Cannock Chase Country Park - Shaping the Future (Consultation)
Update on the project from Sarah Bentley, Environmental Advice Manager on 14 March 2017:
Thank you for your input so far to shaping the future of land management on Cannock Chase Country Park and land surrounding Bevin’s Birches. This email is to provide an update on the project, circulate a link to the report from the working group meeting in November, and to let you know what will be happening next.
Where have we got to?
The first workshop, drop in meeting and online survey held last autumn, showed there was overall support for all management methods. There were some concerns about controlled burning, chemical treatment and infrastructure associated with grazing but strong support for mechanical management and grazing itself.
At the first workshop people were asked if they would be part of a smaller working group to refine the options. The resulting working group, balanced across interests, met in late November. They focused on grazing, chemical treatment and controlled burning to see how benefits could be realised and concerns addressed.
Reports of all the engagement to date can be seen in the document library at: http://www.managingcannockchase.co.uk
Key points from the working group discussion were:
· A need to learn from elsewhere and understand the pros and cons of different types of fencing
· Cattle are the preferred grazing animal, followed by sheep and ponies
· The breed and how animals are raised (and resulting temperament) can be critical to success
· Costs need careful evaluation
· A clear plan is needed for how chemical treatment and controlled burning fits in
· Effective and timely communication with site users to explain what is being done and why is essential
What’s happening now?
Informed by the outcomes of the autumn engagement, the habitat management consultants, Footprint Ecology, are now working on detailed options for the Country Park. The RSPB is also developing detailed proposals for their land. These proposals will be the focus of the next phase of engagement work.
How can you input?
There will be another online survey and drop-in event currently planned for May/June time. That will give the community, visitors and other interests the opportunity to say what they think about the proposals. Responses will all be summarised and used by the existing stakeholder group at the final workshop. In this workshop the stakeholders will discuss the proposals and build agreement about what to recommend to the landowners. The final workshop is currently planned for mid-July.
The time frames are later than first planned. That’s because the project team listened to feedback from the autumn engagement indicating that people needed more notice and more time to think about and respond to the proposals – whether that was at the drop-in event or online. As a result, we are planning that the survey will be available for responses for about 6 weeks. The shift in timing is also to avoid the period of restricted communication associated with Council elections.
How can you help now?
The project team want to alert people to the drop-in and online surveys so if you can suggest any local newsletters or other ways to promote that opportunity to comment please let Sue Sheppard or Sarah Bentley know:
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (01785) 277256
email@example.com Tel: (01785) 276047
We will be in touch with details and dates once they are firmed up. We will also be circulating information requested at the first workshop. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact Sue or Sarah as above.
Website : www.staffordshire.gov.uk
Update from Sue Shepherd, Biodiversity Officer, Staffordshire County Council on 22 November 2016:
The reports from the first phase of the Cannock Chase management options review and stakeholder engagement are now available on the dedicated website for the Cannock Chase management review (see below). Thank you to all who have taken part in the workshop, drop-in and online survey activities.
Please note that this review is being undertaken by Staffordshire County Council and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) for land under their management, that is, Cannock Chase Country Park and Bevin’s Birches and the adjoining land area owned by Cemex UK. It does notinclude other landholdings within the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), such as Cannock Forest (owned by the Forestry Commission), Shoal Hill, Hednesford Hills or Gentleshaw Common and this work is not being done in place of the forthcoming Cannock Chase AONB Management Plan review due to commence next year. This work represents a process that aims to further some of the objectives within that plan, but is a stand-alone study and stakeholder engagement process.
The second phase of the management options review and stakeholder engagement will follow shortly, with engagement activities running from mid-January 2017 until the end of April 2017. These activities will include a second online survey, where in order to participate, you will first need to register on the website – this is to ensure fair participation is undertaken, representing an accurate range of views from interested parties. For the time being however, if you just wish to view the reports available on the website or use the online mapping to point out your area of interest, you will not need to register.
All outcomes of the next phase of management option review work and stakeholder engagement will also be reported on the dedicated website for this consultation.
Rural County, Staffordshire County Council,
No. 1, Staffordshire Place, Stafford. ST16 2LP
Staffordshire County Council want to know what you think (11 October 2016)
Staffordshire County Council and the RSPB want to explore how land and habitats at Cannock Chase Country Park and the Bevin’s Birches area could be managed over the coming years. The sites are great places for nature, history, beauty and to have fun - but need active management to stay this way.
They have asked 'Dialogue Matters' to find out what local people, interest groups and visitors think about different types of management. What you say will be given to a representative group of stakeholders who are meeting to work out the mix of management solutions that will work well for everyone.
To find out more and give your views, please drop in to speak to us on 16th October and/or visit the website at:
www.managingcannockchase.co.uk see the poster below for more information.
Do please tell us what you think. And please pass this information on to other people who might be interested.
Lucy Armitage, Senior Facilitator, Dialogue Matters