Emails & blogs
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Hello likeminded walkers.
My husband and I were delighted to see a walk in shelford.
Yesterday we set out to do this walk.
Directions are spot on, finding the gate along the main road was a challenge at first.
However, the walk was lovely on tarmac , and, as pointed out, a bit muddy along the edge of the fields.
The trouble started at the level crossing which is not only gated and padlocked and not for general public. No problem cos there is a tunnel under the railway line.
It was flooded big time, no way could you wade through it unless you were wearing waders, which we were not. Shock horror, did we have to retrace our steps and go back? Luckily we met a couple who had started from the main road just short of the railway bridge in shelford which isn’t a recognised footpath.
However, we followed their directions and came out at the bottom of the bridge.
The walk which was estimated about four miles saw us walk 10.5 ks.
Am sure it would be a pleasant experience if not so wet and muddy but the tunnel has been flooded a long time from what we had been told.
Beware if you try this.
2G3S Eat sustainably in 2021
Here are his top tips for making sustainable choices in 2021 about what food we buy and where we buy it that will cause least harm to the environment:
1. Eat less meat and dairy produce - so much agricultural land is taken up with growing animal feed that could be used for growing human food, and this is a major cause of deforestation. Sign up to Veganuary and dip your toe into the water.
2. Minimise food waste – it is estimated that a third of the food grown goes to waste along the supply chain or at home. You could buy from Oddbox for your fruit and vegs, they are ‘wonky’ or surplus to supermarket requirements.
3. Buy food produced sustainably, which will be organic with a Soil Association or similar certification label on. This helps to look after the long-term quality of the soil.
4. Eat healthily so you are less of a drain on resources like the NHS – sustainability means economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.
5. Buy food low in food miles, or buy produce that has been carried by sea rather than by air.
6. Avoid highly processed foods – processing reduces nutritional value, and long supply chains tend to mean lower environmental standards and more waste.
7. Avoid big corporate labels and companies that are profit-driven rather than quality-driven.
8. Eat seasonal food.
9. If you eat fish, ensure it has a Marine Stewardship certification label on (MSC).
10. Buy food with the minimum packaging, and remember the principles of re-using or recycling. Try a veg box and other produce from COFCO, or try the new shop in Sawston, Green Weigh, for sustainable minimally packaged food and other items.
So, if diet and healthy eating feature in your list of New Year’s Resolutions, these are some useful starting points.
If you are interested in green matters and the environment, send an email to email@example.com to sign up for our newsletter or to get a Zoom invitation for the next conversation evening.
Posted Dec 14 2020
South East Transport: Parish Councils accuse GCP of maladministration over controversial southern busway
Stapleford and Great Shelford Parish Councils have drawn forces to oppose a scheme through the greenbelt of little economic advantage to them that will dissect the fields adjoining the Magog Down, a unique and valuable landscape rich in biodiversity.
They are suggesting that the GCP have failed to go through proper public consultation by omitting to include the realistic alternative route of following the railway line in any of their public consultations. Furthermore, no actual evidence has been publicly presented to influence the choice of route, nor to demonstrate that appropriate evidence-based decisions have been made. The general public have therefore not been given the opportunity to consider the options of an off-road route and the process is therefore invalid.
Now, just published in the GCP Joint Assembly papers, is the GCP’s first public statement on the alternative (railway) route.
· In it they state that the additional cost would be £29.1m (is this material in the overall context of the scheme and therefore unaffordable?) Where is the environmental and economic cost/benefit argument for this?
· They suggest that there are environmental costs but we how can these be taken into account when they haven’t assessed the environmental costs of their preferred route?
· In terms of overall travel time they state that villagers would walk a kilometre uphill to the busway station rather than the short distance to the existing railway station. Perhaps that could be explained?
· They reject any proposals to make the existing railway station safer, with its current not fit-for-purpose access via the level crossing.
· They want to introduce two additional road crossings for the busway, arguing that the alternative route would create unsafe queuing at the existing level crossing.
· They argue there are pinch-points along the route to navigate due to the risky and unproven bus system being proposed rather than the more compact and high capacity Light Rail System.
