We live in an growing biodiversity desert – Rocks Green developers are making it worse with hedge netting that traps birds (updated)

Over the last couple of weeks, green netting has been put over hedgerows at Rocks Green. The aim is to prevent birds nesting. It will not work. Hedge nesting birds will get through the gaps in the netting with ease. When I visited yesterday morning, I could hear birds within the netted hedgerow. I could not see any nests but I would be surprised if there were none. This is in breach of planning documents submitted by the developer that says hedges will not be removed during the nesting season. But that is exactly what they are planning.  

We live in a town that is biodiversity poor. Many of the fields around Ludlow resemble east of England prairies.

We have some biodiversity havens around Ludlow. The Teme SSSI. There are biodiverse rich broadleaf areas across the Mortimer Forest including the Whitcliffe. That’s despite the intensive conifer plantations in the main forest area. But south of Ludford village, the landscape resembles an East England prairie. It’s not better across much of the Plymouth Estate from Dinham Bridge to Bromfield. East of the A49 bypass, Ludford is biodiversity poor.

That’s why we must make every stride we can to protect birds – and hedgehogs.

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New plans for housing at the Bridge Inn, Ludlow are a big improvement

New plans have been published for two homes behind the Bridge Inn on St Mary’s Lane. The designs of the houses remain unchanged but they have been repositioned on the site and parking has been moved to the rear of the properties. This design is a considerable improvement but there is a need to use porous paving materials not concrete slabs. I no longer think this development needs to be considered by the South Planning Committee.

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Wednesday will be the end of the road for bring banks in Shropshire – the council is going downhill on recycling

Most of us use them at one point or another. They are a familiar sight in car parks across Shropshire. They are not particularly pretty. But they are useful and they help boost recycling. They are the 120 recycling bring banks around the county. We have five in Ludlow. But not for much longer.

With its thirst for saving money and disinterest in recycling, the council is planning to take away all the bring banks to save £237,000 a year. The cabinet meets to discuss the withdrawal next Wednesday. I’ll bet my last empty recyclable baked bean can on the proposal being approved.

The move will lead to a reduction in recycling and an increase in fly-tipping.

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Pigeon fouling at Ludlow Library shows Shropshire Council’s neglect – doesn’t anyone have a mop and bucket?

I have had several reports about the growing pile of pigeon poo outside the front door of Ludlow Library. The library is owned by Shropshire Council but the council seems incapable of resolving the problem, even though the mess has been developing for weeks and council staff pass it six days a week. As do hundreds of residents and children. The council’s environmental protection team say they can’t help with clearing up this health risk. The council will need to bring in a contractor. The simple short-term solution of a mop and bucket doesn’t seem to be available.

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The future of Shropshire is Place Plans – The plan for Ludlow proposes relocating all health services to one site

On 21 March, parish, town and unitary councillors meet to discuss the Place Plan for the Ludlow area. It is dry stuff but Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting made it clear at the last council meeting that money will be pumped into Shrewsbury and Oswestry but the only way that towns like Ludlow will get money is through the Place Plan. This money will mostly, come from developers or grant funding. Shropshire Council is not proposing to chip in a penny.

This is one of the worst prepared documents I have seen in and around public service over decades. It has been written in Shirehall with no knowledge of local geography or needs.  

Buried in the document is a proposal to relocate all health services in Ludlow to one site. That may not be a bad idea but it needs discussion beyond committee rooms. That’s why I am publishing the draft Place Plan today. We need a public consultation on these proposals, including the proposal for Ludlow to fork out cash to upgrade a sewerage works in Oswestry.

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