Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fears over development impact on River Stour

From Kent News

"Concerns over the health of the River Stour has once again been raised amid concerns its ecosystem and wildlife are under threat due to an increase in household demand for water.

The river, which starts near Ashford, runs through Canterbury before flowing into the English Channel at Pegwell Bay.

According to campaigners, it is one of the rivers under threat due to increasing development putting a strain on supplies.

Now the Our Rivers campaign, backed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), is calling on the Government to take action on the rivers in England and Wales that are threatened.

Pressure on the Stour is intensifying due to developments – particularly in areas earmarked for considerable growth such as Ashford.

Due to their clear waters and relatively stable temperature and flow regimes, chalk rivers provide a unique kind of habitat that is important for species such as white-cawed crayfish, otters, brown trout and the UK’s fastest declining mammal, the water vole.

Steve Gilbert of the RSPB South East said: "Preserving Kent’s chalk rivers, for people and for wildlife, will depend upon a number of measures, one of which is to reduce water abstraction to restore some of the natural flow.

"Water taken from rivers in Kent is consumed by a vast number of people and the problems caused by over-abstraction will only get worse as demand increases in developing areas.

"The Our Rivers campaign isn’t about blaming one company or user group, but calling on the Government to act quickly on the results of its own research and tackle the issue head-on.

"It has already identified 148 rivers where over-abstraction is damaging rivers and the wildlife they support, but there has been no action to reduce the amount of water taken."

The Wild Trout Trust is also backing the campaign because the fresh water and migrating sea trout populations in the Stour are threatened with extinction if their habitats are not protected.

The trust’s conservation officer Andy Thomas said: "There are several implications if over-abstraction does occur in rivers such as the Stour.

"Firstly, the stream can be heavily impacted by low flow.

"This affects the migration of the trout and can delay them, meaning they are more prone to being eaten by predators and they are more likely to be stressed and prone to disease.

"Secondly, there is the issue of climate change and its impact.

"Water temperature can increase due to the reduced surface area of the river, which will dramatically affect the river ecosystem.

"Most natural rivers are climate proof, but more urban and managed rivers like the Stour are more likely to see the affects of climate change, and coupled with the low flow, these temperatures are more likely to increase.

"This can be lethal to the fish."

South East Water, which controls water and waste management throughout most of Kent, says it is keen to protect our county’s water resources.

A spokesman said: "We generally don’t take water from rivers but the only one we do take a small amount from is the Thames.

"We don’t extract from the Stour and we are very environmentally minded.

"Each day, South East Water takes more than 565 million litres of water from the environment and supplies it to around 2.1 million customers in the South East.

"This water is taken principally from underground aquifers, but also from rivers and surface reservoirs, within strict limits set by the Environment Agency."

The key to protecting the river ecosystems and the wildlife that depends on them is, according the Wild Trout Trust and the Our River campaign, to improve legislation to prevent over abstraction occurring.

Mr Thomas added: "The Environment Agency is key.

"They have a tough role dealing with abstraction and waste management, but it is their duty to help protect them.

"Trout are a fantastic indicator species and they show good water quality.

"If we can keep trout in rivers such as the Stour, it shows that we have got good water quality and a good environment for wildlife."

Mr Gilbert said: "The Water White Paper must signal to water companies that it expects solutions to be included in the next round of company business plans."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters - 30th March 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
There was a disturbing report last week that British supermarkets sold more imported, New Zealand Gala apples than our native Cox’s Orange Pippins. Somehow, we have become accustomed to eating the sickly sweet Gala apples and our home grown Cox’s, with their zingy tartness, have fallen by the wayside.

This is very sad, not only because of the air miles racked up by importing fruits that we can so easily grow at home but because apples are our heritage. The oldest English apple, the Pearmain, was recorded in Norfolk in 1204. The first large-scale orchards were established by Henry V111 here in Kent and where would Isaac Newton be without an apple to establish his theory of gravity? We have our own wonderful orchards nearby at Brogdale, where the National Fruit Collection has examples of all 2,200 types of English apples. All these apples grow quite happily in our soil so why do we need to import apples? A good question.

