Saltford Environment Group
Recent Headlines - click on link to see story on this page:-
You can find lots more news further down the page or on our theme pages.
New threat to Saltford's Green Belt! Merging Keynsham with Saltford?
SEG became aware on 5th December that the developers for the east of Keynsham Green Belt development, Mactaggart & Mickel Ltd, also wish to build on the Green Belt between Saltford and Keynsham, i.e. land directly adjacent to Grange Road and also surrounding Copse Road. The proposed development was not in the public consultation documentation launched on 23rd November 2013 for the east of Keynsham Green Belt development but an outline plan appears on the B&NES Core Strategy website with other core documents (link to outline plan - pdf opens in new window). It appears to be part of Mactaggart & Mickel Ltd's master plan for development in this area.
The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) Findings report (November 2013) from B&NES states that Mactaggart & Mickel "are promoting the whole of the Keynsham - Saltford gap to the South of the railway line. It is important to note that they are promoting not only the land to the west of the gas main, but also the land to the east i.e. a westward expansion of Saltford. To the north of the railway line (area b) a single land owner is promoting a mixed use housing, employment and marina development on an area described as the Broadmead peninsula."
SEG is naturally strongly opposed to this proposal. The Green Belt land at this location serves several purposes described in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as reasons for protecting the Green Belt from development, namely:
SEG has advised our Parish Council about this development and are in discussions with its Planning Committee. We are also in direct contact with the Planning Department at B&NES. As this is not in the Core Strategy proposals from B&NES, B&NES is not supportive of this development. Furthermore, the Green Belt review report (April 2013) by Arup for the draft Core Strategy stated that for the Green Belt South of Saltford (including the fields south of Manor Road) "the Green Belt in this land parcel helps to preserve the identity and setting of the villages of Saltford and Corston."
There is the remote risk that the Inspector examining the Core Strategy, Simon Emerson, might accept this proposal despite it being Green Belt and a development that would be contrary to Saltford's forthcoming Placemaking Plan. However, as this would represent a modification to the Core Strategy proposals from B&NES, he would require B&NES to consult on such a modification before B&NES could adopt it in the Core Strategy.
We will post further news on our website as the situation develops.
Big Garden Birdwatch: counting the wildlife that's counting on you
The annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch takes place on the weekend of 25-26 January (2014). This is something that can involve all members of the family. All you need to do is count the birds in your garden or a local park for one hour over that weekend and then tell the RSPB what you see. For further information visit the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch web page at www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/index.aspx.
Our wildlife page has a direct link to the RSPB Bird identifier in the section on birds.
Reducing your home energy costs
Easier access to grants, loans and home energy assessments
B&NES Council and the Centre for Sustainable Energy's Home Energy Team are working together to give residents across B&NES easier access to grants and loans for insulation and boiler upgrades as well as energy assessments. Whilst some of the funding schemes are subject to eligibility, there is free and impartial advice available to all householders. You can ring the CSE Home Energy Team on freephone 0800 082 2234 or visit www.cse.org.uk/energy-at-home for further details.
Drop-in energy advice, Bath
Worried about rising energy prices, keeping your home warm this winter, and your carbon footprint? The Centre for Sustainable Energy is running a monthly (first Friday of every month, 10am-12noon) drop-in energy advice surgery from the Manvers Street One-Stop-Shop in Bath. The last session will be on 1 August 2014. Anyone with any questions or worries is welcome to drop in and get free advice.
The Government has produced an online guide Helping consumers with energy to help householders towards lower bills and warmer homes. It covers subjects from managing bills and getting the best tariff, to sources of advice and help as well as information on financial help, switching suppliers and winter and cold weather payments.
You can download it from the DECC website from this link Helping consumers with energy (external site, opens in new window).
There are further tips and ideas etc. on our Energy page.
Our Green Belt and Saltford's Placemaking Plan
While we wait for Eric Pickles to determine the outcome of the Saltford Green Belt Inquiry (details on our Green Belt page), Saltford Parish Council has established a Working Group that has been drafting the village's Placemaking Plan for B&NES as part of the Core Strategy that will determine where housing should be located in the next 15 years.
Saltford, including in particular our Green Belt, is not identified as a housing development area in the Core Strategy that is nearing completion. Residents have a brief opportunity from 23rd November - 6th December to view and comment on the draft Placemaking Plan on the Saltford Parish Council website www.saltfordparishcouncil.gov.uk before the final version is submitted to B&NES in December.
