Parliament to debate banning netting of hedgerows after petition hits 100K signatures

All eyes have been on the Revoke Article 50 petition, which will comfortably pass 5 million signatures. Another petition I have been supporting aims to ban developers from netting hedges. The aim of developers is to ‘prevent’ birds nesting before hedges are cleared by bulldozers and trees felled with chainsaws. Netting is an ugly practice. It not only looks ugly but it traps all manner of wildlife.

At just after 10.00am on 24 March, the petition passed 100,000 signatures. That means it will be considered for a debate in parliament. We must all lobby our MPs to ensure that debate happens.

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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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Councillors unanimously agree that Shropshire Council should put more effort into tackling its contribution to climate change

Shropshire Council held an unusually good-tempered meeting today in Shirehall. It was a lengthy session with more than four hours in the chamber (we had a break for mince pies and carols). As the meeting neared its end, councillors turned their attention to climate change. A cross-party motion proposed by Green Party councillor Julian Dean, and supported by me along with several other councillors, called for the council to increase its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

An amended version of the motion was passed unanimously. I am very pleased with this. It is important that all of us contribute to reducing carbon emissions for the sake of the generations that follow us.

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Tackling climate change is urgent – that’s why we have put it on Shropshire Council’s agenda

Next Thursday’s Shropshire Council meeting is dominated by financial matters. But even though the council is struggling to make enough cuts to balance its budget, we can’t lose sight of longer-term issues like climate change. Shropshire Council is a major employer and has a major carbon footprint. But it rarely ever thinks about its role in reducing carbon emissions.

That’s why a cross-part groups of councillors have tabled a motion on climate change and the need for the council to act to reduce its impact on the environment.

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Plastic crisis looms for many councils across the country but not Shropshire

I am a fan of plastic. It has revolutionised modern lives and will continue to do so. I hate plastic. It is destroying our present and future environment. Some councils are stopping collecting it for recycling for fear it is dumped overseas or incinerated. However, most of Shropshire’s domestic plastic is recycled. But like plastic itself, the carbon chains are long. We should use less.

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