The two Councils fundamentally oppose the GCP’s chosen route through the unique and valuable landscape around the Magog Hills and chalk downlands and instead favour the railway alignment through the two villages. The attached plan illustrates this. Other more detailed reasons include:
· The scheme involves loss of greenbelt and creates a new demarcation line for infill development, effectively creating a developer’s charter. Over time there will be no restraint for development of the green fields between the villages and the busway.
· The scheme fails to take into account the significant opportunities for multi-modal transport offered through other planned infrastructure initiatives such as East West Rail and the opportunity to upgrade Shelford Station and make it accessible. The ambition to meet Cambridge’s 21st century needs is underwhelming.
· The preferred route does not serve Gt Shelford or Stapleford since the proposed stations are remote, a kilometre walk up the hill into the countryside. The scheme misses the opportunity for significant economic benefit and sustainability to our villages.
· The stations positioned as they are in the greenbelt will attract commuting by car and the proposed car parks (albeit limited to disabled parking) intrude into the countryside.
· It compounds congestion by adding two more road crossings to an already congested road system and further adding to pollution.
· Finally, in a post Covid world, what will be the impact on travel and transport? I assume new modelling will be required based on the evidence, with new strategies / modes developed.
The two Councils are calling on the GCP to halt its undemocratic preferred choice of off-road route and to consider the alternative off-road solution of the railway route.
Cllr Malcolm Watson. Chair of Gt Shelford Parish Council
Cllr Howard Kettel. Chair of Stapleford Parish Council
Posted June 3 2020
SAY NO TO SHELFORD & STAPLEFORD EXPANSION NOW
The deadline of midday November 4th 2019 is the date set for all opposition from local residents to be sent to Greater Cambridge Partnership in relation to the controversial new transport route set to be completed through Great Shelford by 2022.
For those of you that missed or were not aware of the presentation by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) on the 14th October at Stapleford Village Hall many will see this event as very worrying. The overall feeling was of a presentation that was telling residents of local villages what was happening and no longer that the route decided upon was either open to debate or still in the balance, however there is still time to be heard.
I must stress that these are personal views on what were ascertained from the representatives of GCP but what came across loud and clear is that they believe the village of Great Shelford is ambivalent about what will be taking place in the next three years with them saying that they have had very few objections from local residents. So if you do have strong views and you believe that perhaps their consultation documents have just passed you by then it would make sense to contact both your parish council immediately via firstname.lastname@example.org and the Greater Cambridge Partnership email@example.com
This proposed route will burden Great Shelford and Stapleford with 16 buses per hour, that is 1 bus every 4 minutes across the fields with stops and traffic lights across Hinton Way and Haverhill Road. Great Shelford already has roughly 22 minutes of every hour stopped by the railway line closure . The number of cars stopping and starting and the pollution caused from this for a route from Babraham Institute to Addenbrookes only will obviously be considerable. Can this £155 million pound scheme really justify the congestion and land destruction it will cause for the passengers it will hold? This route will also leave a considerable amount of presently farmed land unable to be used for farming so naturally land developers are apparently already looking into. This of course brings further traffic and over development into the villagers.
This proposed route destroying the countryside and causing traffic pollution and congestion was apparently the chosen route from the questionnaires sent out previously - rather than the A1307 Babraham Road – a much cheaper route, visual to commuters and one which would not have destroyed the countryside or flagged up future development.
Have your say this time!
There is one chance to stop this madness happening - but that means having your say by November 4th. These bus routes are an expensive folly costing the public purse £155m. It’s a massive waste of money. They will make a minimal difference to the journey times into Cambridge but will destroy the character and nature of Shelford and Stapleford forever.
Unless we take a stand now, these proposals will see our villages swallowed up by Cambridge, further pollution and development and we will go from being beautiful villages to Cambridge suburbs unless we say NO now.
Lisa Freeman – Great Shelford Resident
I was reading a BBC article regarding recycling the non recyclables that the council cannot do. Can the village start with one facility of recycling--crisp packets???
The company responsible is Terracycle.(https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades/crisppacket). There is no recycling site for this around us and the nearest one is in Cambridge or near Harlton. The rewards awarded can be donated to the school.
There is one for biscuits packets and snack wrap in Sawston -https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1hO9srDw7Biy5lFV8oZ3biDNL1wc&ll=52.14312656255825%2C0.19258958175737462&z=10
There is one for pens and highlighters.There is no recycling site near Stapleford except in Cambridge or Ryman stores.https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades/the-writing-instruments-brigade-r
Can we start with something easy such as the pens? Let me know of your thoughts or something else is available.
