Sunday, 21 February 2016

Sunday rounds and meeting with Viridor

 An influx of Shelduck over last couple of days, nine yesterday and eleven today
The incinerator site

Did the usual weekend circuit this morning. Pretty quiet. Nick and Derek were also around and yesterday Tank and Glenn did the circuits. Highlights at the moment are 9 Jack Snipe, 25+ Snipe, Green Sandpiper, 3 Stonechat, good numbers of Gadwall and Pochard, 1 Water Pipit and 11 Shelduck today.

Been working on the 2015 report also today- some good results for the breeding season and a good species count too. The target species are in decline and despite a hint of some positive changes there are still some serious conservation issues mainly as a result of the delay in restoration.

 I met with Viridor and the companies strategic director on Friday to discuss the restoration progress (which could do with progressing better). We also discussed the neighbourhood plan objectives.  There were a few positive outcomes including:

1) A schedule for implementation of the Restoration Management Plan (RMP) in 2016 including sacrificial crop planting, mowing of the mounds, willow clearance, strimming of islands, repairs to weirs, re-planting of the meadows and clearance of construction debris, acid grassland trails and most importantly the commencement of the wet grassland habitat.
2) A commitment to better co-ordination between the Conservation Science Group and the restoration contractors/ contract details
3) Additional keys for the bird group
4) Support from Viridor for the conservation of Irrigation Bridge
5) A proposal to commence a dialogue with Thames Water regarding the future of 100 acre and southeast corner
6) Closer co-operation between Viridor and the bird group public engagement activities
7) A direct communication line between the bird group and the Viridor board of directors.
8) An agreement in principle to access funding from the incinerator community fund and also the landfill tax (Viridor credits) funds to pay for local biodiversity improvements and also the ecology park

So all in all, probably the single most important meeting I've ever been to regarding Beddington Farmlands. If any of that comes off we might well have hit the bottom and could possibly finally be on the up. Personally I'm not counting our chickens and we're still preparing some publicity events this year to highlight the problems local groups like us face and also hopefully to demonstrate how all these problems can be solved by effective partnerships between local wildlife and community groups, local authority and corporations. Things shouldn't be this difficult to work or should not be allowed to get to this point so would be good if any success we have here can be supported by  initiatives to back it up with more statuary support, so hoping to work on that too.

Quite mild tonight- got the moth trap on; one Diurnea fagella so far. 

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