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The Wrekin Forest Partnership Preparation of a revised Wrekin Forest Plan.

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Presentation on theme: "The Wrekin Forest Partnership Preparation of a revised Wrekin Forest Plan."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Wrekin Forest Partnership Preparation of a revised Wrekin Forest Plan

2 Context The WFP wishes to update the current Wrekin Forest Landscape Conservation Management Plan (WFLCMP) The Wrekin Forest offers a unique opportunity but faces growing pressures as a result of changes and urban expansion on the western fringes of Telford Many issues in the now outdated Plan are similar with new ones emerging – revised Plan needs to address both

3 The Wrekin Forest Vision (1) Defined in 2008 – wide consultation Aim of the WFLCMP = to promote the natural, cultural & economic future of the Wrekin Forest Plan will address wider landscape concerns through a series of practical initiatives Plan will advocate continuation of local partnership to focus individual and group efforts in the conservation of wildlife, habitats, and wildness of the Wrekin Forest

4 The Wrekin Forest Vision (2) Plan will be underpinned by the concept of sustainability that is to live “in ways which do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” Plan will seek to offer measurable benefits for the conservation of the natural environment, heritage features, access networks and Wrekin Forest visitors

5 The Approach (1) The Plan provides basis for an updated document Existing and past consultation responses will be noted e.g. - visitor facilities at the base of the Wrekin - Parish Plans - recent planning applications associated with developments and visitor facilities - ‘Shaping Places’ consultation

6 The Approach (2) The proposed plan is not a formal planning document but a consensus building initiative aiming to achieve practical action to enhance the qualities of the Wrekin Forest

7 The Plan Focus (1) To utilise recent & current consultations to inform priority action in support of the vision To energise groups & individuals in the area & associated with the WFP to take action in support of the Plan Utilise the contacts & skills within the WFP to inform Plan content & consult as widely as possible to give the Plan a real mandate

8 The Plan Focus (2) Agree manageable & realistic priority actions for the period Present a range of options re. future mechanism required to deliver agreed short & long term outputs across the WFP area

9 Method Having agreed the plan specification Shropshire Wildlife Trust are able to coordinate the Plan process

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11 Survey Responses Conducted through SurveyMonkey The results are available at this link https://www.surveymonkey.net/results/SM-6ZQZLKXV/ Paper copy available tonight

12 WFP Survey – Summary of Results Majority of 267 respondents were local Activities – walking, horse-riding, botany, professional interest, cycling, off-road mountain biking, fitness/physical exercise, environmental education Value of the landscape – iconic, unspoilt, vast ancient open space, health, unique, geologically diverse, wonderful recreation asset for 100,000 people, value to local community hard to measure, woodlands have wildlife benefit, wood fuel, coppice & traditional crafts

13 Greatest Threats (1) Lack of awareness of the value of the landscape – 57% of all respondents who answered this question Inappropriate development cited by 65% of all respondents who answered this question Impact of bicycle use/mountain bikes damaging Litter/Flytipping/Campfires

14 Greatest Threats (2) Ercall – concerns re management & lack of obvious joint response to need for protection Vandalism & damaging uses Needs sensitive management, sustainable & appropriate facilities Visitor management/conflict between users Visitor pressure focussed on very few locations Lack of enforcement

15 Planning Policy Protection 70.5% strongly agree with increased protection and recognition of the WF in local planning policy Small scale development may be acceptable, enhancements to access and parking arrangements would be welcome

16 Wildlife Protection 67% of respondents strongly agree with greater protection for wildlife in the WF

17 Communication Not just articles/items on Radio or in newspapers On-line content, social media, Facebook, Twitter Signage/information boards at key/gateway locations Maps and leaflets at base of Wrekin Mini visitor centre Support to be sought for events – Wrekin Giant day Newsletter – forestry ops update, public messages, path closures etc Joint messages to visiting public Establish WF design style – coherent whole landscape style/approach to signs and information

18 Access 71.6% of respondents who answered felt the network of paths/RoW was adequate for the needs of the visitor however attention to: - maintenance & enhancement of surfacing, attention to drainage concerns - repairs required to infrastructure – kissing gates etc - signage incoherent across the whole landscape - public info to support more responsible use

19 Car Parking Forest Glen – in need of repair/refurbishment Donkey Field & Rifle Range – interest in development as new car parking location General concern re. parking on roadside Pay to Park – 65% of respondents would pay Parking fee acceptable if small (local residents to get free parking) Consider parking fee as voluntary donation Bus service of interest

20 Issues of concern Litter/flytipping Dog poo and dog behaviour Cyclists Road safety – parking and speed Too many visitors Poor visitor information Dealing with complaints No obvious management Spread visitor impact around the landscape

21 Quiet Lanes Scheme 85% of respondents support the establishment of a Quite Lanes Scheme on the highways around and through the WF - Low speed regime supported by comments received - Concern regarding HGV traffic - Traffic calming measures such as speed ramps unpopular

22 Visitor Facilities The top three facilities favoured by respondents: - Information Boards - Dog bins - Litter bins Other facilities noted included: - Toilets - Wardens to support visitors, manage litter etc - Information point – potentially managed P/T

23 Independent Conservation Trust 84% of respondents who answered supported the development of an independent conservation trust 64% would join such a trust 65.7% would pay a subscription to such a trust

24 Next Steps Continued analysis of comments made to steer thoughts / guide some of the actions that will be included in Plan Target for completion of Plan – Spring Launch of Plan with a series of public events QUESTIONS?

25 P ete Lambert, River Projects Manager Shropshire Wildlife Trust Tel , Fax Mobile Michael Barker, Assistant Director Telford & Wrekin Council Tel Mobile


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