Friday, 2 June 2017

Kingston's Apple Story

This month we launched a 12 page Chap Book 'Kingston's Apple Story'. It has a three-fold intention: to promote the importance of the Tolworth Apple Store; inform of the orchard heritage in the borough; and increase the size and number of local orchards which are an important peri-urban habitat. Buy here £2 + P&P

Once a common sight within the landscape, the traditional orchard habitat is now under serious threat and for this reason the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) now includes Traditional Orchards in its list of priority habitats. Threats to old orchards include neglect, intensification of agriculture and pressure from land development.

Particularly in urban areas, an orchard managed for biodiversity can be a proxy for ‘a mini wood pasture’, a most important habitat. The grass will be left longer and not mown becoming a haven for reptiles, wildflowers and an assortment of fungi. These sites are hotspots for biodiversity and have been shown to provide a refuge for over 1800 species.

Pete Brown, the author of 'The Apple Orchard: the story of our most English fruit' gave a talk at the Museum of the Futures last week. We we treated to a free glass of cider (or Sidre-Welsh for Kiss) at the event. This is  brewed by four Welshmen from a shed in Surbiton. The 'Thirsty Beasts', usually obtain suplus apples  from Surbiton gardens adding a champagne yeast.

If you would like to sign the petition asking the  Council to debate the future of the Tolworth Apple Store - and you live, work or study in Kingston upon Thames - you can sign here Tolworth Apple Store petition

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Fracking: coming to a site near you ......soon

Nottinghamshire County Council has granted planning permission to two separate applications to drill exploratory shale gas wells. One site will be located off the A634 between Barnby Moor and Blyth.

This approval follows the completion of a legal agreement, required as part of the decision of the council’s planning and licensing committee on 21 March this year, to approve an application by Dart Energy Ltd to drill the exploratory wells at the site in Bassetlaw.

The Section 106 legal agreement includes several requirements, including payment of a bond that would be used to restore the site in the event that Dart Energy is unable to fulfil restoration requirements in the planning permission.

The second site is on land off Spring Road, Misson, in Bassetlaw regarding Island Gas Ltd’s application to drill exploratory wells. The Section 106 legal requirements include a designated route for all vehicles visiting and leaving the site, establishing a community liaison committee and the monitoring of water levels.

Think it can't happen here?  See below
Parts of New Malden and Worcester Park sit inside an area where a US company could carry out fossil fuel explorations.

Alamo Energy has held a licence since 2010 to explore potential fuel sources in and around the Weald basin, according to Greenpeace. The licence allows exploration of shale fuel reserves – which could be extracted by the fracking process.