Graffiti has no place in Saltford
In an effort to remove graffiti from the village, Saltford Parish Council is asking everyone to report instances of graffiti to the Parish Clerk (email@example.com) giving clear details of the location and if possible a photo and details of the likely ownership of the property. These will then be recorded, reported as appropriate and followed up.
SEG is supportive of this initiative from our Parish Council.
Guides supporting Saltford's insect life
The 2nd Saltford Guides have been working with SEG to improve habitats for local insects and bees as part of their Community Action badge. After learning about bees and bugs, their diets and the threats to them in modern society from SEG's bee and insect welfare adviser, Bronwen Campbell, the girls made their own bug hotels. Using a range of materials they got their hands dirty with saws and screwdrivers to construct their hotels.
Each bug hotel was unique and handmade. The hotels were available for sale on the Guiding stall at the Christmas Market on 30th November 2013 in Saltford Hall - they all sold out very quickly!
Railway Path Habitat Restoration Project off to a good start
Work clearing the scrub and young trees on the west side of the railway path for a stretch between Saltford and Bath started on 11th November (see photographs above). The following describes this local habitat improvement project organised by SEG:-
The Bristol-Bath Railway Path is a very important corridor for wildlife. Part of its importance comes from the variety of natural habitats it contains. However, some habitats require management to prevent their change to others. One of the most fragile is flower-rich rough grassland: 40 years ago this was a predominant habitat in the Kelston - Saltford stretch of the track, but in the interim most has turned into scrub and young woodland. As well as wild flowers, many insects and other invertebrates of grassland do not survive in scrub.
SEG would like to thank Chris, Paul and Paula of Short Cut Services (mobile 07970 799 453) for their key role in cutting and clearing the timber etc.
For further information including a description of works from an ecological viewpoint, see our wildlife page.
Protecting your home and business from flooding
Businesses are more likely to be flooded than destroyed by fire. And flooding costs money. According to the Environment Agency, in 2012, businesses saw losses of around £155 million due to floods, including £55 million in property damage and £15 million in loss of production of goods and services.
There are easy things you can do to protect your business from flooding:
As householders, this issue affects all of us too. It's impossible to completely flood-proof a property but there are lots of things you can do to reduce flood damage. The Environment Agency publishes guidance on how to prepare your property for flooding here: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31644.aspx.
For the Environment Agency's web page advice on how to prepare a flood plan for your business click here: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/flooding/32362.aspx.
Alternatively, for the Environment Agency/Climate UK's Business Resilience Healthcheck website, click here: www.businessresiliencehealthcheck.co.uk.
Fairtrade swings into action
The Fairtrade for Saltford Group were invited to provide Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar for an afternoon event resourced by B&NES and organised for our senior citizens by the Parish Council called Swing into Life, Swing into Action on 29 October 2013. We were delighted to be able to source all these locally by donations from the Saltford Co-op and Tesco with the added bonus of Fairtrade chocolates for the raffle prizes which was very much appreciated.
The Keynsham Co-op generously provided Fairtrade cotton lifelong bags with some Fairtrade goodies including hot chocolate sachets, bars of chocolate, bananas and flapjacks for attendees. The WI provided homemade cakes (with seconds!). One of our members was able to join in and spend a very enjoyable afternoon chatting about Fairtrade products.
The Fairtrade Group have to maintain and support an on-going programme to promote Fairtrade now that Saltford has obtained Fairtrade Village status. We would like to thank Joyce Pickard (B&NES Standards and Support Officer) and the Parish Council for giving the group the opportunity to use and promote fairly traded products and ideas.
For more information about Fairtrade visit our Fairtrade page.
Fracking and the Environment: what we know and what we don't know
Event at UWE (Room 4Q56, Q Block, UWE, Bristol, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY) on Weds, 11 December (6.30 to 8.00 pm).
Synopsis: Public interest in the issue of shale gas exploitation ("fracking") is high following the ending of the moratorium on shale gas exploration and the protests in Sussex this past summer. This session explores some of the key issues surrounding fracking including:
The organisers of this event have considerable form in the areas noted above and are currently leading new research into the environmental and regulatory dimensions of shale gas exploitation.
