Victory for more than 1,000 petitioners of Clevedon’s rewilding scheme

PUBLISHED: 14:29 12 October 2020

Visitors to Clevedon, Christine and Stephen Lovett, from Bristol.

Visitors to Clevedon, Christine and Stephen Lovett, from Bristol.

Archant

A petition to save a ‘much-loved’ open space in Clevedon is hailed a victory gathering more than 1,000 signatures in two days and halting the council’s rewilding plans.

Green open space in Clevedon, that had been earmarked by NSC to plant 1,000 trees.Green open space in Clevedon, that had been earmarked by NSC to plant 1,000 trees.

North Somerset Council (NSC) withdrew plans to plant 1,000 trees at a beauty spot overlooking the Severn Estuary, alongside the Walton Park Hotel, following an outpouring of disapproval from the community.

Senior representative of Clevedon Business Improvement District (BID), Tom Vaughan, organised the petition. He praised the response of local people and Councillor Caroline Cherry, who represents Clevedon Walton ward for North Somerset.

Toms said: “This has been a victory for people power, and I’m very grateful to the people of Clevedon who wrote letters and added their names to the petition so quickly, and in many cases included comments explaining the importance of retaining this much-loved open space and its stunning view.

“I’d like to thank cllr Cherry, who provided invaluable support, raising awareness of opposition to tree planting plans. I would also like to thank Councillor Bridget Petty, executive member for climate emergency and the environment, for her prompt response to the community feedback in withdrawing the scheme.”

People are now invited to share ideas on how the location can be improved, without spoiling its unique attraction. Tom aims to work with residents and the council to ensure a sustainable future for the area, which responds to issues of enhancing biodiversity and climate change

Tom added: “My aim now is to maintain the positivity of the campaign and come up with ideas which ensure Walton Park can be preserved and improved for future generations.

“With this in mind, we have set up a group called Friends of Walton Park, Clevedon, and are inviting local residents wanting to be part of future plans to please sign up to this group.”

Cllr Petty said: “I’m delighted the residents and council can work together to establish compromise. The council is willing to listen, but also remains dedicated to action on climate change and preparing our communities and landscape for the changes we will see. Rewilding is a strategy to also increase biodiversity which I know means a lot to the residents of North Somerset.”


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