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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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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It’s time to talk poo – we are holding a Ludlow dog fouling summit on 26 February

It is the season of dog poo. Dark nights encourage people ignore the mess their dog makes. It is left there for everyone to tread on. It looks disgusting and it is downright dangerous for everyone, especially children.

A back of envelope calculation suggests dogs in Ludlow and the walking areas adjacent to it produce one tonne of poo every day. If a small fraction of that is left behind, we have a major problem with dog mess – and know we have a major problem with dog mess.

This blog and the summit a result in a specific request from a resident, one of many comments I have received in the last few months. We are organising a brainstorming session to come up with simple and effective ideas to reduce the problem. It will be held 5.30pm to 7pm upstairs in the Rose and Crown on Tuesday, 26 February.

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We must build an 1,800-home Ludford Garden Suburb by 2065 to ensure that Ludlow thrives

We can just bury our heads in the sand and hope housing development doesn’t happen. But we can no more hold back housing than you can stop the tide. Ludlow will expand. Half the town hates that. The other half thinks it is essential.

Shropshire Council’s local plan has ambitious growth targets for the county but these pose dangers for a town like Ludlow which has seen decades of unplanned, incoherent growth. We need to bring an end to “Beetle Drive” planning in Ludlow. We can’t continue adding one limb at time. We must begin planning for a Ludford Garden Suburb and ensure that we leave a legacy that generations can be proud of. It might take fifty years to build. But that’s okay in the landscape of planning. Especially if it’s a well-designed landscape.

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Islabikes to move from Bromfield to Ludford to accommodate growth

Islabikes is a growing company based on the Ludlow Food Centre site in Bromfield. It wants to expand and is apply for a permission for works to adapt a unit on Lower Barns Business Park south of Ludford village. These low-key works involve new windows and a glass door to Unit 10, a new porous-surfaced car park, a bike shed and a children’s bike test track. This looks a very good application from a significant Ludlow employer.

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