To register for this event please contact: CIWEM or RGS registration (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Saltford Fairtrade Village signs in place
On the wet Monday morning of 21 October 2013, Saltford based 'Signs of Saltford' erected the road signs showing that Saltford has "Fairtrade Village status" on the entrance at each end of the village on the A4.
Also pictured here standing proudly by the newly erected sign at the West end of the village is Saltford Parish Council Chairman Duncan Hounsell and members of SEG's Fairtrade Group who have worked tirelessly to achieve Fairtrade status for Saltford. The Fairtrade Foundation awarded Saltford Fairtrade status on 4th April 2013 and our certificate was formally handed over in July 2013.
For more information about Saltford's Fairtrade Village status see our Fairtrade page.
Healthy and sustainable eating
With the theme of enjoying food whilst minimising food waste in mind (our Love Food, Hate Waste event on 30th October) members might be interested in the 8 principles for healthy and sustainable eating suggested by a Defra working group in a report published by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) in July 2013 but not publicised until early October 2013.
The working group behind the latest Sustainable Consumption Report report that followed up the 'Green Food' report (2012), set out to produce a set of key principles for a sustainable and healthy diet. The group suggests the following principles for healthy and sustainable eating:
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Love Food, Hate Waste event on Wednesday October 30th, at Saltford Hall, Kelston Room from 7-8pm (see next story below).
Further information on the Sustainable Consumption Report can be found on the Defra's sustainable development website from this link: http://sd.defra.gov.uk/2013/10/from-green-food-to-sustainable-consumption/.
SEG's 2013 AGM - new Committee elected
At our AGM on Sunday October 6th in Saltford Hall, our Committee was elected as follows:-
Phil Harding - Chairman & Website Editor
Executive Committee Members
We welcome Robin Collings and Jane Stonehouse as new members of our Committee and say farewell and thank you to Rob Eggbeer who has stood down having been a Committee member from when SEG was first set up in 2011.
Our constitution was updated to reflect how SEG has developed since its launch in 2011 and this updated version can be downloaded from our About us page.
Saltford Green Belt Inquiry: Timing for Secretary of State's determination
SEG has been advised in writing by the Planning Inspectorate in a letter dated 25.9.2013 that following the closure of the Inquiry "the Inspector is now preparing his report and recommendation[s] for submission to the Secretary of State for his consideration."
In accordance with Schedule 2 to the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, we have been advised that the Secretary of State will issue his decision[s] on or before 28 January 2014.
Our Chairman has sought a more accurate timescale for the determination from the Planning Inspectorate and has been advised that the Inspector expects to submit his report in October. The Secretary of State will make his decision once he has studied the report and all the evidence submitted at the Inquiry. 28 January 2014 is the final date by which the Secretary of State will make his decision but it may be made before then.
SEG will keep this website updated with developments.
Our evidence including the Sustainability Appraisal and further background information on the 4-day Saltford Green Belt Inquiry (13th-16th August 2013) into the planning application from Crest Nicholson to build up to 99 dwellings on Saltford's Green Belt fields by Manor Road can be found on our Green Belt page >>>.
Media Enquiries concerning SEG's role and evidence at the Inquiry and requests for higher resolution images of our Manor Road field photographs should be made to:
Phil Harding, Email: email@example.com.
1st Saltford Scouts get to grips with an invasive plant
During September (2013), Scouts of all ages in Saltford followed up their June Community Week project with some hard work dealing with an invasive species. In June the Scouts went out and mapped the local footpaths looking out for rare animals and plants as well the less appealing invasive species. One such plant that causes a lot of problems is the Himalayan Balsam; this fast growing plant out grows native wild plants making it hard for native wildlife to thrive.
With the evidence gathered in June the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts worked together for a week to help clear an area overgrown with the plant. Helped by members of SEG they decided to focus on an area beside the cycle track that SEG hope to turn into a native wildlife haven.
With gloves and plastic bags at the ready the Scouts carefully collected the seeds of the plant and then pulled up the remaining part of the plant. With all hands working together a large area was soon cleared. SEG thanks Saltford's young people for taking positive action to help improve the wildlife habitats of our village.
If you want to find out more about the Scout Community Project visit our wildlife page.
Saltford Green Belt Inquiry: Secretary of State to determine the planning appeal
The Inspector's decision was expected by 17th September 2013 but the Secretary of State (Mr Eric Pickles) has retrieved the appeal to determine it himself.