In the supermarkets, homegrown produce has to compete with cheap imports from abroad – cheaper because they are exported in vast amounts throughout the year where English apples are seasonal. Different varieties are harvested at different times so we cannot buy the same English apple with the same taste all year round. And English apples have to be stored so as to be available throughout the winter.

But things may be looking up. Many people have caught on to the idea of only eating seasonally, whether fruits or vegetables and the supermarkets are flagging up goods that are English grown and here we are lucky to have Kentish grown produce.

It is important to try and buy homegrown produce wherever possible and if you can buy local produce, so much the better. Reducing carbon emissions and saving local jobs must be imperative today.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beach Clean at Kingsdown on 6th April

Our Colleagues in Kingsdown Conservation Group have organised a beach clean of Kingsdown Beach on 6th April.

"SeaFrance is the lead sponsor of the national Beachwatch campaign, and as part of its activities, it has committed to monitor and clean Kingsdown beach in Kent four times a year. 

Staff, their families and friends take part in the quarterly beach clean and remove litter from this beautiful stretch of coastline. 

Come along and join us on the 6th April, meeting at 3pm at the Riffle range end, Oldstairs Bay, Kingsdown."

Who is winning the clean energy race in 2010?

Who is winning the clean energy race? It is probably counter intuitive with all those coal burning power stations but China according to recent report.

In 2010 China produced over 103Gw of clean energy compared the UK's (who came 13th) 7.5Gw or the USA's 58Gw. Germany is 2nd largest producer with over 68Gw produced.

East Kent FOE meeting Deal 4th April

Our colleagues in Friends of Earth have a local meeting on 4th April.

Our next meeting will be at 6 Albion Road Deal on Monday 4th April 2011 at 7pm. Albion Road is just North of Alfred Square between The Marina and Sandown Road.
1)  Coordinators Update.
2)  FOE Recyling Campaign.
3)  Canterbury Climate Fair 14/15 May.
4)  Members Survey.
5)  Future Plans.
6)  Any Other Business.
7)  Date/Venue of The Next Meeting.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Deal Garden Share Diary - Issue 1 March 2011

We are are going to do a monthy diary on how our Garden Sharers are progressing.

Our first Garden Share in Deal had its first 'Digg-in' on Saturday with Grower Simon and volunteers from Deal With It.

The medium plot of 15x20' had its first dig and clear and Simon is planning his first planting next week. He looking for some old scaffolding boards, water butt and some netting... if any one can help email

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hugh gives top fish award to Deal Chippie

Hugh's Big Fish Fight are so impressed by the response of Deal's Blue Mermaid Fish & Chip bar to offer Mackerel and other locally caught fish on the menu, that the TV chief has bestowed the high accolade of put the Blue Mermaid on the 'Mackerel Wall of Fame'

Sam Sidhu's restaurant in Victoria Rd is the latest of 12 chippie's to be awarded this honour.

The award is for those fish & chip shops going the extra mile for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Mackerel Mission - his campaign to get Britain to try some of the great native and sustainable fish we have in our waters.

To see the 'Wall of Fame' go to

DWI Meeting Report - Green energy for beginners

Deal With It's Energy Group meeting about domestic renewable energy was very well attended by about 35 people and it was standing room only!

We were treated to an excellent presentation by Ian and David from Vaillant, leaders in both renewable energy and energy efficiency.

They told us about ground source heat pumps, solar thermal water heating as well as mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems and explained about the Renewable Heating Incentives (RHI). Jason, our local 'green' plumber, explained the ethos behind his business and how he had moved into solar thermal technology to expand.

There was lots of time for people to ask questions and for one to one conversations between audeince and speakers while refreshments were served.

The Energy Group of Deal With It plans to offer help and advice to anyone in the Deal area who wants to consider greening their home or business, and believes that one day Deal could generate a large proportion of its own energy as does a similar sized town in Denmark!Contact us at

An excellent evening!

(thanks to Vicki for the report & Rosie R for the photos)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Marine Conservation Sites in East Kent

From 'Your Deal'

Marine sites around the Kent coast could become protected areas under new conservation laws.

