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Our town is a very nice town

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THE online community newspaper for Nailsea people, their family and their friends

February 2021
PROPERTY PEEPS

January homes for sale by Property Peeps page sponsors Hunters Estate Agents and Letting Agents in the High Street HERE.  Plus news that district council has decided to go it alone with a Local Plan is also on this page

Breaking news

Almost as it happens incidents from Nailsea and nearby received too late for the front page - escaped sheep, collapsed stonewall and more are among the latest postings on the  news page sponsored by Nailsea Auto Electrical HERE

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What's On

Optimism returns and the community begins to plan for the year ahead. For dates for the bike show and Rotary charity walks/runs plus quick glance diary dates listing click HERE

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Gallery

We thought with nothing much happening and only a few hours of snow our slideshows for January 2021 weren't going to be the best. We should have known better. More than 100 photos already plus nearly 30 aerial photos taken by James Russell and his drone HERE

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THE DIG : Archaeologists have uncovered a firepit and fragments of 16-17th century pottery on a dig on the grassy slope off The Perrings, Nailsea. However, rather than valuable Regency porcelain Nailsea People are told it is more likely to be a Somerset farmer making lunch while out working in the fields nearly three hundred years ago. Wednesday, February 10, was the last day of the excavation which is a prerequisite to North Somerset Council deciding on a planning application for 14 chalet bungalows on the edge of the proposed town green. Nailsea Town Council planning committee has already given a unanimous thumbs-down as they are determined to protect the ‘strategic gap’ between Nailsea and Backwell. Nailsea Town Council chairman Jan Barber while out of an exercise walk talked to concerned neighbours this afternoon to lament the proposal which would include an access road directly opposite Walnut Close. The dated cable tv green box with its sad graffiti also seems to have become a casualty of the site traffic, said neighbours.

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You can’t see woods for trees

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The re-wilding of North Somerset began in February 2020 with hundreds of tree saplings being planted across the district.

But not everyone is happy with loss of green space or potential loss of views.

Roger Smallshaw, of Redwood Close, is especially upset about the latest re-wilding on the corner of Nailsea Park and Blackthorn Way.

He said: “Unlike Clevedon and Portishead residents whose fortunate residents were granted a consultation, discussion and negotiation with the council resulting in a fairly decisive reduction to the scale of their plantings we did not get that opportunity and ended up with planting on an industrial scale!”

And Nailsea Town Council chairman Jan Barber said she has received several complaints about the tree planting.

Mrs Barber said: “The complaints mainly about the proximity of the tree whips* to each other and the type of trees being planted. 

“I am concerned that the future maintenance is well-funded to ensure that the weaker trees are removed to allow the stronger ones to have adequate room to grow. 

“There will be a lot of work required to make sure that any brambles are frequently removed, so that those using these areas are able to walk freely. 

“I should like to see paths are established through the wild areas and these are kept clear so that the public can really enjoy walking through nature. 

“Are volunteers going to be expected to take on this task or will North Somerset make sure sufficient budget is allocated?”

Back at the beginning of 2020 in Backwell, Nailsea and Wraxall, starting at Pound Lane, Trendlewood and in the fields at the end of Sedgemoor Close, council officials and the community came together to plant more than 1,000 young trees.

More saplings went in at Rhyne View and Elm Farm.

Despite the wind and rain the tiny shoots encased in protection sleeves went in the waterlogged ground although since this planting vandals have uprooted many of the saplings.

Rewilding involves creating more habitats for wildlife to flourish, increase biodiversity and help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Last year North Somerset Council agreed to rewild as much of its land as possible.

The aim is to plant 25 hectares of woodland – about 50,000 trees – and grow about 40 hectares of tall grass, reducing the areas of regularly mown grass by 25 per cent.

North Somerset Council executive member for climate emergency and the environment and Backwell ward councillor Bridget Petty is promoting the scheme.

Mrs Petty said: “This has been done in response to a climate emergency to protect for future generations.”

However, when the country went into lockdown a halt was called on the community helping with the planting in line with national guidelines.