The following is the main elements of a statement released by the Planning Inspectorate on 18th September 2013:-
Although under the Town and Country Planning (Determination of Appeals by Appointed Persons)(Prescribed Classes) Regulations 1997, the appeal was to have been decided by an Inspector, the Secretary of State considers that he should determine it himself.
Accordingly, in exercise of his powers under section 79 and paragraph 3 of Schedule 6 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the Secretary of State hereby directs that he shall determine this appeal instead of an Inspector. This means that instead of writing a decision, the Inspector will prepare a report and recommendation, which will be forwarded to the Secretary of State.
The reason for this direction is that the appeal involves proposals for significant development in the Green Belt.
SEG's Chairman (Phil Harding) and Saltford Parish Council's Chairman (Mathew Blankley) visited our local MP Jacob Rees-Mogg after the Planning Inquiry on 30th August. In direct response to that meeting Jacob Rees-Mogg wrote to Eric Pickles on 2nd September "to convey the level of concern felt by local residents if the development were to go ahead."
He also said in his letter that "the ramifications of proceeding with this will not only affect members of the Saltford community but will also have an impact upon the constituency as a whole. Ultimately, I am worried that it will set a precedent and encourage developers to seek to build on greenbelt land which for North East Somerset is especially perturbing in the absence of a Core Strategy. It is my view that the greenbelt ought to be protected and is one shared deeply by most constituents."
TIMING: The Planning Inspectorate has advised SEG that it expects to be in a position to advise the main parties on the timing of the Secretary of State's determination of the appeal within a week or two, i.e. around end September. It is not possible to say at this stage how long it will take for the Secretary of State to make his decision once he has received the Inspector's report.
SEG will keep this website updated with developments.
Our evidence including the Sustainability Appraisal and further background information for the 4-day Saltford Green Belt Inquiry (13th-16th August 2013) into the planning application from Crest Nicholson to build up to 99 dwellings on Saltford's Green Belt fields by Manor Road can be found on our Green Belt page >>>.
Media Enquiries concerning SEG's role and evidence at the Inquiry and requests for higher resolution images of our Manor Road field photographs should be made to:
Phil Harding, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help with choosing native plants for your garden
To help you to choose and grow plant species in your garden that are native to our area, you can visit the Natural History Museum's website where, by entering the first part of your postcode (e.g. BS31), you can discover the local list (with photographs for most species) of native plants for Saltford (Note. Bath Asparagus is listed as 'Spiked Star of Bethlemen'). Click here: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/life/plants-fungi/postcode-plants/.
Don't forget that two of SEG's advisers, Gill Self and Paul Pearce, can provide Saltford residents with advice on many aspects of gardening. If they do not have the answer(s) you need to hand, they can research solutions for you. For further details about their help see our Gardening page.
Future-proof your home for electric transport (for free!)
Whether you plan to buy an electric car soon or at some point in the future, one thing you will almost certainly need for your home is a specially installed charging point. During August (2013) our Chairman Phil Harding has taken advantage of a Government funded scheme to provide 100% funding for the installation of charging points at domestic premises.
The image shown is the POD Point as installed in Phil's garage. The plug for the car (not in the picture) fits into a wall socket for tidy storage whilst not in use. Phil chose a location for the POD Point within his garage that would permit charging to the front or rear of the vehicle as different cars do have their charging sockets located in different positions.
In just two hours contractors from Robson Electrics installed in Phil's garage a "POD Point Home Charge Unit" together with a replacement consumer unit that incorporates a RCD (residual-current device) that will cut off the power instantly to the POD Point and the other power circuits in the garage. So, if Phil is cutting the hedge and accidentally cuts through the power lead to his hedge-trimmer, he should be safe! The POD Point can be installed in a garage or externally on the wall of a house.
As electric vehicles become more cost effective, when the time comes for you to purchase one, having the charging point installed and ready could save you a considerable sum whilst making your home a more attractive purchase when you wish to move home.
If you wish to apply for a POD Point for your home, visit www.pod-point.com. PLEASE NOTE: It is SEG's policy as a general rule not to endorse individual products; if you decide to order a POD Point this is entirely at your own risk. However, when placing an order you may wish to mention that you heard about this scheme via Saltford Environment Group.
At present the POD Point (3.6 kW - a higher powered version is available at cost) can charge all electric vehicles that take a Type 1 connector. This is most electric vehicles currently on the market with the exception of just two vehicles, the BMW i3 and the Renault Zoe. A different plug can be supplied on request for those vehicles at cost.
