Important action – local wildlife corridors blocked

For a while during lockdown, grass verges were not being maintained by local parishes. Many people have commented as to how nice it has been to have long flowing grass and wildflowers. Crucially, we need to be doing this. As the climate warms, wildlife corridors allow nature to move to suitable new habitats. Wild flowers encourage insects and pollinators, vital to life on Earth. So if we inhibit wildlife corridors we are in serious trouble. We need to take radical action considering the situation we’re in. That means changing how we do things, changing how we live. What is more important: short, neat-looking grass or the health of our planet? For anyone who needs reminding, we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction of the Earth and a climate crisis. We need to take positive action now! Glynis Hales of the newly formed Transition Swindon group and the[…]

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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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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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Naturehood project encourages Swindon residents to do ‘One Thing for Wildlife’ this autumn

Earthwatch Europe’s community wildlife project Naturehood is embarking on a new campaign to encourage residents to take positive action for nature this autumn. The ‘One Thing for Wildlife’ campaign will focus on the first Naturehood communities in Swindon and Oxford, encouraging them to make the most of the season before hibernation begins in earnest. Many people associate acting for nature with the spring and summer months, and tend to spend less time outdoors once the autumn begins. But this is a crucial time to support wildlife. Dr Tristan Pett, Research Manager for Naturehood, says: “The nights are drawing in, which means that now is the time to help local wildlife get ready for winter. The actions people take now can make a real difference to some of our favourite species, like sparrows and hedgehogs, and ensure they get the best possible start when spring comes.” The Naturehood team is promoting[…]

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Central Swindon North Parish tree planting – Ferndale area, SN2

‘My name is Hakan and I am an allotment officer in Central Swindon North Parish Council.  I am proud to say that the parish is focusing on planting lots of trees, looking after our green spaces for future generations.  I have been asked to organise a tree planting session on Tuesday the 10th December 2019 around Cobden Road, Ferndale Road, Iffley Road and Wembley Street, SN2.  We have around 550 tree whips (60-80cm tall) of different species to plant. I have been asked to get as many people as I can with tree planting on the day.’ To get involved, please contact Hakan on 07741 849106 or by email. Please bring suitable clothing for all weathers, including boots. And please, if you can, bring a shovel. Children to be accompanied by a responsible adult(s), thanks. Here’s a list of the species that will be planted, with links for further info:10x[…]

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MPs’ voting records on the environment

SCAN regularly meet with MPs and political party representatives to discuss environmental issues. We encourage them to act in the best interests of our planet. So, how have Swindon’s MPs voted on environmental issues? South Swindon:Robert Buckland ‘generally voted against measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24843/robert_buckland/south_swindon/votes#environment North Swindon:Justin Tomlinson ‘generally voted against measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24870/justin_tomlinson/north_swindon/votes#environment And how have the leaders of each party voted? Conservative:Boris Johnson ‘almost always voted against measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10999/boris_johnson/uxbridge_and_south_ruislip/votes#environment Labour:Jeremy Corbyn ‘generally voted for measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10133/jeremy_corbyn/islington_north/votes#environment Liberal Democrats:Jo Swinson ‘voted a mixture of for and against measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/11971/jo_swinson/east_dunbartonshire/votes#environment Green Party:Siân Berry and Jonathan Bartley. Neither of the joint leaders have been an MP. Caroline Lucas was the former leader and is the only Green MP to date. She ‘generally voted for measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24910/caroline_lucas/brighton%2C_pavilion/votes#environment Other issues of social justice also have environmental impacts. Equality and[…]

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Protect Swindon and Highworth’s Woodland: Save Redlands Copse!

Phase 1: Submitting objections to the proposed planning development. Redlands Copse is a mature, mixed woodland of 200 native trees, home to deer, foxes, badgers, bats, slow-worms and over 60 species of bird, some on the ‘threatened’ list . Construction company Backhouse wants to cut down 97 of these trees for their proposed 65 home development. This is despite the trees having Tree Protection Orders placed on them by Swindon Borough Council and despite Highworth Town Council rejecting the application. In a time of deepening ecological crisis, we need to make a stand, and we need your help! Step one of our campaign is to get as many objections sent to the council as possible. You can send your objections to sbcdc@swindon.gov.uk . You will need to quote ‘S/RES/19/1371’ at the top of your email, along with the date, your name and address. Objections need to be in by the[…]

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Save Redlands Copse: Petition

Please sign and share the petition to save Redlands Copse. Redlands Copse is a mature, mixed woodland of 200 native trees, home to deer, foxes, badgers, bats, slow-worms and over 60 species of bird, some on the ‘threatened’ list . Construction company Backhouse wants to cut down 97 of these trees for their proposed 65 home development. This is despite the trees having Tree Protection Orders placed on them by Swindon Borough Council and despite Highworth Town Council rejecting the application. In a time of deepening ecological crisis, we need to make a stand, and we need your help! This is phase 2 of the campaign. Phase 1, raising objections to the development, completed on the 15th October 2019.

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Serious omissions From Swindon’s Local Plan

SCAN are currently working alongside other local people and groups, including Extinction Rebellion and parish councils, to address changes to / omissions from the Local Plan. At a time when we need to be addressing environmental issues, facilitating vital changes, the Local Plan includes less environmental stipulation; for example, a section on sustainable development has been removed. This letter to the Swindon Advertiser from Jane Milner-Barry, councillor for Old Town and East Wichel, explains further: ‘Local Plan Review: Swindon residents who care about cutting carbon emissions have until 23 September to help shape a crucial document that will determine the development of our town for years to come. A revised draft of Swindon’s Local Plan is now out for public consultation. This hugely important document will decide how many houses get built and where they go. It will also decide whether Swindon gets on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions[…]

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