As part of an ongoing project called Balanced Seas – one of four regional programmes taking place in England – stretches of the sea around Dover, Deal, Shepway and Thanet and estuaries in Swale and Medway could be named Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ).

The scheme looks to balance socio-economic activities, such as development and water sports, with the preservation of nationally important biodiversity and threatened species. Margate and Long Sands, on the north Kent coast, became a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) last year with the MCZ project looking to form part of the wider network of Marine Protected Areas.

A third progress report by Balanced Seas has been submitted to the Science Advisory panel (SAP) – an independent body of marine scientists appointed by Defra – outlining recommendations for new protected sites.

Dover Harbour, Deal’s Goodwin Sands, Folkestone Holes, Thanet coast and Medway and Swale estuaries were all put forward as draft MCZs.

Phil Darrell-Smith, communications co-ordinator for Balanced Seas, stressed that some of the sites may not end up as MCZs, but that they had been highlighted for consideration by the expert panel.

"Something that makes this project unique is for the first time stakeholders are leading the way and choosing the sites," he said.

"With other protected sites in Europe, Government decided where they would be.

"We have got stakeholders from all different groups; sea-users, developers, wildlife groups – everyone that has an interest in or uses the sea. We have to remain neutral."

Mr Darrell-Smith said stakeholders looked at areas which had ecological importance as well as high socio-economic activity.

"Less than one per cent of seas around England are protected. We’re looking to create a balance to allow for sustainable use and a sustainable future," he said.

"There are a variety of sea-users; yachters, kite surfers, energy companies looking for sites for wind farms – they are all involved in the stakeholder process."

Final recommendations for the MCZ will be submitted at the end of August 2011.

Following a formal public consultation in spring 2012 the Government will designate new protected zones by December 2012, based on stakeholder input.

Balanced Seas project manager Sue Wells said she was grateful to the hard work of the groups involved in the report process.

"For the first time in the UK, marine protected areas are being recommended by people with a real interest in the sustainable management of the sea and its resources," she said.

Andrew Finlay from Crown estate – one of the organisations involved – congratulated Balanced Seas from the progress made.

"We welcome the important role MCZs will play in supporting a coherent network of UK Marine Protected Areas," he said.

Balanced Seas, which works in partnership with Natural England, University of Kent and Kent County Council, covers inshore and offshore UK water of the eastern Channel and adjacent areas.

The protected zones will fall under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. For more information go to

Transition Network conference July 2011

Deal With It is part of the transition network - an grouping of local community initiatives trying to make their communities more resilent to climate change and peak oil. News on the network's annual get-to-together is below. Please  drop us line at or talk to any of the organising group if you are interested in going.

"Forget Wimbledon, Chelsea Flower Show, the FA Cup Final (well perhaps not that…), the social event, the highlight of every Transitioner’s year is the once-a-year Transition Network conference.  A vibrant idea-sharing, workshop-immersing, social-hobnobbing, late-evening conversing, laughing, dancing, great-food-devouring few days, it is really as unlike a conference as it is possible to imagine, and is always utterly brilliant.  We can now unveil the dates and the venue so you can block out the days in your diary.  It will take place the 8th-11th July at Hope University in Liverpool.  More information to follow, but what there is can be read here.  See you there…

Victoria's Green Matters - 23rd March 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Civil nuclear power is a very emotive subject and attracts completely opposing opinions. There are those who believe that we cannot manage without it in an age when fossil fuels are declining and are too damaging to our climate. Others think the risk is too great. After the catastrophe in Japan many more will be agreeing with them.

Japan has suffered major destruction and could well suffer much more if efforts to cool the reactors at the Fukushima power plant do not succeed. We can only hope that their efforts will pay off and millions of people will be safe. The nuclear debate will continue because the UK has plans to commission eight new nuclear plants and many will be appalled by the very idea. We can expect demonstrations and campaigns to get decisions changed.

There are, of course, many nuclear power plants around the world. In fact, 13% of the world’s electricity is produced by nuclear power. Investment is huge and it is impractical to suggest that plants are replaced but much thought must be given to building new. It is difficult to ignore the unlimited power of nuclear fission but too much remains outside our control, not least the problem of nuclear waste, that remains active for many, many years.

The ultimate solution to our energy needs is to develop low-carbon renewables and we are ideally placed, with our extensive coastline, for wave, tidal and wind power. Even though our climate may not be the sunniest, just imagine how much solar energy could be harnessed if all the south facing roofs in the country were covered with photo-voltaic or solar thermal panels. The cost would be a fraction of that of new nuclear plants.

The creation of a low-carbon society must be our ultimate goal if our world is to be a fit place in which to live.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

UNA Canterbury Sustainable Conference

The United Nations Association        
London & SE Region & the Canterbury Branch 
Invite You to our Spring Conference
Sustainable Development and the Natural World
Designed to celebrate Earth Day1, this will be Held in St. Peter’s Methodist Church and Hall2,
St. Peter’s Street, Canterbury, CT1 2BE
On Saturday 16 April 2011
12.45 – 5.30 pm
Summary Programme
Following registration, the Seminar opens at 1.15pm with three specialist speakers who will assist us to explore how we may reconcile the conflicts between the Earth’s eco-cycles and systems and the socio-economic needs of human development. 
We will break at 3.15pm for tea and networking.  The workshop session begins at when we will address the issues raised in the speaker session, and then report back in plenary at 4.45pm.  The seminar concludes with a summary of the outcomes of the afternoon and closes at 5.30pm   
Full Programme
Registration and Signing up for Workshops
Chairman’s Welcome and Introduction
Roger Hallam: 
Chair  UNA - London & SE Region
Economic Growth, Sustainable Development 
and the Earth’s Eco-cycles & Systems 
Michael Redclift 
Professor of International Environmental Policy, 
King's College, London  
 The Environment, Climate Change and the Population 
Mike Freedman:  
from the Optimum  Population Trust
2. 40pm
Environmental Law, Human Rights and the Rights of Mother Earth 
Ian Mason Barrister:  
Teucro Chambers and founder member of Wild Law UK
Tea and networking 
(complete and/or revise signing up for workshops)
Workshops at 4pm

Plenary Workshop Report Back:   
Geoff Meaden Chair of UNA- Canterbury Branch
Summary of outcome of the Seminar and Workshop -   
Roger Hallam
Close of Conference

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sustainable buildings workshop at The Pines 28th March

Constructing affordable, sustainable buildings for
the future

Monday, 28 March 2011
Pines Calyx Conference Centre, St Margaret’s Bay
9am – 11:30am (Optional Tour 11:30 ‐12:30)
Event is Free

Kent County Council and Remade South East invite you to an information and networking session on designing and building sustainable and affordable developments.

9:00am:    Registration and networking
9:30am:    Introduction to sustainable construction (Jae Mather, CarbonFree Group)
  • Legal and policy context
  • Barriers and opportunities for builders
  • Best Practice Environmental Technologies
10:15am:    Case study (Andrew Bassant, Ecolibrium)
  • Experience of designing and building low carbon building
11:00am:    Working together through the South East Business Carbon Hub (Jennie Colville, KCC)
11:10am:    Facilitated discussion (Jae and Andrew)

The results of the discussion will feed into the preparation of a Kent Green Supplier's Directory
  • What issues are you facing?
  • What do you need, to move towards sustainability?
  • Any experiences?
11:30am:    Workshop End. Optional Tour of Pines Calyx, ending a 12:30

For further details and FREE TICKETS email or call 01622 221030
Places are limited, and on a first come, first serve basis.

Deal Garden Share - Our first sharing success

Deal Garden Share celebrated its first share this weekend. Grower Simon lives in a flat overlooking Deal Beach and is limited to growing a few vegs in containers. Mary's a keen gardner but has not been able use her large garden nr the North Barracks. Both are really excited about the project

We are starting this first share with a 'digg-in' of other Deal With It Volunteers to help to get the plot up and going next Saturday.

Currently we have 10 offers of gardens in the district (see above for details) and offered our services to those on the local alottment waiting list (currently about two years). Contact the scheme at

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Permaculture Course at Rippledown Environmental Centre

Introduction to Permaculture

Date: 26/27 March
Location: Rippledown
Learn how to use permaculture principles and practice for your own life, your workplace and your community. Rippledown is our local environmental educational centre at Ringwould just outside Deal, in East Kent.

Contact Rippledown here

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Growing Communities

New film pilot looks at backyard food growing in Lewes
Here’s a pilot for a TV programme called ‘Growing Communities’, produced and directed by Sara Proudfoot Clinch which “gives you a glimpse at how to grow your own community from meeting the Transition Town Lewes group who are learning to live without fossil fuels, to community allotments, to bee keeping in the church yard, to keeping chickens in a tiny back garden of a town house”.

If you cannot see the video follow this link here

French Underwater nuclear power stations for the channel?

From the Ecologist
Underwater nuclear power stations destined for the English Channel?
Robert Williams
15th February, 2011

Plans for undersea nuclear power reactors around the coast of France could see a boom in uptake of the technology - but serious questions about costs and waste disposal remain unanswered.

Since the oil shocks of the 1970’s the French government has invested heavily in nuclear power. At that time, most of the electricity in France came from oil fired power stations, and the oil was imported mostly from the Middle East. With no oil or gas fields of its own and coal fields almost exhausted, it began a large-scale nuclear energy programme.

There are now 58 nuclear reactors in France, which provide nearly 80 per cent of the country’s electricity supply. Now, in a bid to bring dependable energy to remote coastal communities, the French government has decided to give the green light to a different kind of nuclear power programme - smaller nuclear reactors to be based on the ocean floor. read more at the ecologist

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cycle Forum - report 16th March

Dover District Cycle Forum
Notes of meeting held at Royal Hotel, Deal
at 7pm on Wed 16th March 2011


1. Welcome and opening remarks:
Acting Chair Ian Killbery welcomed Margaret Johnson, Pat Clay, Phil Marsh, Carol Powell, Gregory Williams, Peter Inch, Sarah Gleave, Fiona Le Ny, Cllr Nigel Collor and Steve Darling from Kent Highways.
Apologies received from: Cllr Kit Smith, Sue Delling, Rose Dowd, Steve Wakeford

2. Notes from last meeting - see (Thanks to Sue Delling)

3. Progress on cycle routes:
(a) Report on Local Sustainable Transport Scheme bid submitted by Dover District Council (Cllr Nigel Collor, DDC Cabinet member)

Nigel Collor outlined DDC's bid which includes Cycle links between Deal and Sandwich, and embraces 'East Kent Access issues' in general, related to the Pfizer site, including extension of High Speed train service to Deal and Sandwich, with support for Thanet Parkway station which is 6-7 years off, a bus rapid transit system to link Dover and Whitfield, and to improve connectivity between the three towns of the district. DDC is lobbying hard with KCC and local MPs to get support for this scheme.

This news was welcomed by the Forum. In discussion, Ian Killbery raised the importance of the land adjacent to Deal station to complete the cycle network across the town centre as well as to the station. Although there may be access issues with the junction onto London Road, DDC were urged to reconsider inclusion of this option.

(b) Progress on River Dour Greenway Project and discussion of possible linking routes to the port and station (Steve Darling, Kent Highways)

Traffic lights at Buckland have now been reconfigured for access to Barton riverside Path. The river has been cleaned, vacant land made attractive and a mural painted over graffiti on the school wall - all by voluntary groups.
The lighting is being improved by DDC and KCC. 
The next phase is by Morrisons and Netto, followed by work at Buckland Bridge. 
Funding: there has been funding from Sustrans (Lottery money); KCC Highways has bid for EU Interreg funds to make links from the Greenway to the port and Dover Priory station - there was discussion of the difficulties in finding suitable routes, but the Forum endorsed the importance of making these links, if possible to include South Kent College.
Concern was expressed about the signing of the route through the docks to and from ferries, and at the high cost of ferry tickets for cyclists compared with cars. Gregory Williams said Spokes had found special fares (see their website). Steve Darling said Thanet Cycle Forum had raised similar concerns and that this might be a subject for a joint campaign (Steve Darling will supply contact details for TCF).

(c)  Possible cycle routes between Deal and Fowlmead - results of discussions with Sholden Parish Council

Steve Darling explained the thinking behind the route along the A258 which was turned down at consultation stage; this was on the seaward side north from St Nicholas' Church, to a panda crossing by Sholden Primary School, where it crossed to the inland side, then proceeded to join the old miners' cycle path towards Betteshanger/Fowlmead. Benefit of the crossing to the school helped gain funding for the scheme.
Phil Marsh explained Sholden parish Council's objections to this scheme, including the number of driveways crossed and the path lying next to a busy road. Vicarage lane and the footpath from the Scout Hut alongside Hull Place Sports Ground was discussed as a preferble possibility, but this route would need to be widened in places, which require cooperation of landowners. Sarah Gleave urged that tLondon Road should be kept clear for buses and emergency vehicles, as one of the main entrances to Deal.

The Forum agreed that it was important to safeguard cycle routes should development around Sholden go ahead, whilst recognising that it would be better if it didn't, and that developers used such concessions to gain acceptance of otherwise undesirable plans.

Steve Darling invited members to a meeting at Vicarage Lane with KCC Highways and developers on 17th March: Ian Killbery and Carol Powell agreed to go and represent the Forum's views.

The Forum warmly thanked Cllr Nigel Collor (who had to leave) for attending and contributing to the meeting, despite fog and flu.

4. Maintenance issues
 (NOTE: individual matters should be reported through the usual Kent Highways channels, i.e. phone: 08458-247800 or on website: )
The Forum asked KHS to look at three priority concerns:
(a) NCR1 between St margarets and Kinsdown via Otty Bottom, where the surface is badly breaking up and becoming dangerous to ride;
(b) NCR1 between Newlands Nursing Home and Deal Castle, where the separate cycle track is badly corrugated and needs re-surfacing throughout;
(c) new signing to warn cyclists to 'slow down and be careful of pedestrians' by the Downs Sailing Club (S end of Walmer Green) and at either end of the shared promenade section between Deal castle and the pier.

5. News exchange (see 6)

6.  Events to encourage cycling:

Sun 27th March - Cycle Demos at Fowlmead (see attached flyer) 12.30 to 16.30.

 16th April - Canterbury Greenpeaces's cycle 'Big Climate Reconnection' .

11th June ; Big Wheel of Kent ride to Canterbury organised by Spokes, including one leg starting in Deal

17-24th July July, Saint Omer will be hosting  a week of cycle touring, and they would welcome a party of Deal cyclists, especially on the final Saturday - the web site is

7. Future meetings of the Cycle Forum:
Steve Darling said he would not be able to attend future evening meetings due to cuts. After discussion it was agreed to hold three evening meetings a year, and one late afternoon (say 4pm) meeting t which Steve could attend. 
Agendas would be sent to KHS 2 weeks before each meeting, so that information and comments could be relayed to the meeting and maps supplied, etc.
- it was AGREED to adopt the draft Thanet Cycle Forum Terms of Reference as circulated, subject to replacing "Thanet" with "Dover District"
(prop. Peter Inch, sec. Gregory Williams, approved unanimously)
- Appontment of chairman: Ian Killbery  and secretary (Fiona Le Ny and Tom Rowland to share duties, Fiona to start with next meeting) - there being no other nominations, these were approved unanimously.
- date, time. place and agenda for next meeting:
Wed 8th June 2011 at 7pm - 9pm. Tom Rowland kindly volunteered to host the meeting at his house, Cavendish House, 1 North St, Deal CT14 6NA .
Sarah Gleave asked for the agenda to include how the existing Dover Cycling Plan could be amended, also arrangements for the Big Wheel event.
Please send other items for discussion to the chair at BEFORE Wed 25th May, so they can be collated and passed to KHS.

Finally thanks to everyone who generously contributed to the cost of the room.