Our wildlife-friendly showcase Somerset garden
SEG members Ray and Penny Buchanan of Eastover Farm in Manor Road have developed their garden over several years to be wildlife-friendly and feature mainly trees, flowers and shrubs that are native to this part of Somerset.
To help inspire Saltford's residents to grow native and heritage species appropriate to the local area that would thus be bee and pollinating-insects friendly, the gardens at Eastover Farm will be open for viewing one weekend each year, coinciding on alternate years with the Saltford festival. Our Fairtrade Group will provide catering for visitors to the garden and other SEG members will assist by stewarding the annual event.
SEG is grateful to Ray and Penny for their commitment to wildlife-friendly gardening and allowing us to adopt the garden as SEG's showcase garden to encourage and enthuse all of us to manage, develop and enjoy our own gardens for the benefit of the local wildlife.
For further details of Eastover Farm and more photographs of this stunning garden, visit our Gardening page.
Need some gardening advice? SEG can help
SEG wants to help Saltford grow more of its own fruit and vegetables, and also encourage wildlife-friendly gardening with native species of wild flowers and shrubs etc. and non-natives which are good for wildlife.
We are particularly focused on the need to protect bees by providing habitat and the appropriate nectar producing plants - our wildlife page has more information about the importance of a healthy bee population for our ability to grow food.
Two of SEG's advisers, Gill Self (left) and Paul Pearce (right), can provide Saltford residents with advice on many aspects of gardening. If they do not have the answer(s) you need to hand, they can research solutions for you.
For further details see our Gardening page.
Saltford receives its Fairtrade Village Certificate
Saltford formally received 'FAIRTRADE VILLAGE STATUS' at a special event held at Saltford Golf Club on Monday 15th July 2013. The VILLAGE STATUS CERTIFICATE was presented to Gill Self, the leader of the Saltford Fairtrade Group, by the Chairman of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Councillor Neil Butters.
To achieve Fairtrade Village status, the Saltford Fairtrade Group needed to achieve 5 key objectives including the support of the Parish Council and evidence that Fairtrade products are being used and promoted in Saltford retail and catering outlets, workplaces and community organisations. A portfolio of evidence was submitted to the Fairtrade Foundation earlier in 2013. Saltford Parish Council, Saltford Community Association, Saltford School, St. Mary's Church, the Co-op Store, Saltford Environment Group, Signs of Saltford and others gave support and encouragement. Many of those organisations were represented at the Award event.
Gill Self said "The evening marked a milestone in a continuing process. We are setting new targets to demonstrate that a significant number of local businesses, organisations and community groups in Saltford support Fairtrade and are committed to using Fairtrade products in the future. Our campaigning continues. We must always remember why we are here and our purpose - increasing the use of Fairtrade products can make a real difference to people's lives and help ensure trade really is fair."
The importance of growing native plant species in your garden
'Non-native species' means plants or animals brought into the country either on purpose or by mistake. Most are not harmful if they get into the wild, but some can become 'invasive' (like the Himalayan Balsam that is infesting parts of Saltford, especially the river banks) causing harm to native species, our health and economy.
Our insect population eats and thrives on the foliage of native plants and trees whereas non-native plants provide little or no larval food at all. The crucial role of insects in our ecosystem ranges from helping to consume waste products including dead animals to being food for our wild bird population.
So, if you want to attract birds and encourage beneficial insects to your garden that are healthier for flowers whilst your population of harmful insects such as aphids, mealy bugs and cutworms gradually diminish, plant choice can be important. As a result of correct plant choice, you can also reduce or eliminate use of harmful pesticides that end up in the air and water supply and threaten important insects such as bees.
Snipe fly. Photograph © Elizabeth Cooksey.
SEG is developing plans for how we can encourage and help you to grow plant species that are native to North Somerset. We will post information on our website as our plans unfold.
Saltford's young people protecting nature - survey report completed
As part of the Scout Community Week (3-9 June 2013) the 1st Saltford Scout Group and Argus Explorer Unit joined together with SEG to map and survey the local footpaths around the village. The information that they gathered will be used by SEG to plan future conservation work and help residents in the village to be more aware of the diversity on offer just metres from their own homes.
The report from this survey work can be downloaded from our wildlife page.
