Staffordshire - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Tuesday, 27 November 2018 11:37

Give As You Live

Did you know you could help raise funds for CPRE Staffordshire whilst shopping online? All you need to do is to create a free account with Give As You Live. If you already use Give As You Live, you can select CPRE Staffordshire as your chosen charity. There are over 4,000 participating retailers, including Amazon, John Lewis, M&S, B&Q, Expedia and Ticketmaster. Once you've signed up, just browse the Give As You Live website or use their app to select the store you want to shop with. Click 'shop & raise' to go to the retailer's website, then continue to shop as normal. CPRE Staffordshire will receive between 1% and 10% of the money you spend. 

Any money raised will help us respond to local planning applications, national government consultations affecting our countryside and green spaces, plant trees, organise litter picks and lobby for a Deposit Return System, and so much more.

Friday, 06 July 2018 10:54

Visit to BIFoR

Staff, volunteers and members of CPRE Staffordshire enjoyed a very interesting and informative visit to the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) near Norbury Junction on 6 July 2018.

Set in mature umanaged oak woodland with a hazel understorey, the BIFoR FACE (Free Air Carbon Enrichment) experiment is the only one of its kind in the northern hemisphere. The ten-year experiment is investigating how our forests will respond to future increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), including effects on forest growth and agricultural pests and diseases. The forest contains sites that receive elevated levels of CO2 , which are compared with those that have the monitoring equipment in place but do not receive extra CO2 , and control sites, all with a similar composition of trees.

CPRE's visit paved the way for royalty. A couple of weeks after our visit, Prince Charles (who is patron of the Woodland Heritage charity and a supporter of the new Action Oak campaign) unveiled a plaque at the site and was presented with a bottle filled with air from the forest at its predicted CO2 level in 2050. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 27 September 2018 08:42

Green Clean with the Reverse Vending Machine

CPRE's 'reverse vending machine' paid a visit to Stafford on 23 September 2018 to demonstrate how a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) might work in practice. Together with an active local group, Stafford Litter Heroes, we organised a Green Clean along the banks of the River Sow by Asda, which is something of a litter blackspot (thanks to the recent acquisition of waders and an inflatable canoe, Becki and Karen from Stafford Litter Heroes were also able to collect litter from the river). Bottles and cans can be fed into the machine, which prints out a receipt that (if we had a DRS) could be exchanged for a small amount of money. 

Despite there having been a previous litter pick in the area only a fortnight earlier, we collected 142 plastic bottles, 72 glass bottles and 173 cans - all recyclable - plus a large number of bags of general rubbish such as crisp packets. Other finds included a large wooden sign, traffic cones, prescription medicines and plastic ducks.

After 10 years of campaigning, the announcement earlier this year that England is to finally have a DRS was a huge environmental win for CPRE in its fight against littered bottles and cans in the countryside. Similar systems in countries such as Norway have been shown to boost recycling rates to as high as 97%. Yet our countryside, towns and roadside verges remain awash with empty bottles and cans, causing serious harm to habitats and wildlife. The Green Clean events that took place around England during September aimed to collect as much rubbish as possible, and to record the quantity and type of litter found to help make the case for a DRS.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 10:04

AGM 2018

Following our most recent AGM, held at the Haling Dene Centre in Penkridge on 12 September 2018, we are pleased to welcome two new members to the committee. John Blount is the clerk to Stowe-by-Chartley parish council and lives in Brocton on the edge of Cannock Chase. Steve Hopkins is the former chairman of the recently disbanded Community Council of Staffordshire.

Mary Booth has kindly taken over from Amyas Stafford Northcote as the new Chair (Amyas is now vice-president of the branch). Frank Walmsley has also stepped down from the committee. They were presented with retirement gifts by Ian Dudson, Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, to thank them for their sterling service to CPRE over many years.

We were pleased to welcome our guest speaker, Su Sayer, chair of the national CPRE charity. Su talked about her upbringing in Sussex and her ancestor John Dudeney, who was a shepherd and later teacher in Lewes for many years. When Su and her sisters were recently trying to restore a trout stream, they ended up using sheep who were descended from Dudeney's original flock. Su also spoke about how CPRE can present its values for a modern audience. A similar project in the 1960s which led to many of the areas in which CPRE now campaigns, such as litter and dark skies. Too often, CPRE’s work goes under the radar. As a result, the charity needs to broaden its appeal and provide solutions to problems that resonate with new audiences, such as plastic waste and affordable housing. Su described some examples of positive progress from CPRE’s past work in Staffordshire, such as a campaign to protect wildflowers on roadside verges.

Our volunteer planning advisor Paul spoke about Local Plans, proposed developments and housing targets around the county, the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and the West Midlands Rail Interchange, a huge and in CPRE's view an inappropriate development in the green belt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 12:01

AGM 2017

The Campaign to Protect Rural England Staffordshire Branch Annual General Meeting at Haling Dene Centre, Cannock Rd, Penkridge, Stafford ST19 5DT on Thursday 14th September 2017.

Attendees included our Committee, our volunteers, Councillors, guests and CPRE members, this year's AGM attendance was down on previous year and it was moved to continue the meeting as though quorate. 

Mary Cope gave an illustrated talk about her family run mixed cereal and rare breeds farm, of 238 acres at Upper Longdon, in the Cannock Chase AONB. The farm has been run by the Cope family, farming in harmony with nature, for four generations and Mary spoke of wildlife corridors bordering crop fields, wildflower meadow maintenance and showing their 2 year old prize winning White Park bull, one of a herd of 48 White Park cattle. The Cope family are also branching out into farming goats and now offer farm visits, a classroom is available for school children, for which refreshments can be supplied. Mary took questions and also provided the food for the AGM luncheon.

The Chairman presented additions to his address mentioning the finances had increased in part due to now appointed Office & Publicity Manager, Sue Kneill-Boxley, taking the CPRE Staffordshire stall around the county to various events including the Staffordshire County Show. He thanked Sue for her work in raising the profile of the branch and acknowledged the hard work of Jacqueline Tomlinson, former Office Manager, who has now left the branch to take up employment with the West Midlands LEP.

Election of President and Vice Presidents:  Mr Ian Dudson CBE HM Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire was re-elected as president and Mr Phil Goode re-elected as Vice President. Election of Officers and Executive Committee: Mr Stafford Northcote withdrew from the Chair for the election of the chairman.  His re-election as chairman was confirmed and he resumed as chair of the meeting. Mrs Anne Clendon and Mrs Mary Booth were re-elected as Vice Chair. Mr Frank Walmsley, was re-elected to serve on the committee. Mr Amyas Stafford Northcote advised that a new Chair would need to be found by 2018.

We would like to extend our warm thanks to everyone who attended and contributed on the day in making our AGM a huge success.

 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 13:17

HS2 Phases One & Two

HS2 has been split into two phases. Phase One covers London to the West Midlands, including a connection to the West Coast main line at Handsacre, just east of Lichfield. Phase Two completes the now familiar Y-shaped route with two arms, one leading to Manchester and the other to Leeds. The whole line will be 330miles of new twin-track railway, serving nine dedicated stations.

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