Author Topic: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.  (Read 1454 times)

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Russell Brown

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The PC have been approached by the KC Transition Wildplaces group regarding works they'd like to carry out at Maltings Green (the space between the Village Hall and the Willowbrook).

Charles Tomalin presented the ideas at last nights PC meeting and the Council decided to ask for comments from the community and make a decision at the next meeting on the 11th of June. I've attached a PDF diagram showing the proposal.

So.... comments please. Either post here or if you'd rather, send an email to the PC Clerk.

HilaryB

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #1 Posted: 22 May 2015, 13:05:50 »
No idea if this is relevant - but although designated as a Pocket Park by NCC - Maltings Green is the only area of Common Land in the village, so presumably technically belongs to all, with, I believe, grazing rights for residents animals - sorry is this puts cats among pigeons!

Russell Brown

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #2 Posted: 22 May 2015, 14:42:45 »
Thanks for pointing that out.  Enquiries are underway with NCC (the authority in charge of the register) to clarify exactly what the common rights are (it apparently varies for each area of common land).

No need for this to stop people commenting though.

Felicity T

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #3 Posted: 23 May 2015, 12:16:17 »
Why does there seem to be a need to 'prettify' the natural landscape around the village. Firstly the village field is to become a park instead of a field, now a real wild place is to be tamed, cutback, paths added and artificial 'habitat' created, i.e. existing, natural habitat destroyed. Has a site survey been carried out to identify what species already use this area and maybe evicted?
On a more practical note, this will create yet another area which will need to be maintained. Who will be responsible for the maintenance after the initial enthusiasm for the project has waned?
As an antidote to the creeping urbanisation of the village I suggest converting the top end of the open space on Oak Lane, above the play area, into a wildflower meadow.

ciaran.nelson

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #4 Posted: 23 May 2015, 23:43:57 »
I think it's a great idea.

The best way to get people to care about the natural world is to get them to engage with it, and there's plenty of opportunity for that in the proposal.

Everything in the plan looks native and well selected to enhance the existing flora on the green.

If I had a vote it would get mine.


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wildplaces

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #5 Posted: 24 May 2015, 14:29:25 »
Hi all

Just to clarify, we're not trying to 'prettify' the area - but rather to bring the wildlife back to it, and make parts of it more accessible. There is a large area in the south east corner which is completely overgrown, and could be made more open for people to enjoy.

Unfortunately a lot of conservation and wilding work involves some kind of management in order to prevent areas becoming just a mass of scrub - brambles, hawthorn, blackthorn, dog rose etc. These are great for some wildlife, but to get a mix of insects, birds and mammals, we also need open water, meadow, field margins and so on - and that is what we are proposing for the overgrown areas of Maltings Green.
Once done, it will only need looking at every couple of years or so to keep on top of it, and the Wildplaces group is not going away :)

I have had a good look at the species present, but it really is quite limited at the moment.
There are a few 'good' plants on site - cowslips, cornflower, butterbur, cuckoo pint - which we aim to preserve where they are. However, with the work proposed, we should see a big increase in diversity of insects, butterflies, birds etc. (Bird boxes and an insect hotel are on the list of additions)

There is also be a small area of wildflower meadow included in the proposal :)

Regarding the Field, we have already succeeded in having the PC accept proposals for a wildflower meadow and woodland corridor on the western edge, and have also secured works from the Woodland Trust to allow access into Millennium Wood from the field.

If Persimmon will allow it, there may well be an opportunity to do something along these lines with the area at the top of Oak Lane, but that's for the future and for the village to decide :)

I'm really happy to have a walk round Maltings Green with anyone who wants to understand more, and explain on  the ground what we are proposing.
Please send me a message via the forum if you're interested.

