Hi, my name is Kathryn and I am the other EPA in the Midlands. This Saturday I will be will be helping to collect signatures for a petition campaigning against a planning application at Wenlock Edge Quarries. I have to admit that my employer’s campaign didn’t initially sit very comfortably with me because we’re objecting to a planning application by a renewable energy company and of course my role, amongst a wealth of other things (see previous blogs) is to promote renewable energy within the Trust! But with a little more time spent actually finding out what our objection was about, I could see the NTs point:
Wenlock Edge is an iconic feature of our local countryside and the Shropshire Hills AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The Trust owns, manages and provides public access to 700 acres of the Wenlock Edge, including land adjoining the quarries. These quarries are globally known for their geology and very important for their ecology. One quarry sits partially in the AONB and is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and it is this quarry which is the subject of the retrospective planning permission the NT is objecting to.
The planning application seeks permission for log storage and woodchip production. Not a big deal you’d have thought. But taking the wider view, why locate it here? Would it not be more appropriately sited somewhere less sensitive, so that the ecological recovery of the quarry can continue? And what about the future benefits to the local community of Much Wenlock which could be missed? They have helped the NT create a vision for the quarries which would achieve significant public benefit through conservation, recreation, skills development and tourism.
Environmental – a word which is increasingly expanding in scope and use and not at all black and white! So on Saturday I will be out there collecting the signatures of anyone who would like to support us. If you’d like to know more – www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wenlockquarries or sign the petition – www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/wenlcokquarries.