Trust Branches Out with Rare Freewoods Offer

Written on . Posted in Community, Countrycare, Our countryside, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your community, Your environment

Landowners across Essex are being offered a tree-mendous opportunity – the planting of a new native woodland, completely free of charge, with the Woodland Trust.

The Freewoods offer from the Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, takes its woodland creation programme in a new direction by seeking new partners and new locations for tree planting. The offer is expected to strike a chord with environmentally-aware landowners wishing to enhance their land for wildlife. By spring 2009 selected landowners could see their own mini-forests planted of oak, ash, birch and cherry thanks to the Woodland Trust.

Picture of a 10 year old young forest

Essex is one of three counties to pilot the Freewoods opportunity, with the Woodland Trust working alongside Essex County Council to help the authority’s aim to plant an additional 250,000 trees as part of its “Essex Works” tree planting programme.

Councillor Tracey Chapman, Essex County Council cabinet member for environment and waste said: “Our tree pledge aims to help produce a fine sustainable countryside that benefits both wildlife and people. By working with local landowners we are helping to improve and develop land that may otherwise be lost. I would encourage anyone who fits the criteria to apply. The benefits for our landscape and environment are long lasting.”

The other Freewoods pilot counties are Lancashire and Yorkshire, with some individual projects already approved elsewhere including tree planting in a new nature reserve and a new wood on land purchased to save it from development. The Freewoods offer includes site survey and advice on tree species with the Trust then planting and looking after the trees for two years. The minimum planting area per applicant is one hectare (2.5 acres).

“As a starting point all you need is the land and to share our commitment to increase native woodland cover,” said Trust project manager Peter Leeson. “The project is designed to have minimal paperwork and no bureaucracy. The pilot project has limited funds, however, and we will be choosing the best project sites from the applications we receive.”

Peter Leeson continued: “We are passionate about the need to increase native woodland cover, not only to help wildlife prosper but also to increase the quality of everyone’s lives. Of the UK’s total woodland, only one third is native broadleaf trees. An ideal new woodland area would be near ancient woodland or a site of ecological value on arable or improved grazing land. We will not plant trees on sites of high existing ecological value. We know from our work that creating new woodland can be a big decision for landowners – but we also know that more and more people want to plant or manage woods and to help wildlife and biodiversity.”

Research shows that reversing historically low woodland also offers green space for people for exercise and mental relaxation, improves water quality, reduces localised flooding, acts as a cooling influence locally and can play a role in mitigating the effects of climate change.

“Planting new native trees is vitally important to us,” Peter added. “Since the 1930’s England and Wales have lost half of their native woodland cover. England is now one of the least wooded countries in Europe, second from the bottom of the European woodland cover league.”

The Freewoods programme aims to plant trees by the end of March 2009 and has a limited budget. Interested parties should contact: Naomi Fox at the Woodland Trust by telephone on 01476 581111 or by email to naomifox@woodlandtrust.org.uk.

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity with 300,000 members and supporters.

    The Trust has four key aims:

  1. No further loss of ancient woodland
  2. Restoring and improving the biodiversity of woods
  3. Increasing new native woodland
  4. Increasing people’s understanding and enjoyment of woodland.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to its sites is free. Further news can be found on the Woodland Trust website.

Woodland Trust website (opens in a new window)

Recycling Consultation Reminder

Written on . Posted in Community, Consultation, Older people, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your community, Your council, Your home

Epping Forest District Council is reminding all residents that the chance to have their say about how they recycle is approaching its deadline. The closing date for completing the waste and recycling service questionnaire is 24 October 2008.

The survey is included in the autumn edition of the Forester and can be completed online.

You could win £100 cash prize or a home composter if you include your home address details when completing the questionnaire. Questionnaires should be returned to Environment and Street Scene, Epping Forest District Council, Freepost CL3360, Epping, CM16 4YA (no need for a stamp).

Collection of wheelie bin residual waste

However, the Council has been made aware of Royal Mail distribution difficulties with this issue and so some properties may not have received a copy. If this is the case, they are available from the Council`s Information Desks or by calling 01992 564140.