Felicity T

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #6 Posted: 24 May 2015, 22:47:06 »
We would love to have a look round the site. Would 3pm on Friday 29th be ok for you? Anyone else want to come?

wildplaces

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #7 Posted: 25 May 2015, 10:07:31 »
That's no problem for me Felicity.
Friday at 3pm it is :)

If anyone else wants to come along let me know.
I'm happy to drop down there at the weekend as well for anyone who is working.

Message me if you're interested.

Kate Moss

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #8 Posted: 27 May 2015, 13:17:58 »
I think this is a good idea, as it will make the area a proper "Pocket Park", where hopefully nature and villagers can co-exist in harmony. I like that fact that "choice" plant species will be retained whilst bringing in further indigenous species and encouraging more birds, insects, butterflies etc. Because of it's size and location I think Maltings Green is perfect for a project like this.
However, I'm not sure I like what's happening to the Village Field, especially the new car park, which is a bit of an eyesore. Plus the hard core that's been dumped on Willow Lane may make life easier for car users but has the opposite effect for all other users. Thank goodness there will be a wildflower meadow and woodland corridor!   

Russell Brown

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #9 Posted: 27 May 2015, 13:50:27 »
Plus the hard core that's been dumped on Willow Lane may make life easier for car users but has the opposite effect for all other users.

Not wishing to take this thread off topic but FYI, the PC does have the budget put aside to improve Willow Lane for all users but that's currently on hold as the County Council have not released their plans for the housing development on the Middle School site and this could well impact any works undertaken by the PC.

antmad

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #10 Posted: 27 May 2015, 14:57:35 »
On the face of it, this looks reasonably good and I will support it (I've not seen all the details and the arguments).

Rob. M

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #11 Posted: 27 May 2015, 18:04:34 »
'As an antidote to the creeping urbanisation of the village I suggest converting the top end of the open space on Oak Lane, above the play area, into a wildflower meadow'.

This seems an attractive proposition for the top of the Oak Lane play area. What do others think?

Re. 'KC Wildplaces' Maltings Green plans, what has been suggested is similar to John Paige's effort some years ago. John gently cleared the spring fed stream and planted Yellow Flag iris near its source but nature has since run wild again. My only concern is Wildplaces suggested pond that could reduce the grassy activity area while becoming a pool of floating litter and a watery goal for Underground footballs! If adopted perhaps Wildplaces conservation improvements could include a small hard surfaced vehicle turning place at the start of the footpath leading to Leycester's Bridge from Church Walk with better positioned litter bin. About two years ago I saw a tiny water vole in and around the spring fed watercourse.

wildplaces

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #12 Posted: 28 May 2015, 10:30:07 »
The pond clearance would not reduce the grass area at all - the aim is only to make half of the bog area clear water, not to dig any additional pond/bog.
This pond would only be around 2 metres square in total, if that, so I wouldn't be concerned about losing too many footballs in there :)

With the interest from the Underground, we are hopeful that any litter etc would be cleared pretty regularly. Even the Horsewater doesn't catch much rubbish, so its not likely that this pond would attract much.

With the Transition Wildplaces group being established, future management of the site would be undertaken by volunteers on a planned schedule.

dearlove

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #13 Posted: 28 May 2015, 12:43:52 »
The aim appears to be to increase diversity and restore balance, to give back to what exists rather than detract from it. Change is not always progress or improvement, but it is inevitable, and over the years, the many changes in Kings Cliffe must have impacted on wildlife in ways that most villagers cannot imagine, and that experts could not necessarily have predicted. Lots of us live in those changes! The idea looks well-conceived and researched, and if it mitigates some of the negative effects, makes education and understanding of our surroundings more accessible, and enables a better future for wildlife, it has my vote.

kweeks

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Re: KC Transition Wildplaces: Maltings Green comments requested.
« Reply #14 Posted: 28 May 2015, 16:02:40 »
Underground are really supporting this project because we enjoy that space hugely for a variety of activities for all ages over the summer months. We would encourage young people to work with Wildspaces as part of their Youth Award and we hope this will inspire them not only to help look after that beautiful space as part of the project but beyond too!