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Baslow Environment Group

Update from the Baslow Environment Group

Great turnout again and loads of ideas and information ‚Äď it felt like we’re making progress.

BIRDS WALKS. Birds have been spotted by people who haven’t spotted them before. In a small but important way people have learned to see and love the world differently.

TRACTOR TOURS around the Chatsworth woods. More volunteers and a thrilling new plan from Ben.

MORE INFORMATION about feasibility and funding for energy generation

TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT – some exciting possibilites for the future

Our next full meeting is Tuesday 23 July 7.30 at Devonshire Arms (note the change in day)

Best wishes
Graham

Chatsworth opportunities
Nineteen people ventured into the wilds of Chatsworth to see the inspiring work done by Ben, George, Chris and the landscape team.

It’s slow and patient work, requiring vision and imagination as rhododendron plants are uprooted, water channels are cleared, water is thoughtfully managed, leaky dams are constructed, dead hedges are installed, bracken is battered, bird boxes go on trees and areas of wood and grass are left carefully untended.

And as a result new plant life is starting to grow, birds are coming back and mammals are finding habitats. The Chatsworth guys have the vision and¬† knowledge, but they couldn’t do all this without volunteers to put in the hard work. So it’s fantastic that 5 new volunteers from the Environment group are committing regular time to the team.

Also, Ben shared some super-exciting and top secret news that he is hoping to make 5 acres of land available to the Environment group to manage in partnership with Chatsworth. The land is in easy walking distance of the village, with woodland, wetland and pond potential. It’s not confirmed yet, but if he can pull it off it will be a huge asset for the village.

Go Ben go!

Bird walks
More imagination and creativity …..¬†Thirty people attended the 4 bird walks which Ian Johnston took around the village. Around 20 of them were people not previously connected to the Environment Group which shows a keen level of interest.

In all 40 species of bird were spotted or heard, including Oyster catcher, Sand Martin and Sparrow Hawk and Swifts The walks were a joyous education in the things we take for granted.

And exciting news – Ian has organised the installation of a 10 home Swift Village in the church tower. The ‘village’ is currently playing recordings of swift chat and attracting quite a bit of attention from swifts circling around it who we hope will move in next year. Amazing.

The cost of this was around £350 which was provided by the Derbyshire Swift Conservation charity.

A round of applause for Ian.

Energy
Peter reported encouraging news that he has seen the feasibility study for hydro generation at Calver Mill.

In theory their scheme is feasible with a payback period of 3-5 years. In practice they’ve hit some problems specific to their location because there are legal obstacles to selling the generated energy to the residents of Calver Mill.

This strengthens the case for our own feasibility. Peter reported there is funding available from the Midlands Net Zero hub and once the Community Benefit Society is established we can start to apply.

The Parish Council is positive about funding the costs of setting up the CBS so I’ll get working on that.

Travel and Transport
With exemplary grit and determination Tony has been wading through this particular sea of treacle and is beginning to get a sense of direction. DDDC has a responsibility for ensuring adequate bus services and so we need to understand how we influence their decision making. Tony has fixed a meeting with their Senior Transport planner so we can begin this work.

As always with this topic there were plentiful tales of woe to do with cancelled buses and buses going past crowded bus stops so this work is important.

There is also proper official talk of a cycle path between Derby and Baslow which we need to understand and decide how we can participate. There is an inspiring example of a community group in Shepton Mallet who have figured out how to build their own cycle paths.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/article/2024/may/16/cycle-network-strawberry-line-somerset-volunteers?CMP=share_btn_url

A couple of other things
Our friends from Bakewell are hosting an event to help local people understand how they can respond to Climate Change. It’s at 7.15 on 4 June in the Bakewell Assembly rooms and is facilitated by an organisation called Change Agents UK so promises to be worthwhile. It’s free but you need to book – information here: www.changeagents.org.uk/climate-essentials

Baslow Parish Meeting is at 7.30 on Tuesday 18 June in the village hall. An important opportunity to influence the decisions made about the village. Please come if you can to share what is going on in the Environment Group and gain support.

Our next meeting: Tuesday 23 July 7.30 at Devonshire Arms

For more information visit: www.baslowenvironmentgroup.org

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