The questionnaire invites everyone to express their views on the Council`s current waste and recycling service and outlines three proposed options for change. Changing the service is necessary to enable the District to recycle more and reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill. The Council will take all comments and ideas into consideration when developing the new service.

Black History Month

Written on . Posted in Community, Museum, Older people, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw an African Prince

As part of Black History Month, the Epping Forest District Museum website is showing a film it commissoned for last year`s commemoration of the the Abolition of Slavery. The film is a narrative of the most remarkable particulars in the life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw an African prince, written by himself.

James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw was captured into slavery when he was a child. Many years later, when he was living in England, he recorded his life story. His memories of Africa, New York, London, Colchester and Norwich were published in 1774. The book is believed to be the first slave narrative to be published in Britain.

Watch the webcastWebcast of James Akawsaw Gronniosaw – an African Prince (opens in a new window)

This film shows extracts from the book and is part of the touring exhibition `The Longest Journey: from Slavery to Abolition`, by Epping Forest District Museum, which looks at Essex links with the slave trade and its abolition.

Have Your Say on the NHS Constitution

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Consultation, Older people, Residents, Supporting business, Your community, Your council

Don`t miss out on the chance to have your say on plans for the NHS Constitution – but hurry, time is running out. The NHS Constitution will record in one place what the NHS in England does, what it stands for and should live up to. It will also state how decisions affecting the NHS should be made.

The NHS Constitution is the first of its kind in the world and comes as a result of discussions with staff, patients and the public as part of the Darzi review. It declares the Government`s commitment to the NHS being a service for all, funded by taxes and based on clinical need and not an individual`s ability to pay.

It recognises the future of the NHS is too important to be left to chance. The Government will be obliged by law to renew the NHS Constitution every ten years. Any changes made will be as a result of a full and transparent debate.

The Constitution means local people will have important rights around access to drugs and treatments, health services, information, quality of care and environment, dignity and respect, complaint and redress.

West Essex PCT Chairman Alan Tobias OBE said: The NHS Constitution explains your rights as patients to make choices about your healthcare. It also sets out principles on how all parts of the NHS should act and make decisions. It describes what we can all do to make better use of the NHS. This is your opportunity to make comments about how we provide health services in the future.

Created 60 years ago the NHS has changed radically and for the better. Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson said: The content of the Constitution was not dreamt up by me or civil servants in Whitehall. It is something that has arisen out of discussions with thousands of NHS staff, patients and the public across the country. The NHS belongs to the people. I would urge everyone to take part in this consultation to ensure that the NHS is fit for the future.

More information on the consultation together with contact details can be found on the Department of Health website and you can also record your views on the NHS East of England`s blog.

The consultation on the draft NHS Constitution, run by the Department of Health, ends on 17 October 2008.

Alternate Weekly Collection Resumes

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your home

Epping Forest District Council is reminding residents that residual waste (that which cannot be recycled) will be collected every other week as from the week commencing Monday 6 October 2008 on the alternate week to the recycling collection, which will continue as before. Throughout the summer months residual waste has been collected every week. However, it will now revert to alternate weekly collections until May next year. Details of collection dates can be found in the most recent edition of the Council`s waste and recycling collection calendar.

Collection of wheelie bin residual waste

Portfolio Holder for Environmental Protection Councillor Mary Sartin said: The Council responded positively to feedback from residents who wanted a weekly collection when the weather is at its warmest because of problems associated with flies, smells and maggots. However, during the cooler months the majority of residents felt they could cope with a collection every other week.

Councillor Sartin went on to say: I really appreciate the efforts of our residents and I would encourage all of them to continue with and improve upon their excellent record of recycling almost 42% of their household rubbish. In particular I would urge them to make full use of the kerbside recycling facilities the Council provides.