I was out with the dog last week and the grass on the verves was getting quite long, which is good for wildlife, wild flowers, bumble bees etc, then the next day it had all cut.
Has the local council considered resisting the urge to mow every bit of grass flat in the locality, considering the current decline in the UK Bee population and to promote wildlife.
July 1 2019
While not actually in the parishes of Stapleford and Great Shelford, this issue maybe of interest to residents.
Work on this country park development (between Stapleford and Sawston) appears to have stalled after planning was refused to landowners Robert Smith Farms in January 2015 for outline application for a recreational development consisting of 50 holiday lodges, an indoor tennis complex, 4 outdoor tennis courts, a fitness centre, bowling green, brasserie, public open space with footpath and cycleway, and associated works on the former Dernford Quarry site.
It would appear that the reason for South Cambs District Council refusal was 'over commercialisation' of a green belt site.
This is the recommendation issued with the refusal notice:
The applicant seeks to justify the development being considered ‘very special’ on grounds of providing a number of commonplace factors. Officers are of the view these factors, when taken individually or in combination, do not provide sufficient qualitative benefits to be considered ‘very special’. The application therefore does not represent appropriate development in the Green Belt.
As yet all that has happened is that a lake / reservoir has been dug and filled with water and a fence put round it with a hedge planted. The rest of the site is as yet undeveloped and remains just rough grass land, with no designated footpaths, cyclepaths or landscaping.
Whilst one can accept that large scale commercialisation of a green belt area is not in the best interest for the area, it must be accepted that some form if commercial activity must be included to pay for the public amenities. One would have hoped that the land owners and planners could have come up with an acceptable plan after 4 years, as this site could provide usefully sporting facilities whist at the same time giving public access to the countryside.
The site appears to be open for public access, for walkers etc. with a small unsurfaced car park, there are though no notices or maps on site to guide visitors. The lake/reservoir has some wildlife on it including swans and ducks, there is also a connection to a large diameter pipe presumably to pump into and extract water for irrigation.
Robert Smith said:
"Our planning permission conditioned us to open the area immediately around the reservoir access for walking which we have complied with and have fenced off the water. A car park has been built for 75 cars and we have provided dog litter bins around the fence. We do have plans to make more use of the water both for leisure and sports but that will be subject to planning. We do have regular inspections by Cambs CC to make sure we are complying to conditions."
Dear people of Stapleford
I am wondering if any of you can help me find my old home. We have such happy memories of our home although it has been such a long time since we lived there.
I am writing from New Zealand and wondering if you can help me.
I was born in Cambridge in 1945 and our family lived in a semi-detached house opposite the common at number 17 Haverhill Road Stapleford. They had been there about 4 years before I was born There were fields behind us and the common across the road. Mum kept goats on the common, rabbits in hutches.
In late 1948 we moved to New Zealand, where my father had been born, for him to lecture at the university. Our family name was Mowbray. Dad was an engineer with the River Ouse Catchment Board.
My mother was Joyce Michell – her parents lived at Kerrymead in Harston. There were two children then . My brother John and I am Rowena, known as Tisha. When we first visited about 30 years ago we found our old house and one of the neighbours Elsie.
Does anyone know where we lived? What number our house might be now.
When we visited a couple of years ago the numbers didn’t seem to line up with the way they were previously.
Is anyone able to give me the current number for our old home. We are visiting Stapleford next month on Tuesday 26 July and would love to find the right house, or ayone who might remember our family being nearby.
Thank you for your help. Any little bits would help.
Where is the worst pothole in Stapleford?
Potholes have certainly seemed to get worse in the village over the last month or two. Have you seen that large one on Church Street?
I have met several drivers who think that their tyres may have been damaged.
And as a keen cyclist, there seems to be more and more holes every time you go out. I think our roads are as bad now as they have ever been.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could join forces to do something about it rather than relying on the psychic powers of the local council?
Now there is something we can all do. If you spot a pothole, you can report it yourself.
Simply click on ‘Report a highway problem (including pot holes)’
You then need to find the location of the problem pothole on the map by zooming in and clicking. Fill in the details requested and submit.
