Redlands development – urgent action!

The proposed Redlands Park development in Highworth has recently had more revised plans submitted by the developer. We only have until May 1st 2020 to respond to those. Very little time is being allocated by SBC for parties to respond to planning revisions. We have drawn up a template letter (further down the page) that you are welcome to use. Please take and share this urgent action. We are objecting to the proposed plans for the following reasons: Removal of trees and other greenery. Possible damage to mature tree roots. Existing trees may be chopped back. Most houses are not suitable to have solar panels. There are too many houses / the density of housing is too high. Energy efficiency not up to required standards. Lack of sunlight for ‘affordable’ housing. The developer would like to develop further on adjoining land once access is gained through the proposed Redlands development.[…]

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Tree planting / conservation activities *updated 6th March’ 2020

*Penhill tree planting is now confirmed. Trees play a vital role in the health of our planet, providing habitat, allowing us to breath, storing carbon dioxide, preventing flooding… SCAN support Friends of the Earth campaigns to double the amount of tree cover in each region of the UK, and to make our towns and cities ten times greener. The UK is the second least wooded country in Europe (after Ireland). In Swindon, we need to create more green spaces. We currently have 8% tree cover. The more urban areas of Swindon fare worse. This compares to Bath 20%, Salisbury 19.8%, Newbury 22%, Abingdon 16.3%, Oxford 21.4%, Gloucester 13.6%, Cheltenham 12.8%, Bristol 18.6%. SBC has introduced a 30% target but it is difficult to see how that will be achieved as trees continue to be cut down for housing developments. There are tree planting and other conservation activities planned around Swindon.[…]

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Redlands – revised plans ignore Tree Protection Orders and proper planning procedures

See here for background on the proposed Redlands development. SBC agreed in January 2020’s full council meeting to a target of 30% tree coverage, up from the current 8%. How can this be achieved if we continue to fell trees for housing developments? Trees are a home for wildlife,they release oxygen and use carbon dioxide. They can also prevent erosion and flooding. Removing trees and bushes contributes to climate change and loss of biodiversity, causing environmental collapse. Sharing the housing we have, developing on brownfield sites and housing regeneration are better options. Over 70 trees with Tree Protection Orders in place will be felled if full permission is granted for the revised proposals for the Redlands development. It begs the question, what good are Tree Protection Orders if they can be ignored? Planting new trees is beneficial but will take many years to provide the same benefits as mature trees,[…]

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Toxic chemicals in bamboo food and drink containers

We are sorry to have to share this information. Many people have made the effort to switch to reusable food and drinks containers made of bamboo. This is forwarded from the CHEM Trust: ‘Bamboo cups and tableware might seem like a good alternative to plastic, but a statement from The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) highlights chemical concerns associated with this popular alternative. To make the bamboo coffee cups and tableware, bamboo fibres are often combined with melamine-formaldehyde resin (MFH). However, BfR warns that when the bamboo products are heated, the melamine and formaldehyde can migrate from the material into food. Formaldehyde is known to be hazardous, and is suspected to cause cancer and to damage DNA, while studies have suggested that melamine could damage the kidneys. Formaldehyde was released from 366 of the cups and bowls tested, and melamine from 291 products. The levels of formaldehyde released[…]

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Healthy reusable food containers

We’ve compiled this list of healthy food containers, which we hope will be of use. By healthy, we mean sustainable, natural, and non-toxic. Please contact us with additions. Stainless steel. Glass. Wood from sustainably managed forests (see this video on the importance of supporting FSC). Mycotecture (mushrooms). Natural fabrics such as organic cotton and soy wax wraps. Rice husk.

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Penhill tree planting **Event postponed one week

**Update: Please note the change of date, from the 15th February to the 22nd. This is due to weather warnings. Saturday 22nd February 2020, 10:30am – 2:30pm. ‘WE NEED YOU!  Yes you!Penhill Naturehood, Penhill Street Reps, Swindon Junior Reps, Penhill Nature Reserve and SCAN invite volunteers to join them in a conservation event to plant 150 parkland species whips and 50 shrubs.No experience necessary, come along and join us in leaving a wildlife and woodland legacy for penhill.  Planting on the grass parkland that is situated between Minety Road and Ramsbury Avenue.  If you can attend, arrangements to meet are 10.30am at the pocket park on Ramsbury Avenue, Penhill (which isn’t far from the shops at the bottom of Ramsbury Hill).Beverages and bathroom facilities are to be located at the Chippenham close community centre, off of the bottom of ramsbury hill.Hope to see you soon.’ – Penhill Street Reps. ‘We[…]

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Plastic Free Swindon – Aims

Plastic Free Swindon is a campaign to help eliminate plastic pollution. It is designed to help facilitate change by engaging with the people, organisations, institutions and representatives of Swindon. We seek to understand barriers to change in order to implement solutions. When we set up the campaign, we drew up a detailed plan and have been working on different aspects of that. Plastic Free Swindon is one of many plastic-free town and city campaigns across the UK and is part of the global Break Free From Plastic movement. By working together, our actions in Swindon become part of global efforts to end plastic pollution. In this way, it can be seen that all of our actions matter and count towards a bigger whole. We urgently need legislation to stem the tide of plastic production. This is a major aim of our campaign as it would have a hugely beneficial impact.[…]

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The SCAN environmental general election guide

There is a lot of conflicting information and narratives out there. Who to believe? Facts are difficult to dispute, such as the voting records of MPs and political parties. So, we have produced this article with links to that information. Friends of the Earth have gone through the manifestos of the Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and Green Party, as well as pledges that each party has made throughout the campaign. They have then scored each party on ‘tackling the climate and ecological emergency’. For the Plastic Free Swindon campaign, we have written to all local parliamentary candidates to ask for commitments to end plastic pollution. This article provides a simple summary as well as full details for those who want them. ‘Swindon Climate Debate: Action or Extinction?‘ was held at New College. Each candidate was asked what their party’s plan is to deal with climate change, followed by[…]

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Plastic Free Swindon – simple guide

*Last updated 2nd February 2020. We have put together this simple guide to reducing plastic. Working together as part of the global Break Free From Plastic movement, we can eliminate plastic pollution. This is a work in progress; as the campaign expands so, will it. Supporting zero waste, local, independent and organic has many benefits for the health of people, animals and the environment. Fortunately for Swindon, we have a couple of brilliant community shops that support these important aspects: Nude Foods is the new zero waste co-operative, launched on April 17th 2019. *Update – Sadly Nude Foods stopped trading in January 2020. An announcement is to follow shortly. Founded in 1976, Swindon Pulse Wholefoods is a co-operative that sells a variety of local, organic produce, increasingly providing options for zero waste. Refill Swindon launched in September 2018. It is part of the growing international Refill scheme. For those of[…]

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