Councillor Sartin concluded: I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all residents to complete our public consultation on the waste and recycling service which can be found on the homepage of the Council’s website (click on the ‘« back’ button below to return to the homepage) or in the centre of the current edition of The Forester. We really need everyone`s views in order to improve and develop the service. Working together we can recycle more and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and help protect our environment.

Safer Communities Partnership 3 Year Plan

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Older people, Our performance, Performance, Residents, Working with the council, Your community, Your council, Your home

 

The Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership is a statutory collaboration of organisations and groups working together to reduce crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour in the District.

It is made up of Epping Forest District Council, Essex Police, Essex County Council, West Essex Primary Care Trust, and Essex Fire & Rescue Service (Responsible Authorities), but includes many other local bodies such as Probation, Victim Support, the Youth Offending Team, Registered Social Landlords, Neighbourhood Watch and residents groups.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires the responsible authorities within each District in England and Wales to form a Safer Communities Partnership (SCP), also referred to as Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) or Community safety Partnership (CSP).

Each SCP is required to conduct an annual strategic assessment of crime, disorder, anti-social behaviour and issues which affect the quality of life of residents. The assessment identifies the key problems the district has by examining a wide range of data sets held by many organisations. Analysis of the data provides a comprehensive picture of issues affecting the District. Priorities for action are agreed, directed by the results of the strategic assessment. Those priorities are formulated into a 3 year partnership plan which sets targets to reduce crime, disorder and improve community safety.

Buckhurst Hill Green Festival

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Community, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community

Buckhurst Hill`s annual green festival is returning for it`s third year on Saturday 27 September 2008. Organised by the Buckhurst Hill town centre partnership and Epping Forest District Council, the festival is taking place in the upper car park on Queen`s Road and along the rest of Queen`s Road between 11am and 4pm.

This green family fun day is organised each year to bring the Buckhurst Hill community together and show people how they can live healthier and more environmentally friendly lifestyles. Demonstrations, stalls and activities will be running throughout the day to show how saving energy can also save you money.

The Essex Energy Efficiency Advice Centre (EEAC) will be their demonstrating micro renewable solar hot water panels, etc and giving away free low energy light bulbs. The Leisure Gardens Association will be on hand providing advice on organic gardening, and Waitrose supermarket will provide tasty organic snacks for everyone to sample. West Essex PCT will be available to give advice on healthy living and the Council`s recycling advice trailer will be there to provide information on the waste and recycling service provided by the Council. A Honda hybrid car will be on display.

A highlight of the day will be a theatre play, about walking to school, called `What if it rains?` for children up to 12 years of age. A treasure hunt has been organised along Queen`s Road where they will be able to win prizes. A bouncy castle and face painters will also be there to make the day as much fun as possible. Some local shops will be running special promotions for the day to showcase the best of Buckhurst Hill.

Annual Canvass of Electors 2008 Reminder

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Democracy, Elections, Older people, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest District Council will be sending out annual canvass of electors form reminders to all properties that did not respond to the original form. The forms will be in an envelope addressed to The Present Occupier which is also clearly marked `Register of Electors form`.

Registration Officer Ian Willett is urging everyone to fill in and return the form as soon as possible. He said: If you do not return your form and your name is not on the register, you will not be able to vote.

Mr Willett continued: You need to register to vote every year so please fill in and return the form as soon as possible in the envelope provided. It is compulsory to register but whether you vote on polling day is up to you. Completed forms must be returned to the Electoral Services Office at the Council by 16 October 2008.

The Register is published on 1 December 2008 and those eligible to vote should check that the entry for their property is correct. The Electoral Register may be viewed at the Civic Offices, Epping; Waltham Abbey Town Hall; or at the Council`s Information desk inside Loughton Library.

Mr Willett concluded: If you have not received a form or you think you have mislaid it, please contact 01992 564411 for more information.

Why complete the form?

Completion of these forms is a legal requirement and failure to do so may result in prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000.

It is extremely important that forms are returned. Not only is it essential for the right to vote but also because credit-referencing agencies use the register as proof of residency, so anyone who is not listed may be affected if applying for credit. In this country, the law states that everyone who is eligible to vote must be registered. Anyone who has not registered will automatically forfeit the opportunity to vote on election day.

Even if you are registered for Council Tax, this does not automatically mean your name is on the register.

North Weald 90 Year Commemorative Window

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

North Weald 90 Year Commemorative Window

On Sunday 14 September 2008, the beginning of Battle of Britain Week, stained glass window was unveiled at North Weald Airfield Museum, commissioned to commemorate the airfield’s 90 year Anniversary, which occurred in 2006.

The project has been supported by voluntary contributions from the RAF, RAFA, several RAF Squadron associations, the Spitfire Association, Essex County Council, Epping Forest District Council, North Weald Saturday Market and many museum association members and private individuals. All those who contributed have a deep feeling for the airfield and an appreciation of what the men and women who served there throughout two world wars did for the safety of this country.

The total raised was in excess of £12,000 and the unveiling was done by the Museum Association’s President, Lord Norman Tebbit, who himself flew from North Weald with the RAF in the 1950’s.

Military flying commenced at North Weald in August 1916 when the Royal Flying Corps began operations during World War 1. From then until 1958 when the airfield was stood down as an RAF station, it was in the forefront of the defence of London and it`s community. Since then commercial flying, the restoration of historic aircraft, leisure flying and gliding, plus a host of other recreational uses have kept this historic site an active and vibrant airfield.

North Weald Commemorative Window detail of airmenNorth Weald Commemorative Window detail of aircraft

In 2006 an appeal was launched to raise funds to pay for the design and construction of a stained glass window to be mounted in the museum to commemorate the 90 Year anniversary of the airfield. Sufficient money has been donated for the work to be commissioned and the completed window is shortly to be installed in the museum entrance lobby.

The sum raised is still slightly short of the £12,000 required to complete the project so any further donations would be gratefully received.

    Cheques should be made payable to the 90 Year Commemorative Fund and sent to:

  • The 90 Year Commemorative Fund
    c/o Ad Astra House
    Hurricane Way
    North Weald
    Essex CM16 6AA

 

Tell Us A Story

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Museum, Older people, Our attractions, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Storytelling in the Epping Forest District Museum garden

Epping Forest District Museum is hosting `Tell Us A Story` on Saturday 27 September 2008 and Sunday 28 September 2008. Councillor John Knapman Chairman of the Council will be attending this free event on Saturday 27 September at 11am.

You will have the chance to interact with objects, dress up and role-play your own stories from history. Artist and storyteller Julian Walker will be at the Museum to assist people in creating their own stories from objects. He explained: There will be different activities on offer for families and older independent visitors. Families will be able to use historical costume and objects from the period to role-play a scene from history. For example in the Victorian gallery, as well as attempting to get into a corset and crinoline, they will be given a Victorian budget and have to choose whether to spend it on household items from the hardware shop, or fun items from the toy shop.

For older independent visitors there will be a choice of activities such as trying to copy medieval handwriting from a page of the Waltham Abbey Bible. Those less confident about role play will be able to curate their own case to tell a story, choosing from a wide selection of objects.

`Tell Us A Story` coincides with the launch of the Cultural Olympiad and has been funded by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council`s `Setting the Pace: Festival of Storytelling ` Grant Scheme. Isobel Siddons MLA Programme Manager for 2012 said: “We are thrilled to be among the first organisations to have projects awarded the Inspired by 2012 mark. We hope this will reward museums, libraries and archives for the commitment they have shown to the vision of the Cultural Olympiad and enable them to contribute to a lasting legacy for the people of our country.”

Visitors use historical costumes and objects from the period to role-play a scene

Epping Forest District Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Young People Councillor Heather Harding said: Tell Us A Story gives local residents the opportunity to learn about and reinterpret their culture, heritage and history.

    The event is free of charge and there is no need to book.

  • Saturday 27 September 2008 between 11am and 4pm
  • Sunday 28 September 2008 between 2pm and 4pm
  • Telephone the Museum on 01992 716882
  • Epping Forest District Museum website