I’m up for being a “spotholer” to ensure our local roads get sorted - are you?
I am wondering if anyone has raised the issue of the flow of traffic on Haverhill Rd.
I have been living in Stapleford for six year now and I have noticed a significant difference in the speed of the cars and trucks since I moved to this village.
Is there any way to gather the evidence and persuade the council to put some action to reduce the speed of the traffic.
Another reason is that I have seen kids (including mine) crossing the road on a daily basis.
T K Sandhu
Having read and heard on tv about your recent problem with the traveling community, I think a grassy mound around the ground would look great, it would be good to sit on and view matches,lay and read and could be enhanced with wild flowers, with an entrance gate in an awkward position so only grounds people can access the facilities and competitors.
This blog from local sports therapist Natalie Harman offers a few tips for tennis players
This blog from local sports therapist Natalie Harman offers a few tips for golfers;
Rev Simon Taylor became the Parish Priest at St Andrews in December 2015. This blog sets out how he is addressing some of the challenges.
There are huge strengths here, testimony to the church having been well run over many years. Numbers attending are pretty good and the buildings are in good shape. The worship is orderly and the music uplifting. There are home groups and pastoral care. There are active and willing volunteers. There are some good community links. All in all, a positive picture.
But that is not to say that all is rosy. We all know the gaps because they are visible every Sunday: there are many fewer children and young people than we would like to see, very few young adults, and many more women than men. The number of newcomers to our church family – that is people who have become regulars - is very low indeed. The gentle drift in our congregation seems to be out not in.
The demographics and the trends paint a slightly ominous picture. It follows that we have a choice. We could just carry on entirely as we are. Or we can resolve to do everything in our power to work against the trends of the past and do all we can to spread the good news of our Saviour Jesus Christ widely in Stapleford. The issue is as to what that means in practice.
I have in mind three principles to guide us as we go forwards. The principles are that we need to honour the past, navigate change and build for the future.
Honouring the past means understanding where we have come from and maintaining and continuing the core identity of the Church. St Andrew’s main Sunday act of worship is traditional central Anglican in character, and it is liturgical and Eucharistic. We have a strong musical tradition and our main act of worship is led by a robed choir. These things are important to those who have been at the centre of St Andrew’s for these past many years, and will remain the routine way we do things at the main Sunday morning service.
You will already have noticed slight adjustments in the liturgy and in the balance of music between old and new. I know that for a few even these modest changes are disturbing, but they are necessary if we are to build the church up, and there may be more such tinkering.
My second principle is that of navigating change. I am conscious that I have already changed the style of much of the preaching to the more expository style beloved of evangelicals.
That change in preaching style, is very much afoot. Another substantial change which we need to consider is what to do on Sunday evenings. Our Sunday offering taken as a whole is very traditional, and does not really reach out to those who are unchurched, that is, those with no direct Christian or church experience. Indeed, we need to acknowledge the reality that for those without church experience our traditional offering may actually be off-putting.
Although those services are well-liked by those who come to them, they are generally poorly attended. That applies to both our evensongs and our evening communions. And when we have a Sunday evening communion, the reality is that the numbers who want to take communion are miniscule.
We need to pay more attention to our mission to children and young people. Families have been voting with their feet. Many existing Christian families in Stapleford choose not worship with us, and, partly as a consequence of the loss of vitality that has resulted from that, we are not reaching families who have not yet heard the good news of Christ.
There is a whole spectrum of possible out of church gospel work with families, children and young people that churches undertake. We need to take our pick and start some, starting small.
The third principle is that we must build for the future. Although St Andrew’s is a church blessed with many people with great gifts there has been significant reliance, over-reliance even, on a small and very committed group administering the affairs of the church and its day to day practicalities.
Another aspect of building for the future is more fundamental, and it is to do with building our spiritual, rather than our practical, capacity.
I see the main such tasks as preaching and teaching from the bible, leading services, leading prayers both in services and informally, planning worship, and pastoral visiting and praying for others in pastoral contexts. We need to develop more capacity in all these areas. If we don’t, our lack of capacity will inhibit our growth and we will be unable to disciple enquirers and fulfil our mission to Stapleford.
Dr Simon Taylor
Read the full Parish Priest’s report 2016 here: