Saltford Environment Group
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B&NES feasibility study for a 'Bath tram'
B&NES Council is to undertake a preliminary study looking at the feasibility and potential of introducing some form of light rail 'tram' system in Bath. The decision to carry out the study comes in response to suggestions from the public, made over the past year, for a review to take place looking at the possible use of trams or a light rail system in the city.
Improving the area's transport network is one of the Council's top priorities, and whilst the introduction of a tram system does not currently form part of the Council's formally adopted Transport Strategy, the authority has said it keeps an open mind to suggestions to improve transport that could be taken forward in future.
As a result, this short scoping study will look at the feasibility of using a light rail system as a sustainable form of transport in the city.
The feasibility study will be completed within this financial year (2017/18).
Footnote from our history project:
Saltford Calendar 2018 now available
"The Saltford Calendar 2018" featuring some stunning photographs submitted to the photographic competition for the Saltford Festival 2017 is now available to purchase.
At just £6 each you can get your calendar(s) from Saltford Post Office or the SCA office at Saltford Hall any morning Monday to Friday. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The production of an annual Saltford Calendar is a joint SCA/SEG initiative. Net proceeds will be split between SCA and SEG to help further their voluntary work supporting our local community.
Toxic Giant Hogweed warning and reminder
Members may recall that Giant Hogweed was discovered by SEG's wildlife adviser in 2014 by the side of the railway path between Saltford and Bitton.
This particular clump has taken several attempts by B&NES to eradicate it but it is proving stubborn as it makes a re-appearance each year including in 2017 (we have reported this to B&NES) although it is a weaker plant than before as a result of repeated attempts to poison its root system.
Last year a resident discovered three massive Giant Hogweed plants growing in her garden after using locally sourced mulch that contained the plant's seeds. This highly toxic non-native plant has to be treated with care and removed by specialists.
As we have warned in previous news items, contact with its sap or its bristles can cause severe skin burns depending on individual sensitivity. It can sensitize skin to ultra-violet light (sunlight), leading to severe blisters, pigmentation and long-lasting scars; hospitalisation may be necessary. Affected skin may remain sensitive for several years. A minute amount of sap in the eye can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness.
If you find Giant Hogweed growing in Saltford, please advise B&NES Council (Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41) as soon as possible - and let SEG know too. For your own safety DO NOT TOUCH or attempt to remove it yourself. When removed, under the Environmental Protection Act (1990) Giant Hogweed is classified as controlled waste. Anyone working amongst Giant Hogweed should wear protective clothing that covers the whole body including gloves, hood and face visor.
More on Giant Hogweed can be found on our wildlife page.
SEG membership reaches 500!
During June and the Saltford Festival, our membership reached the 500 mark. A small percentage of our membership is from outside the village, but nevertheless over 10% of Saltford's 4,100 inhabitants are members of SEG.
The above image is of our poster that we displayed on our stall during the Saltford Festival's 'Old Village Day' (Sunday 11th June).
The history of railways at Saltford
On 12th June the leader of SEG's Saltford Station campaign Chris Warren gave an interesting and well-received talk on the history of railways at Saltford. Chris's talk was part of the Saltford Festival (10-18 June) that includes lunchtime talks on a range of topics for each weekday of the festival.
You can download the text of his talk here: The history of railways at Saltford by Chris Warren (pdf).
Saltford Heritage Centre opens for Saltford Festival
Saltford's new Heritage Centre was open on the first floor (upstairs) of the Church Hall for the Saltford Festival 2017 on the afternoon of Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th June. The Bath Record Office roadshow was also in attendance for the 10th June showing old OS maps of Saltford, seal presses, and informative displays on the BRO's Saltford records whilst also giving an opportunity for residents to discuss historical research with a BRO archivist.
History was a key theme for the festival. The first opening of the Heritage Centre was preceded by a joint presentation by local resident and SEG's history team member Dick Bateman and Saltford Drama Club in St Mary's Church on "Life in 19th Century Saltford". On Monday 12th June SEG's Saltford Station campaign Chris Warren gave an interesting and well-received talk on "The History of Railways at Saltford" in the main hall at St Mary's Church Hall.
