The St Ives Town Team is proud to announce that six years after the Town Council agreed to name the conservation area The Old Riverport, this new exhibition The Port on the River, has now opened in the Norris Museum. It traces the significance of the Great Ouse to the origin and history of the town and explains how it became one of the most active river ports on the river. It also shows how the river remains the town’s greatest asset. The exhibition runs until 14 March.
Please check www.norrismuseum.org.uk for opening times.
The Great Ouse Valley Trust Partners’ Update meeting and workshop at Hemingford Abbots Village Hall on 30th November was attended by 35 representatives from our partner members and potential partner members. Parishes, towns and national organisations all participated to help the Trust focus on the issues that really matter to them.
The morning session was chaired by GOVT Chairman Graham Campbell. Three speakers helped to stimulate ideas and concerns for discussion. Mark Nokkert of Cambridgeshire ACRE gave a presentation (CLICK HERE) on the current status of its application to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) for recognition of the Fens Biosphere project. Martin Baker spoke about the work of the Wildlife Trust in the valley and spoke of the challenges now faced following years of biodiversity loss. Finally, Michael Krause from Plantlife encouraged us to value the rich plant life that does still exist in the valley and explained how meadows rich in biodiversity can be regenerated in a surprisingly short time span. Graham Campbell mentioned that landscape has a great cultural and aesthetic value that is not always in tune with the wildlife but that this has a great significance in the Trust’s aim to gain AONB status.
Attendees were asked to indicate what they considered to be the top three key benefits and threats for the Trust. This was followed by two sessions of round table discussion. Each of the five tables had a good mixture from our partner members. The first session centred on the main aims of the Trust and the second session on how the individual members could deliver some of these ambitions.
Special thanks to Helen Boothman, Bridget Flanagan and Phil Rothwell for structuring the event.
The group discussions produced a quantity of ideas and concerns which are being carefully analyzed in order to establish a clear direction for the Trust in the coming year and beyond. We hope to publish this ‘manifesto’ early in the New Year.
With the data coming out of this session the Trust is confident that it can develop as a coalition of all those who are committed to promote, protect and enhance this wonderful landscape.
Scenes from the workshop: Delegates discussing the options left and the Trust banner with post-it note preferences right. Photographs by Chris Bowden.
Following previous announcements about the 3.2 m investment in new eel screens along the river Great Ouse Anglian Water now report that their works at the Offord Water Treatment Works has been postponed. The plan is now to start construction in autumn this year. Once we are advised of the confirmed dates we will update this site.
Please follow this link https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/siteassets/hidden/iya/lucy/2019-02-offord-map.pdf to learn more about this scheme. Anglian Water say it will be made into a sign which will be displayed on the walking route in the coming weeks to inform the local residents and walkers of the temporary closure and diversion route.
Update received 30 September 2019
Anglian Water report that the works due to take Place at the Offord D’Arcy Intake have now received the go ahead to start on site and so they will be setting up from this week. The site manager is aiming to keep the footpath past the works open until 28 October 2019.
Update received 25 November 2019
Work has now started and is expected to last until approximately Spring 2020.
Update received 19th December 2019
We’re breaking for Christmas by closing our site on 19 December 2019 and re-opening on the 7 January 2020. This means that our work will be temporarily suspended, giving you and your neighbours a break from any disruption.
To ensure the safety of the public and our workforce, for the duration of our scheme the footpath on Ouse Valley Way will remain closed. A diversion route will be in place and signposted at all times. Please see the plan below.
We’d love to hear your feedback. Good service is really important to us. We want all our customers to be delighted with the work we do. Let us know how we are doing so far by scanning the QR code below or you can type the address in your browser.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year on behalf of the team.
NOTE: The European eel is now classed as critically endangered after a 95 per cent decline in population over the last 25 years. The new screens will provide safe passage along the watercourse for the eels, fish and other organisms. This will protect them from the machinery of weirs and locks which will otherwise prevent them completing their migration cycle in order to reproduce.
Our Chair’s response to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s Local Transport Plan submitted 27 September 2019
1 The CPCA Local Transport Plan includes a proposal for a Third River Crossing between Huntingdon and St Ives. This idea was previously proposed partly in order to accommodate the planned residential development of the Wyton Airfield site.
2 Following very strong objections from many sources the proposal was dropped. The Great Ouse Valley Trust is dismayed to see that it is now included in the Combined Authority’s Local Transport Plan and is equally dismayed that a study is about to be commissioned on the feasibility of the crossing.
3 The landscape of the Great Ouse Valley between Huntingdon and St Ives is of national importance and is now being considered as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is loved by artists and is rich in biodiversity. It defines the area and gives the Great Ouse Valley towns and villages their identity.
4 Cambridgeshire has the smallest area of non arable landscape in any rural county in the United Kingdom. The county and the East of England cannot boast grand landscapes. The area in the Great Ouse Valley is small and fragile but also unique and precious. It compares very favourably with Dedham Vale and other special protected areas.
5 The impact assessment refers to a new network giving better access for tourism whilst ignoring the fact that a road would destroy the very thing that brings tourists to this area. The quality of the environment is of course a very significant factor in attracting businesses and a skilled workforce to the area. There is very strong business case for protecting this environment.
6 In the month that has seen the publication of the Glover Report on our fragile national landscapes and international demonstrations about climate change the need to protect these special areas is brought into focus.
7 The proposed plan ignores Government manifesto commitments to leave the natural environment in a better state than it was in when the Government took office. It ignores the Government Wildlife recovery plan and it ignores the Government 25 year environment plan.
8 As the towns and villages on either side of the valley expand and become more urbanised the need to protect this small, unique landscape for the mental and physical health of our community is even more pressing.
9 The value of the landscape to the future success of Cambridgeshire is too significant to be sacrificed for short term convenience. As the urbanisation of the towns on either side of the valley continues the protection of this special landscape is absolutely vital.
10 The starting point for the Local Transport Plan must be the nurture of the resources that already exist in Cambridgeshire and which make it an area that people want to live in and businesses invest in.
11 The Great Ouse Valley Trust believes that a new road across the unique and tranquil landscape of the area between Huntingdon and St Ives is not a legitimate option for the transport study.
Great Ouse Valley Trust
The following email was received by GOVT on 3 December from Rowland Potter, Head of Transport, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority.
Tel: 01480 277210 Mobile: 07923 250202
Further to our meetings over the last few months, at which time we were undertaking a procurement exercise for a supplier to deliver the Huntingdon Third River Crossing study, as per the brief issued to yourselves for information.
We have now decided to place the supplier award on official hold for reconsideration of an alternative way of delivering the Huntingdon Third River Crossing study requirement.
[GOVT would like to thank all those who took advantage of the consultation process for the CPCA Local Transport Plan to express their views on the proposals for a Third River Crossing. We await further announcements from Roland Potter.]