Category: Environment

We are losing trees and biodiversity in and around Ludlow (2) – Fishmore Quarry

In my previous article, I railed against the planning system which serves us badly when it comes to protecting and enhancing biodiversity. In this article, I look in more detail at the Fishmore Quarry housing development where the one of Ludlow’s richest areas of biodiversity has been bulldozed. It is far from clear whether the tree and shrub clearance is within current planning consents, though the developer insists it is. What is clear is that technical changes to this scheme have led to a significant loss of biodiversity. One of the biggest losses we have seen in Ludlow. We can’t keep allowing this. We should not have allowed it here. Biodiversity can’t be instantly replaced by scattering seeds or planting quicks and saplings. Biodiversity areas take decades to mature. We must change the way we assess planning applications to ensure this doesn’t keep happening.

We are losing trees and biodiversity in and around Ludlow (1) – it’s a failure of the planning system

Foldgate Lane. Rocks Green. Fishmore Quarry. Just three of the development sites where trees, hedges and scrubland have been the victims of recent work as development in Ludlow accelerates. There is a lot of anger around Ludlow and Ludford. Why are we losing so much biodiversity? Where have things gone wrong? The primary fault lies in the planning system. It assumes that the destruction caused by bulldozing and chain saws can be replaced by planting schemes. The system doesn’t understand that biodiversity takes decades to emerge. And that it happens randomly. Biodiversity is a real scruff and that is why biodiversity works. It is the bugs and beasties as well as the tatty shrubs, along with the good looking trees that keep our world healthy. Most biodiversity is not protected in our planning system and many planning decisions seem blind to the destruction being caused. We must give far more respect and importance to biodiversity when we decide planning applications.

Yet another truck stuck on Squirrel Lane due to satnav error – it is time for the damage and disruption to stop

Ludlow and Clee councillors are calling for restrictions to prevent HGVs and diverted traffic using Squirrel Lane. The lane is a narrow country road that runs south from the A4117 Ludlow to Kidderminster road to Sheet Village. It runs parallel to the A49 Ludlow bypass and is often used for formal and informal diversions when there are problems or roadworks on the bypass. Councillors and residents are now saying enough is enough. The fabric of the road and its once wildflower verges are being destroyed by excessive traffic. The road has been blocked by HGVs and the historic Ledwyche Bridge damaged. Signs saying that the road is unsuitable for HGVs need to be put in place urgently.

Shropshire Conservatives refuse to support the Climate and Ecology (CEE) Bill but set up a committee to tell them how to think

Why should you do something today when you can do it tomorrow, even if you should have done it yesterday? That is the attitude of Shropshire Council’s Conservative members when it comes to tackling climate change. Why should they rush to deal with an emergency when they can take a gentle stroll?   The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill is currently languishing parliament. But support for the bill, which sets out what priorities the UK needs in place to meet its climate change targets and tackle the ecological crisis, is strong. That’s why a cross-party motion to give an expression of support the bill was tabled at Shropshire Council yesterday. But the council’s portfolio holder for climate change kicked the motion into the long grass, supported by a fellow Conservative who complained about the potential costs to the council of the bill. How much does an expression of support cost? Failure to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies will cost us our planet.

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