Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Friends of Fineshade

To all Friends of Fineshade

Hello everyone.
Many of you have said that you wish there was more you could do to help protect Fineshade Wood. Well, there are things that we are asking you to do right now and over the next couple of weeks. Here's a list and there's more detailed explanation and some good news(!) below.


 1) Online. Please go to Mark Avery’s blog page here:http://markavery.info/blog/  Read the blog he posted on March 28th and click on “Likes”. Perhaps submit a comment too.
 If you are a Twitter or Facebook user go to the FoF pages and share, retweet, like etc. all the postings that relate to SSSI status.

2) If you live locally attend the meeting of our parish council one week tonight on Tuesday 5th April at 7:30.

3) On Wednesday April 13th be prepared to support a major PR push to promote Fineshade’s SSSI worthiness.


Fineshade Wood should be a SSSI – publicity campaign

It will be very hard for Forest Holidays(FH) and, particularly, the Forestry Commission(FC), to make a new planning application for a holiday camp if Natural England(NE) designate it as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. With the help of the Woodland Trust the case was made that some of the wood was Ancient Woodland; Natural England agreed and FH had to redraw their planned boundary. In rather the same way we hope to persuade NE to give the entire wood the protection of SSSI status. As you know we have been working to make a detailed case over the winter – it’s set out in full here.http://www.fineshade.org.uk/#!sssi/cjj8
We feel the time is now right to really push that case with a publicity campaign. A first step was Mark Avery’s blog yesterday. http://markavery.info/blog/   Among other things, that resulted in more visitors to our website than ever before. Please do what you can to help by clicking to “like” Mark’s blog, by sending a comment and by sharing, retweeting, etc. his and our social media posts.

We are planning a special push for this campaign on Wednesday 13th April. Do please visit our website on that day and send emails tweets and Facebook postings then.

Parish Council Meeting

 We’re aware that Curtin&Co have been working behind the scenes to win support for a possible future application. Part of this process has been a request from David Shetcliffe, Curtin’s Account Manager, to meet members of Duddington-with-Fineshade Parish Council. He has been invited to attend the next meeting on Tuesday 5th April at 7:30pm in the Village Hall at Duddington.  However, the Council have been at pains to make clear that this will not constitute Public Consultation at this stage: as far as we know there is no new proposal to consult about. Rather it is likely to be an attempt to identify probable opposers, waiverers and supporters of a FH development.

All Parish Council meetings are open to the public (i.e. all interested parties) to attend but there is not necessarily an opportunity to speak. The agenda for next Tuesday’s meeting has Mr Shetcliffe as item 3 after apologies and expressions of interest. This will be followed by Item 4, “Public Time” before the council move on to other business. Item 3 will be a very useful opportunity to hear what Mr Shetcliffe has to say, and during that, Fineshade’s own Parish Councillor, Shenagh Hackett, as well as Councillors from Duddington who supported Fineshade so powerfully last time, will of course be able to respond to him. Public Time, item 4, will be an opportunity for anyone to put forward comments on the points raised. We will, in addition, be asking the council to support the request for SSSI designation for the wood.

So if you live locally and are able to come along on Tuesday evening please do -  a large turn out will send a clear message of the strength of local opinion.

Good news – for Fineshade at least

 We have heard that Forest Holidays have put in a new planning application elsewhere. It’s a site in the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales.  The application has not been decided yet - in fact there’s a long way to go - but it looks very much as if they will be granted permission.   The differences from Fineshade are stark.
  • There seem to be no local residents directly affected.
  • There are no protected species that will be harmed.
  • There have been no objections at all, from anyone.
  • The National Park Authority seems to be in full support.
  • There’s a lot of unemployment in the area so the jobs to be created are important. 
The fact that they have been working on this application in Wales explains why it has been so quiet here in recent months - though we know that we are still on their books for the future. And that’s why they have the Curtin&Co “consultation” exercise going on.

The effect may be to set back any application here at Fineshade... so that may give us time to really push the SSSI-worthiness.

So finally... enjoy Fineshade

Thank you once again for being a Friends of Fineshade. It's all about enjoying as well as protecting the wood so do make sure that you visit and enjoy the wood this spring. We've still got room for Friends on Brian Laney's walk on 9th April and look out for other events, including a butterfly walk later.

The Friends of Fineshade.

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