January to March 2011

January

Renewable energy

We chair the first of six successful meetings of the community-based Peak Hydro Forum, which numbers over 30 groups and individuals. This builds on last year’s Peak Power project into the viability of small scale hydro power in and around the National Park. The forum follows this up with three visits to working hydro sites in the Peak District.

Forest sell-off

We urge our supporters to tell the Government not to continue with its plans to sell off the Forestry Commission estate, potentially affecting Peak District woodlands in Goyt, Snake, Westend in the Upper Derwent Valley and Alport Dale; and South Yorkshire woodlands in Wharncliffe, Brodsworth, Bentley, Dinnington, Kiveton, Cudworth and Thurnscoe.

Haythornthwaite Woods, Dore

Our small woodland opposite the Dore Moor Inn between Sheffield and the Peak District was planted in 1994 as a memorial to our founders Ethel and Gerald Haythornthwaite. We are joined by 14 volunteers and a ranger in our first conservation session of the year.

Star Count Week

Along with the Campaign for Dark Skies, we encourage local people to monitor stars in order to check light pollution levels.

Auckley, Doncaster

We are dismayed that plans to build 750 new houses on valuable local countryside near Doncaster Robin Hood Airport are given the go ahead. We’re alarmed that this first site in a Countryside Policy Area is handed over for housing, and pledge to continue our fight for a full Green Belt for Doncaster. 

 

February

Waterswallows, Buxton

We are horrified at plans for a water bottling factory on a high open plateau just next to the Peak District National Park. We urge people to tell High Peak Borough Council to reject the plans. We are disappointed when the scheme is later approved.

Take Back the Tracks – The Roych

We cautiously welcome action from the Peak District National Park Authority to urge trail-bikers and 4x4 drivers to keep to a voluntary one-way system at this damaged green lane near Chapel-en-le-Frith near the heart of the Peak District.

Take Back the Tracks – Pin Dale

We’re delighted that the Peak District National Park Authority, Natural England and English Heritage are taking action to protect Pin Dale near Castleton from off-roading damage.

YES! Project, Rotherham

We guardedly celebrate Rotherham Council terminating its development agreement with Oak Holdings for the £350m YES! Project and an end to Oak Holdings’ plans for Europe’s largest indoor leisure park on restored land next to Rother Valley Country Park. For the time being…

Thorpe Marsh, Doncaster

We’re hugely disappointed when Doncaster Council recommends that the application for an enormous gas fired power station at Thorpe Marsh goes ahead. The application now goes to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for a final decision.

Forest sell-off

We cheer when the Government makes a U-turn and announces that it is appointing an independent panel of experts to make recommendations about the future of our forests. 

Facebook

We launch our Facebook page as a way of getting news about our campaigns and work out to new and wider audiences. 

 

March

Take Back the Tracks – Washgate Lane

Our campaign gets another boost when Derbyshire County Council proposes a ban that would stop 4 x 4 vehicles – but not trail bikes – at this green lane near Hartington. We continue to push for a full ban.

Doncaster

The council launches the final stage of consultation on its Core Strategy. We urge local people to support us in demanding a full Green Belt for Doncaster.

Barnsley

We attend the Examination in Public of Barnsley’s new Core Strategy and successfully argue that no Green Belt land is to be allocated for housing. At the same time we voice our concerns that there is not enough affordable housing planned for rural areas.