SEG would like to congratulate and thank all the young people involved and their leaders for completing this important survey.
Let's make Saltford bee friendly
One third of all our food staples only grow after pollination; the global crisis facing our pollinators could make the banking crisis look relatively trivial as the world runs out of food.
In the UK we are losing bees at an alarming rate. Worldwide, many beekeepers estimate that, at the current rate of bee loss, there now may be only a 5-year window to find a cause and a solution to this problem. Check out our wildlife page to read more about this issue and to discover what you can grow in your garden to support bees all the year round.
SEG is developing some exciting projects to help support our bees and other pollinating insects. We will post information on our website as our plans unfold.
Tick warning from SEG for Saltford
SEG's wildlife and conservation adviser, Will Duckworth, has already been bitten four times by ticks all on one day (1st July) whilst out and about bird watching in the Saltford area and warns residents to be careful when walking in long grass or wooded areas where deer may have been present. Tick bites can go unnoticed although with most people they itch within hours of the tick biting and the tick can remain feeding on your blood for several days before dropping off. The longer the tick is in place, the higher the risk of it passing on Lyme disease infection.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread to humans by infected ticks. Lyme disease is a very serious condition and can affect your skin, joints, heart and nervous system. The advice from the NHS for avoiding tick bites is to: wear a long-sleeved shirt; tuck your trousers into your socks; use insect repellent; check yourself for ticks; and check your children and pets for ticks.
Alternatively, wear short-sleeved shirts and short trousers and check the bare arms and legs every few minutes for ticks. Unless you have a heavily freckled skin, dark skin, and/or poor eyesight, even the smallest ticks are easy to see, and because they walk slowly you have plenty of time to see them. Most people cannot feel them, so wearing long-sleeved clothing could reduce your chance of detecting them before they bite, unless all potential access areas are coated with insect repellent. Ticks tend to concentrate in constrictions (elasticated wastebands) and humid areas (armpits and groin); these areas need particularly careful checking.
More information about Lyme disease is on the NHS website at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lyme-disease/pages/introduction.aspx.
How to remove a blood-sucking tick from your skin
The advice from www.nhs.uk is as follows:
*Saltford Veterinary Surgery (478B Bath Road) sells a neat and inexpensive tick removal device for your pets that works equally well on humans. Something for your First Aid kit perhaps...
After the tick has been removed, clean the tick bite with soap and water or an antiseptic, such as an iodine scrub. Do not scratch the bite because this will cause further swelling and increase the chance of infection. Most tick bites will heal within three weeks. See your GP if you develop: a rash; a temperature of 38C (100.4F) or over (fever). You may need antibiotics to prevent Lyme disease.
Sustrans backs SEG plans
Backing for SEG's habitat restoration project on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path (cycle track) has come from Jon Usher, Sustrans Area Manager, West of England, who said: "This looks like a great project, and it will be good to see the local community taking more of an active interest in the management of the path".
Details will be passed to the Avon & Frome Valley Partnership (AFVP) who coordinate the maintenance of the path and have completed a full ecological survey of the path. They can specifically recommend ways to enhance the nature conservation value of the habitats on either side of the route. SEG has its own expert wildlife and conservation adviser who will ensure appropriate native wild flowers are chosen that will benefit pollinating insects and bees.
New cycle route? and other cycling news
SEG are pushing for a new cycle route which would be of benefit to those cycling from Saltford along Manor Road into Keynsham centre. To keep within the law, cyclists currently need to negotiate 4 roundabouts to get into town but paths have been identified from Wellsway into Steel Mills and alongside the River Chew which would make a safer and more pleasant route for cyclists in and out of Keynsham, allowing good access to the new library, shops, 'One Stop Shop' and public space currently under construction. If BaNES can identify some money this would be implemented in 2014.
Saltford Cycle Quest: The report including quiz results from our Cycle Quest, held as part of the Saltford Festival on 8th June, is posted on our cycling page. Cycle Quest maps with clues are still available if to you want to do it just for fun, only £1 including delivery by bike if you live in Saltford. Email email@example.com for your copy.
Path to be Tarmaced: BaNES are proposing to tarmac the path leading to the Bristol & Bath Railway Path by the bridge near The Bird in Hand pub. This will be of benefit to walkers as well as cyclists as it gets very muddy in wet weather. No news yet on when this will happen, hopefully before Winter 2013...
