Cattle in the Ouse by Michael Monk.
Wedesday 17 March 2021 7:30pm-8:30pm
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Title Climate, environmental and planning challenges to our gardens and parklands
Abstract The Great Ouse Valley, between Earith and Huntingdon, faces challenges from development, as government seeks to build and house a technology hub in the arc encompassing Oxford, Cambridge and London, and from climate change resulting in increasingly frequent summers of drought and winters of flood. Local organisations are responding to these challenges in seeking to protect the valley with AONB status. However, these issues affect the whole of the county. Dr Alan James, chair of the local branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) will introduce CPRE with a little about its history and current activities. He will cover the impact of climate change on the Ouse Valley and across the county and how some planning decisions and policies are adding to these effects. It was that great lady from Wisbech, Octavia Hill, who first coined the term “green belt”. We need to build upon that heritage and ensure that our green spaces, be they formal, informal or crop-growing fields, continue to protect species and to mitigate/reduce climate change. Finally, Alan will highlight CPRE campaigns and activities that seek to alleviate or avoid such impacts.
Our Speaker From a family of London firefighters turned smallholders and farmers, Alan James complemented his material science degree and a PhD in electro-optic ceramics at Sheffield with the RHS General Examination in Horticulture. A career in telecoms research and IT led to Fisons at Hauxton, and thence to two start-up IT companies which continue to flourish. Now based in Haddenham, James joined CPRE after the success of the nearby Mereham public enquiry in 2008. A decade later he became chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough branch to which he brings his particular interests of the impacts of environmental and climate change on the region’s unique landscapes and communities.