Photographs of Thorpe woodlands, their varied habitats, plantlife and wildlife all taken by friends and supporters. most taken between 2010 and 2013

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Out of the mouths of babes...

The other day I had this lovely picture put through my door by the parent of a little girl who lives in our road. It's great to know that local people of all ages treasure Thorpe woodlands and care about their fate. I was also struck by the way she has managed to convey in her picture some of the key points about these woods and why they are so precious to us and those who live in them - the wildflowers and broadleaf trees with their nuts which feed the wildlife and create new saplings, along with the birds and fungi that flourish in this environment. I hope you find this as charming and heartening as I do.

Friday, 10 September 2010

More questions than answers

Following the mass walk in the woods held on 28th August, the T&FT complained, in the subsequent Evening News report, that they were 'disappointed' with some of the contents of this blog. They also said they wanted to engage in a meaningful dialogue with FTW. FTW wrote to the Evening News to say we have been trying to open a dialogue with T&FT for weeks, but had so far been ignored. We also stated that we are confident that all facts on the blog are correct and challenged them to tell us which they dispute.

The letter was published on 3rd September. The Evening News reaches the shops around mid-day. By 4pm, T&FT were sending emails right, left & centre to people who had emailed questions to them since their charrette started on 6th July. We are sure it was just coincidental that they got round to breaking their silence hours after our letter was published!

The T&FT's replies are interesting in that they merely reiterate everything they've already said, without challenging any of the material on our blog or giving meaningful answers to any questions. They were also evasive about the video recording of the charrette's final presentation that Andres Duany promised everyone present. Many of their replies failed to mention this at all, and those that did merely said that the recording would be available 'soon', on their website. That was a week ago, and their website still hasn't changed since July 13th. I wonder if it ever will?

Other news:

The public meeting debacle continues. The latest is that T&FT want to postpone their next presentation until after the GNDP Joint Core Strategy public examination has been completed. This could well mean that the meeting won't take place until November or even December. T&FT have, apparently, promised that they won't abandon their promised meeting altogether. It wouldn't be surprising if this were to change though, as it is hard to imagine them looking forward to it eagerly any more. The tide of public opinion has turned very decisively against their scheme, with many people who were originally won-over by their charrette having contacted FTW recently, expressing their disgust at the way they were sidetracked and misled, and wanting to join the campaign. It is doubtful whether T&FT have any supporters left at all, and understandable that the prospect of appearing in front of a large audience of well informed opponents doesn't appeal to them.

FTW volunteers have been distributing leaflets around the area, and membership has grown steadily - fast approaching 400 today. Leafletting will continue, with the Thorpe End area to be targeted next. It is unlikely that anyone living in Thorpe End welcomes the prospect of the woods' destruction any more than people in Thorpe St Andrew, Sprowston and Heartsease. If anyone would like to help with leaflet distribution etc., please contact Lorna.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Friends Gain More Support

The last 10 days have been a busy time for the Friends of Thorpe Woodlands.

The walk through Belmore and Racecourse Plantations by over 100 local residents and 5 District Councillors has resulted in a great deal of publicity for our campaign to save these wonderful woods.
The EEN covered the walk and many letters have been published in support.

Membership of the Friends has tripled, and our cause is gaining support from more and more people.
In addition to the welcome, and highly valued support that we have received from the council we have also been contacted by Chloe Smith MP. In her letter, which is shown here, she states that she is sorry not have been able to join us for walk but she declares that she supports our cause.

This campaign depends upon the local people who have worked so hard over the last two months. We would ask all our members to continue their excellent work, and continue writing to the press and spreading the news to their friends and neighbours about the threat to our woods and the campaign to save them