Landscape & Environment

The Landscape & Environment Working Group is led by Charles Pope & Arianwen Neve.  They cover issues relating to the AONB (using the specialist information and advice from the High Weald AONB Unit), open spaces, recreation, footpaths (and associated “furniture”), Hemsted Forest and other historic woodlands, historic landscape, ghylls and smugglers trails. Sustainability issues, specifically relating to the green environment and future generations. Landscape character assessment.

Their initial task is to identify and assess candidate Local Green Space sites, and understanding the landscape & habitat issues in the parish.  The 2015 Parish Plan has provided a useful basis for work, alongside material from the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team, and feedback on priorities identified during the village workshop on 13th Jan in the Village Hall.

Some of the fantastic views submitted by readers of Benenden’s Parish Magazine summer 2018

They have undertaken a number of field visits across the village & wider parish, and this information, alongside existing data from the major conservation organisations, is helping the shape their draft policies.  This helped prompt an article in the July Parish Magazine (Thinking of View – see the post in General News section).

Working Group Members are:
Charles Pope / Arianwen Neve
Peter Driver Minnie Garnier
Julie Lewis Joanne Pope
Nancy Tolhurst Charles Trollope
Heather Trollope

Our Objective: We will generate planning policies designed to protect valued environmental assets, support our peaceful, rural way of life.  Recognising that the Parish is one of the most unspoilt parts of the AONB our policies will enable villagers and visitors to continue to enjoy important green spaces, footpaths and dark skies.

Landscape & Environment Workshop Outputs

  Opportunity Threat
Routeways & Open Spaces Increasing tourism Increasing development & traffic
Woodlands, Trees, Hedgerows, & Field Patterns Plan to protect & replace hedgerows & plant new trees

 

Ignorance of people moving into countryside: education needed in country ways
Biodiversity (Wildlife): Flora & Fauna Funding from builders to protect wildlife flora & fauna – more targeted conservation, funding, and understanding what is already going on Density of new developments – risk from large estates
Views, Dark Skies, Tranquillity Identify the most important / outstanding views within the parish.  Might be threatened by site of 20 houses Large estate development impact on views / light pollution / urbanisation
Streams, Ponds, Ditches & Flooding Builds could be tasked to maintain ditches / waterways Existing farmers are maintaining these: if sold off for building = risk to ongoing maintenance

More information will be shared at the Iden Green Exhibition in September 2018.