Why we must stand together to Save Our Countryside…

Our local countryside is beautiful, irreplaceable but is also limited. Yet increasingly it is being destroyed by badly planned developments like the one proposed at Chidswell and we can often be left feeling powerless to protect the places we love.

This is why we must stand together to stop the destruction of our local countryside. Chidswell fields and ancient woodlands are in danger of being destroyed unnecessarily, when previously developed brownfield sites should be re-used first. We are a small group of residents with a large supporting community, who are passionate about the countryside.

We are alarmed by the planning application from the Church of England Commissioners for a massive development around the Chidswell and Heybeck Lane areas for 1,500 new homes plus 35 hectares of commercial development on what was greenbelt land. Ever since the development proposal was first made we have tirelessly campaigned to protect the environment and the health and wellbeing of our countryside and its wildlife.

Our local countryside at Chidswell fields is more than just the wonderful view that we see; it is an ever-changing landscape with the seasons. This landscape that we know and love is one of rolling countryside with its own distinctive character and sense of place. Countryside like this has a vital role in tackling the climate change emergency by capturing carbon, storing it in plants, cleaning the air, helping to slow flood waters and providing habitats for wildlife.

We want to see our countryside thriving, our hedgerows and trees protected, our streams running clear, sustaining our local wildlife. Our hedgerows are vital in knitting together the patchwork of our countryside. They hold their own beauty, with changing seasonal colours and also provide homes and connecting passageways for wildlife. These are all the qualities that make it such a special place to visit.

High-grade farmland is a major feature of the Chidswell fields and probably has been for hundreds of years, helping to produce the food that we eat. Nationally, farmland makes up two-thirds of all our countryside and is responsible for much more than the food we eat. We need to work together to retain our farmland, with farming working with nature to help support and protect our wildlife habitats, provides fresh air and clean water, stores carbon and look after the landscape that makes our local countryside so special.
We all need somewhere to relax and enjoy nature, somewhere to exercise, breathe fresh air and see and hear the birds, animals and flowers we come across. Time spent in peaceful green spaces has important benefits for our mental health and wellbeing. These quiet spaces in our countryside are ideal places to achieve this and Chidswell fields and ancient woodlands need to be protected so everyone can have somewhere to relax and connect with nature. We want to maintain access to this countryside and enable people to continue to enjoy its benefits to our wellbeing.

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