Please join us if you can for 6pm Weds 10th January at Oxford City Town Hall, St Aldates to show our continued opposition to the Seacourt Park & Ride Proposal. And to bear witness to democracy in action as "practised" by Oxford City Council.
The opposition had all the best arguments but the Chair and the composition of the committee was hopelessly
and blatantly biased.
The final phase of Seacourt consultation involved a revised Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for the area. Our view is that nothing can adequately mitigate for turning a conservation protection area and habitat of principal importance into a 670 space 'temporary' car park. With an excruciating lack of sensitivity, the Council came and began a brutal clearance of vegetation cover at the start of the final week of the consultation. To claim that the measures were aimed at protecting badgers by checking for possible unmapped setts is simply unacceptable.
Oxford City Council West Area Planning Committee will decide whether or not to destroy the greenfield it owns on the Seacourt floodplain on Tues 12 Dec 2017. OBG will be present.
OBG has kept environmental issues at the forefront of the debate in the final run up to D-Day. Sadly that's mainly because the COuncil decided to go in and clear their foraging land down to the bare soil. Work started in the final week of consultation into the Councils latest Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) promising thr mitigate the effects of development on biodiversity. Not to mention the badger breeding season.
The devastation is heart breaking.
But what is important is to halt the development in its tracks. Vegetation can grow back, birds, insects, reptiles may survive the winter and return. This has made us more determined.
OBG visited Seacourt Park and Ride on the weekend the new Westgate Centre opened. We found ample parking despite the COuncil's fears the P&Rs would be overwhelmed. Dr Liz Sawyer, one of the local residents campaigning against the plans explained why the Council should think again. Our sett records officer Barbara Witkowski talked about her long standing love of the area and the damage development will cause. Our videos from that day can be viewed here:
Badgers went to Oxford City Town Hall on 15th October to ask Oxford City Council to abandon plans to extend the Seacourt Park and Ride. The badgers living on the Seacourt flood plain and Green Belt have fine setts and foraging. Please don't build over this lovely land !
AS YOU CAN SEE -
THE PETITION PRESENTATION WENT SWIMMINGLY !
They were accompanied by several members of the Oxfordshire Badger Group, including Dominic Dyer, CEO of the Badger Trust, representatives of the local residents and Clr Ruthi Brandt. Clr Bob Price was generous with his time and received our petition with both interest and good humour. We used our half hour to get across the message that Seacourt is a dangerously flawed, short sighted and costly proposal that should be abandoned.
Think we got across our points effectively and all the signatories should be proud. The photos are good too!
Let's hope the Council think again about putting a car park on flood plain. Expect we have a battle ahead but we need to keep fighting for Oxford's badgers.
Our badgers are under threat from so many directions: continuing cruelty and persecution, ever increasing road traffic, probable extension of the badger "cull" into our county. But the biggest threat is now the huge pressure to build more and more houses around Oxford and all it's surrounding towns and villages. Somuch building is destroying natural habitat and evicting badgers from setts and foraging areas they have used for centuries. Green Belts and green field sites can no longer be taken as safe havens for wildlife. OBG are fighting to ensure essential building only takes place in suitable places, and with minimal damage to badgers and other native wildlife. We are struggling to keep ahead of the developers to challenge their more reckless schemes, but this is where you can help:
Tell us where and when you've seen badgers, road casualties and especially setts where the badgers live. A brief email or text will do, but please include a detailed location -
ideally a grid reference, so we can come along and investigate. There are easy smartphone apps to give a grid reference or you can use the method printed on every OS map. Reports can also be submitted online
We need your help collecting information and searching for any signs of badgers in especially threatened areas. Our priories are North Abingdon, Chalgrove and Grenoble Road, to the SE of Oxford. If you live or work in, or just pass through theses areas, we really, really need your badger and sett observations.
We need more helpers to assist us search the areas under threat. If you can spare an hour or two to walk with us, we can show you what to look for and you can help us fill gaps in our local knowledge. Again, just a quick e-mail or text to tell us which places are convenient for you to reach and when you could be available
Please help us to protect Oxfordshire's badgers - email us now or text Richard Tilly on 07808 114086
"We are at a loss to put words what has happened to the last remaining badger sett which consisted of 35 holes in 2014 and which OBG has tried to protect
for the last ten years. The fate of the badgers of Cumnor Hill is symptomatic of the destruction of wildlife habitat in this country in the push to build, build, build.
What a legacy!"