Friends of the Earth (https://www.foe.co.uk/act/protect-our-bees-from-pesticides) are encouraging us to sign a letter to Lynn Truss, Secretary of State for the Environment, to make the neonicotinoids ban permanent, and to resist NFU pressure to relax the ban for oil seed rape.
There is also a petition at https://www.change.org/p/natural-resources-wales-deny-the-grant-of-an-environmental-permit-for-an-exploratory-borehole-at-merthyr-mawr?recruiter=301374705&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_page&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-custom_msg regarding an exploratory borehole, potentially related to fracking, near Bridgend (deadline 27 May).
The Spring 2015 Gwent-Glamorgan Recorders’ Newsletter (http://www.sewbrec.org.uk/gwent-glamorgan-recorders-newsletter/g-g-recorders-newsletter-issues.page) includes articles on Monmouthshire Meadows Group’s appeal for donations to help them purchase Kingcoed Meadows, 12 acres of flower-rich grassland; on finds in Wentwood Forest; on the Gwent Fungus Group; and on the Monmouth BioBlitz ‘We Count for Wildlife’ (26 June).
The Welsh Assembly has approved the Planning (Wales) Bill and it is expected to receive the Royal Assent later in the summer. Among the many provisions is the requirement (Section 16) to undertake Pre-Application Consultation for ‘major’ planning applications (which include Energy, Minerals, Waste, Residential (over 10 units or 0.5ha) and Commercial (over 1,000m2 or 1 ha) developments). A Development Order is likely to specify procedural details.
The County Council has been offered over £300,000 of Welsh Government grant for various road and safe route schemes in 2015/16. Works at Monmouth’s Wye Bridge will receive £90,000; further design work for a pedestrian/cyclist bridge over the Usk at Llanfoist/Abergavenny will get £75,000. Safe route schemes near schools in St David’s Road and Pen-y-Pound, Abergavenny, will cost £67,000, and road safety training will receive £61,000. There will also be help with the costs of Active Travel mapping. The safe route scheme between Magor and Rogiet was again unsuccessful.
Resilient Energy will be presenting their proposals to Tidenham Parish Council on Wednesday, 20 May at 7.00pm. This is similar to the successful community turbine on St Briavels Common. If you want to go along as a member of the public the presentation will be held in the Memorial Hall in Tutshill, on the corner of the Recreation Ground and Mopla Road. There is a car park on Coleford Road (opposite the Live and Let Live).
The Welsh Assembly has rejected an amendment to the Planning Bill that would have introduced third party or community rights to appeal against planning decisions that are, for example, not in accordance with the development plan or contrary to officers’ recommendations. A Welsh Government amendment to make the effect on the use of the Welsh language a material consideration was agreed, but not moves to require Welsh language impact statements before permissions can be granted.
Gwent Wildlife Trust are arranging training workshops and an information pack for groups who wish to manage sites more sensitively for pollinators. Contact email@example.com for details.
The MonDean Walking Festival, a development of Monmouthshire’s past festivals, will be held 27 June – 5 July. Details at www.walkinginmonmouthshire.org.
Did you know that a working copy of the definitive map of Monmouthshire’s public rights of way can be found at http://access.monmouthshire.gov.uk?
There will be a family Bioblitz event at Vauxhall Fields, Monmouth, on Saturday, 27 June – recording and learning about wildlife much as previously at Caldicot Castle and Castle Meadows, Abergavenny. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.