Meet the Team at SEG
There's so much that we need to share,
To help you recognise members of SEG's Executive Committee when you see us around the village, we have added our faces to the About Us page. We may not win lots of prizes for our looks but we're a friendly team working on your behalf to make Saltford an even better, more sustainable village. Do say 'hello' when you recognise us out and about in Saltford.
2013 Saltford Festival success
A huge thank you from SEG to the hard-working and dedicated organising team and the army of volunteers for Saltford Festival (8th-16th June) who worked tirelessly to make the 2013 festival such an impressive success. The huge range of events from walks and talks, scarecrows and sports, open gardens and music to dancing and exhibitions meant there was something for everyone.
The festival made us proud to live in this friendly and welcoming community called Saltford.
Congratulations to Bristol: EU Green Capital 2015
Bristol has won the European Green Capital Award for 2015. The award was presented at a ceremony in Nantes, France, which currently holds the title, on Friday 14th June 2013. Bristol received recognition for its investment plans in the areas of transport and energy, and especially for its commitment to act as a true role model for the green economy in Europe and beyond. Its communication and social media strategy were also highlighted as a real call to action for its citizens.
Eight cities applied to become European Green Capital 2015. Each entry was assessed by an international panel of 12 experts and four cities were shortlisted - Bristol, Brussels, Glasgow and Ljubljana. Representatives from the shortlisted cities were interviewed by a Jury which comprised members from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the European Environment Agency, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, the Covenant of Mayors Office and the European Environmental Bureau.
The European Green Capital Award is ultimately about making cities more pleasant places in which to live and work. The award is given to a European city that has a record of achieving high environmental standards, is committed to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development and can act as a model to inspire other cities.
Six cities - Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Nantes, Copenhagen and now Bristol - have won the award so far, from 2010 to 2015 respectively.
The Bristol Green Capital website is at: http://bristolgreencapital.org.
New Chairman for SEG
Due to his many other commitments, our Chairman Ben Eve has decided to stand down with effect from 6th June whilst remaining a member of SEG's Executive Committee.
With the full support of SEG's Executive Committee, Phil Harding has agreed to take on the Chairman's role. Phil will continue as SEG's Website Editor also.
SEG is very grateful to Ben for his important and visionary contribution to getting SEG established from the outset 2 years ago in 2011. We are delighted that he will be able to continue to make a useful input to SEG on the Executive Committee.
Low carbon street lighting for Saltford (May 2013)
Saltford's carbon footprint on the planet should be reduced once the current work to install new, more efficient street lights is completed by Southern Electrical Contracting for B&NES Council over the coming few weeks.
The new LED (Light Emitting Diodes) lighting being installed will provide a more natural and whiter light than the previous generation of (yellow/orange) sodium street lights. With significant energy (and thus carbon) savings compared to sodium lights and reduced maintenance costs due to their longer lifespan, LED street lighting can be a very cost effective investment.
LED lighting can be more controllable, has an almost instant strike (light-up) time and can provide significant energy and running costs savings of up to 80% compared to conventional or other energy efficient alternatives including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). However the design and application is important.
Thermal management (or heat-sinking) is a critical design consideration in LED lamps - whether for the home, commercial, industrial or street lighting applications. There can be reliability issues if the heat generated at the rear of a high-powered LED is allowed to overheat the LED chip, thus affecting the life expectancy and performance of the lamp.
Let's hope the new street lighting in Saltford proves to be as efficient and reliable as it has the potential to be.
Dawn Chorus Walk identifies 34 species
The annual Saltford Dawn Chorus walk led by Chairman of the Keynsham Group of the Avon Wildlife Trust, Dave Sage, was attended by 17 folk from Saltford and the surrounding area who met up at the Shallows car park at 5am on Sunday 21 April 2013 and then walked east along the railway track cycle path. 34 species of wild birds were identified including Black Cap, Common Sandpiper, Green Woodpecker, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler and Goldcrest.
A big thank you to Dave Sage from SEG and the other participants for organising and leading such an interesting and fascinating walk on a beautiful spring morning.
Our Wildlife web page lists all 100 species of birds that are observed in Saltford with a link to a picture of each bird and other details including an audio recording of its birdsong on the RSPB website.
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Saltford Environment Group
"Think global, act local"
Saltford Lock, a local beauty spot popular with visitors in the summertime. Photograph © Phil Harding