Friday, 21 October 2011

Urgent - help stop plans to destroy wildlife at Gosforth Park

We need your help to save the fields surrounding Gosforth Nature Reserve in Newcastle from being turned into 600 homes by the end of the decade. This would have a devastating effect on wildlife and the nature reserve, which is a SSSI and Local Wildlife Site.

These fields are home to otters, roe deer, badgers, bats, owls and songbirds and are an important wildlife corridor and part of the Green Belt. The reserve is one of Newcastles last remaining wildlife areas and is home to rare birds, plants and animals including Englands last urban population of red squirrels.

Newcastle City Council is setting out its latest development plans which they are calling their One Core Strategy, this includes a Strategic Land Review in which they have identified potential sites for new development. They are proposing that 8,000 new homes are built in the Green Belt, including 600 new homes in the fields next to Gosforth Park Nature Reserve, which they are calling Salters Lane Neighbourhood Growth Area the fields are conveniently owned by Persimmon Homes.

The fields that would be destroyed provide essential foraging habitat for wildlife that lives in the nature reserve. Without this habitat this wildlife will be lost forever. This includes families of badgers and roe deer, brown hare, several species of bats and birds such as barn owl, kestrel, and buzzard. Other wildlife in the reserve that would be badly affected by this development includes otters, red squirrels, voles, shrews and small birds.? The area is also attractive and peaceful countryside that is well used and loved by local walkers, nature enthusiasts, dog walkers and cyclists.

This areas is so valuable for wildlife that 10 years ago Newcastle Council designated this area as a Strategic Wildlife Corridor linking Jesmond Dene to the wider countryside. Further developments since then make this wildlife corridor even more important today. The Government?s Environmental White Paper, published in June, highlights the importance of creating buffer zones around important wildlife sites and retaining wildlife corridors; the Councils proposal clearly goes against this Government advice.

The Council is consulting people on their views of these plans. You have until 18th November to tell them what you think.

YOUR VIEWS WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. You can stop the destruction of our wildlife and countryside by telling the Council that you object to their plans. The more people who object the better the chance we have to stop this terrible proposal and to save our wildlife and open spaces for future generations.

You can view the Councils full plans at

If you want to give them your views on their plans to build houses next to the nature reserve then the policy that you are objecting to is Policy CS3 1a Salters Lane Neighbourhood Growth Area.

To give your comments online go to and follow the instructions. Alternatively send your comments by email to planning& or write to

Harvey Emms
Director of Planning
Newcastle City Council
Civic Centre

Local residents, the Natural History Society of Northumbria and Northumberland Wildlife Trust are encouraging people who live, work or visit Newcastle to contact the Council and object to these plans and ask the Council to protect this important wildlife area for future generations.

To demonstrate our opposition we are holding a public walk-about of the area at 11am on Sunday 30th October (meet at the entrance to the nature reserve, and there will be a public meeting with Newcastle planners held at Gosforth Civic Hall, 7pm on Tuesday 15th November. Please come along to these events to show your support.

Please forward this email to neighbours, friends or colleagues and ask them to give thier views as well or help to circulate on Facebook and Twitter - I attach a flyer which you may wish to use to help spread the word.

This type of threat to Gosforth Park and other nature reserves is set to become more common if the government's planning reforms go ahead. We would encourage you to write to your MP asking them to influence the Government's reforms so that they benefit the natural environment not just the development industry. The Wildlife Truts have a web-page to help you do this,1WPE,ZLI4G,1OEK7,1

The wildlife at Gosforth Park really needs your support at this critical time. We really hope that you will take a few minutes to contact Newcastle City Council to object to their plans, and if possible join us on the 30th October or 15th November.

Kind Regards
James Littlewood

Natural History Society of Northumbria
Great North Museum: Hancock
Barras Bridge
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4PT

Tel: 0191 232 6386

Registered Charity 526770

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


Application to Opencast Bradley/Billingside to be determined Tuesday 15th Feb‏

Hello again
We're about to enter our 3rd and final round with UK Coal, regarding their planning application to opencast the Bradley/Billingside site (Pont Valley).
You may remember this was unanimously rejected at Durham County Hall earlier this year, we believe the excellent turnout of supporters helped enormously, despite a recommendation for approval. UK Coal wasted no time in appealing against this decision, and this has now gone to public enquiry. This is our last chance to stop this application, if the decision falls in favour of UK Coal, then there is nothing further we can do to stop this travesty.
We really need your help and support again.
The public enquirey will be held at:
Leadgate Workingmen's Social Club and Institute
33 St Ives Road
Co. Durham
Commencing on Tuesday 25th October at 10.00. It is scheduled to last 16 days. If you would like to speak at the enquiry, you must register on the first day - we can do that for you if you are unable to attend on 25th.
Members of our group will be speaking on 1st and 2nd November. Just like February's hearing we believe that a show of support will help our argument, so please try and find sometime to come along and cheer us on.
I'll let you all know more details as they come in.
Hope to see you there, please rally the troops

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Ratcliffe Power Station - Protest against the Attack on the M&E Industry

Time: Friday, October 7 · 6:30am - 9:30am

Location: Ratcliffe On Soar Power Station, Nottinghamshire

Directions -

Ratcliffe Power Station
Ratcliffe On Sour
NG11 0EE

At a meeting on Monday (3rd October), the sparks on the site voted to walk out this Friday.

This is the first protest for Nottinghamshire in the battle against companies pulling out of the national JIB agreement. They are attempting to impose average pay cuts of 35%, alongside numerous other attacks on terms and conditions.

The action is unofficial - we can't afford to wait for UNITE to initiate a ballot, although everyone is still pushing for this.

Spread the word, join the lads from the site, get involved and save our industry"