for many years, I know that many of these creatures are in decline and it comes down to how we use our land and to what extent (if at all) this vital aspect of rural life is considered in planning and design decisions.

Mark is right: as a relative new-comer his priorities have been to respect the natural features around his 'patch' which should be applauded and collectively we need to maximise the wildlife value of every patch of land that is not going to feature in development plans. If we want the next generation to thank us for leaving them a natural heritage we need to start ramping up the importance of this subject in every decision we make in the next few years concerning our precious surroundings. We need to start improving our hedgerows, looking for every opportunity for creating wildflower strips and leaving some quiet areas for more easily-disturbed creatures to thrive in. 
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