North Somerset Council said it will be creating new wildlife habitats including in some 2.5 million square metres of amenity of grass in parks, verges and open spaces it owns.

And it maintains: “We are not rewilding to save money – we are doing it to enhance the benefits of our natural environment for our residents and wildlife.”

In a consultation about its plans much of its 500+ responses were supportive towards the project.

North Somerset Council isn’t the only organisation re-wilding urban and rural areas.

Within minutes of a link to this article being put on Nailsea People Facebook page is reached more than 1,000 readers.
Andy Johnson said: "I know I am going to be joining the Nailsea Moaners here but where I think adding trees to the area is a lovely idea, I really do not understand why they have been laid out like that in this green space and also on top of where there once was mineshafts."
Adele Filer said: "Sadly many of the trees have already been destroyed."
Mick Graham said: "It will ultimately block motorists views at the road junction."
Andy Johnson added: "I have to say that was my first thought. 
"It is a tricky junction at best."
Beth Connock said: "North Somerset were given 6K trees but have no idea what they are. 
"There was no public consultation and they have been planted in random places.
"I’m happy with trees but why in gods name have they been planted in straight lines, blocking access to the bridleway and looking like a war grave as in the Sedgemoor Close field. 
"If it’s anything like last time they’ll all be dead this time next year because the council don’t take care of them. 
"My own theory is Clevedon got up a petition to prevent them being planted in Ladye Bay so we got them."
Faith Moulin said: "What a shame they are all in rows! 
"It will never look natural. 
"Nature doesn’t plant in rows, or use weed killer, or plastic tubes. 
"It could have been designed with groups of trees and open spaces to suit everyone and relaxed management to suit nature."
Yvonne Bate shared the photo of Morgan's Hill.
She said: "Surely the planting didn’t need to completely dominate the lovely space , which is enjoyed by many."
And Patricia Adams said: "I do question the manner of planting in tight rows - it will require a huge amount of management and ensures that many of the saplings are destined to fail. 
"My biggest question is why have so many been planted on the field off Sedgemore Close where, sadly, house building is intended as part of the hideous expansion of Nailsea? 
"What a pitiful waste."

BIRD'S-EYE VIEW: Nailsea People would like to thank Sam Parker for the additional photos and making the video

During the latest lockdown Noah’s Ark zoo farm at Wraxall has been busy planting trees - see photos below.

The two phases project saw more than 5,500 trees planted in and around the zoo including 2,500 mixed native hedging whips of field maple, hawthorn, spindle, gelder rose and hazel trees.

This will form hedgerows in the top sheep field to create four new paddocks for its British farm animals rare breed project.

The remaining trees were used to repair pre-existing arable field hedges where sections had collapsed. These areas were removed to enable the establishment of the new hedges, with much of the damaged hedgerow being used as browse for our elephants, giraffes and camels, so nothing was wasted.

In addition, a further 55 larger, established hornbeam, oak, lime and field maple trees were planted around the zoo. This will create extra shade for visitors in the picnic areas and also for animals in their enclosures.

National Grid Hinkley Project added 3,000 more trees at the zoo farm which will form windbreak hedgerows and wildlife corridors on the boundary and between paddocks. 

Managing director Larry Bush said: “Our tree planting initiative is a key part of our commitment to the environment as a green and sustainable zoo.

“Trees have so many environmental benefits including creating clean air, reducing the impact of climate change and of course providing habitats for native wildlife.

“During the past two decades we’ve planted more than 45,000 trees across our 200-acre zoo and farm to provide a lasting legacy for the environment.”

The area of woodland in the UK at the end of March 2020 is estimated to be 3.21 million hectares.

This represents 13 per cent of the total land area in the UK, 10 per cent in England, 15 per cent in Wales, 19 per cent in Scotland and nine per cent in Northern Ireland.

The Domesday Book of 1086 indicated cover of 15 per cent in England ‘but significant loss of woodland started more than 4,000 years ago in prehistory’.

*A whip is a slender, unbranched shoot or plant. This term is used in forestry to refer to unbranched young tree seedlings of approximately 0.5-1.0m in height and two to three years old, that have been grown for planting out.

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