2017 is notable as being the 150th anniversary of the death of Admiral Benedictus Marwood Kelly, Saltford's famous resident. For the "Old Village Day" on Sunday June 11th, Saltford Drama Club member Kelvin Buck dressed up as Admiral Kelly and stood by the Admiral's Blue Plaque in front of Saltford House answering questions about the Admiral's life and directing festival goers to the Heritage Centre and other festival activities.
Some 250+ people visited the Heritage Centre over the two days and the overwhelming reaction to the information displays and Saltford artefacts from the Roman, Medieval, Tudor and later periods was very positive. Old Church and School records were also made available for visitors to see for the launch.
The Heritage Centre is a joint project from SEG and the Parochial Church Council. Now that it has had its first opening consideration will be given by SEG and the PCC as to how this community based project can be developed in a cost-effective manner in a way that is both beneficial and of great interest to local residents. For example, and subject to support from volunteers, the Heritage Centre could be opened for special community events whilst elements of its mobile and flexible display could support relevant events at other venues in Saltford.
Further information on our website can be found from these links:-
Saltford Conservation Area consultation (5 June - 14 July)
B&NES Council is undertaking a review of the 35 Conservation Areas in the District in line with the latest guidance from Historic England. Eventually, the Council will have a 'Conservation Area Appraisal' for each of its designated areas.
The Appraisals define the Conservation Area boundaries and analyse the special architectural and historic interest of the area. They identify specific features which contribute towards an area's character, such as: historic buildings and buildings which are locally significant, important green and open spaces, significant views, natural elements such as trees and waterways, and features which help make an area locally distinct.
The consultation by B&NES Council on the draft "Saltford Conservation Area Boundary Character Appraisal and Management Proposals" will be held from 5 June - 14 July. This will include a drop-in event at St Mary's Church Hall on Weds 7th June from 12 noon to 8pm.
The draft proposals document is due to be posted on the B&NES Council website in June at www.bathnes.gov.uk/CACA-saltford. Any queries about this consultation should be addressed to B&NES Council (Email: email@example.com Tel: 01225--477083).
Further general information on Conservation Areas in B&NES can be found on the B&NES website from this link.
Older news stories from SEG
Our 'Newsletter' page is an archive featuring some of our past and recently published news stories. Click here to see >>
Current areas of local volunteer assistance sought by SEG
In addition to volunteer assistance with projects such as Saltford Wombles (tackling litter), Fairtrade Group, and our Railway path habitat restoration project we sometimes have specific roles or posts that need filling. Here are the current vacancies:-
Future SEG website development - can you help?
Our website has become a very popular resource for our members and others, with over 2,000 unique visitors per month, typically opening over 5,000 pages. Using a relatively simple design and basic html approach, it has grown organically since 2011 into an extensive library of articles, themes, links etc.
Thinking of our ongoing ability to maintain and develop our website we are looking for someone who could give some time to support our Chairman Phil Harding with the html website in the short term, and potentially help us to transfer the site across to a new system such as WordPress in the future, as well as maintaining and developing our presence on social media. Do you have the relevant experience, interest and time to get involved? If so, please get in touch with our Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk further. You'll be at the heart of SEG's activities and a valued member of our team of volunteers.
First published March 2017
Opportunity to coordinate local habitat project
Just a reminder that Saltford Environment Group is looking for a new volunteer to be our railway path habitat restoration project coordinator as our existing coordinator, who did a great job getting things organised, has had to step down due to other commitments. This local project has seen some notable successes:
The area needs some concerted effort over the next 2-3 years to prevent the area from reverting back to scrub and trees: obscuring views and shading some of the rare sun-loving plants that have so recently returned. This work is likely to involve:
This is a great opportunity for someone with good organisational skills to help deliver a really exciting project: restoring a rare and beautiful habitat and bringing members of the community together through fun, practical activities.
No prior experience of wildlife conservation projects is required and there will be plenty of opportunities to learn more about the rare and beautiful plants and animals which would otherwise disappear from our area, to make new friends and learn new skills along the way. We are looking for someone with a can-do attitude and the enthusiasm to engage with volunteers and provide more of a social side to this worthwhile activity.
If this opportunity to manage and develop a small yet interesting and local outdoor project appeals to you, to express an interest please contact our Vice-Chairman Chris Warren (email email@example.com).
The project has its own webpage: link >>
First published February 2017
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"Think global, act local"