Meeting closed at 9pm prompt

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Big Climate Reconnection April 16th - Route Details


Route Ride starts at Dover Priory Railway Station (Rendezvous 1 – the Early Birds). Aim to be there by 10.45 for a prompt start. We will be cycling from Dover to Deal and apart from the accent up the cliff on the alternative wheeling route, the journey to Deal is virtually downhill all the way and follows NCR1.
12.15-12.30pm - Arrive Walmer (Rendezvous 2 – for late joiners)
12.30 Dover and Deal Conservatives, 54 The Strand, Walmer, Kent CT14 7DP. Letter delivered to Kent Conservatives (see Appendix 2)
1pm – Lunch (bring your own)
1.30pm - Out of Deal on miner's cycle path and to end of it where left.  At TJ turn right direction Snowdon and right after 20 yards to Finglesham.  Forwards up hill and down to turn right at Ham Sandwich sign.  Uphill and roads bears left.  Turn right to Blazing Donkey pub. 
Forwards and downhill and up again to crossroads in Eastry. Straight across and down and uphill to crossroads at windswept tree (sic).
Left and then right to Rowley.  Cottages on right and turn left uphill to top and turn left to crossroads.  Turn right and forwards to Wingham road.  At TJ turn right and 20 yards on turn left downhill.  Forwards to Wingham Well to meet main road at The Haywain.  Cycle through pub car park and turn left at pub.  50 yards on turn right and follow up hill to meet Adisham Bekesbourne road.
Turn right and downhill to turn left after Archbishop's Palace to Patrixbourne.  At water splash turn right to mini RAB and left and immediately right up Cycle route 16 to Canterbury. Follow cycle route through Northgate and Pound Lane.
Drop off points along the way as the route touches the railway.
4.00 pm Rendezvous 3  at Guildhall, Westgate Towers, Canterbury. Presentation of pledge to Mayor (see Appendix 1).
4.15 pm – ‘Green Benediction’ by Greenpeace

Additional Logistics
Trains from Canterbury arrive at Dover Priory at 9.48am, 10.27am and 10.48am.

We have a large van which will be following us along the route, just in case anyone needs a rest.

Joining Points
Deal is a good option for those who are slightly uncomfortable in the saddle to return to Canterbury via Dover by train.
Another alternative is for people to catch a train from Dover to Deal and start their cycle ride there.
Spokes will be bringing hand held radios which have a 5 mile range and will be used by the leader and backstop on the ride. Like most Spokes rides we aim to go at the speed of the slowest rider and the speed of the ride will be dictated by the backstop.

Leaving Points
We pass close to Deal, Adisham, Aylesham and Bekesbourne stations for those who want to leave the ride along the way.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

KCC votes for Sellindge treatment plant

From : 

Controversial plans for a waste treatment plant have been approved by Kent County Councillors today (Tuesday, March 15).

The proposed facility will be built on the Otterpool Quarry site in Sellindge, on the A20 near Ashford, if it meets the Environment Agency conditions.

County Councillors voted 14 – 3 in favour of Countrystyle Recycling’s plans, which had been approved by planning officers.

The decision was made following a three hour long debate in county hall, which was witnessed by a large number of the protestors who travelled to Maidstone for the public meeting. read more here

Victoria's Green Matters - 16th March 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

The African lion is heading towards extinction and the single biggest threat to the lion’s survival comes from human beings. It is understandable that African farmers, trying to rear their livestock, should come into conflict with the animals and the widespread killing of lions is the result. There are added pressures on lion habitats from controversial road building schemes, such as the one across the Serengeti, to the destruction of wilderness areas to grow crops.

This is more than enough to threaten the very existence of the ‘king of the jungle’; but there is more. Americans are hunting lions for sport and carrying off trophies such as rugs and necklaces. There is a thriving trade in animal parts, both in the US and across the world and, together with the threat from local communities, this has brought the lion population into crisis.

A wildlife coalition including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Born Free has called upon the White House to ban the import of lion parts and trophies by designating the lions as an endangered species. Between 1999 and 2008, 64% of African lions killed in the wild were killed for sport. It is difficult to believe that this could be possible. During our colonial history, many, many wild animals were killed for sport in Africa. This was bad enough but we excuse it by saying that people knew no better. What is the excuse now?

It is difficult to believe that our generation may well see the end of this magnificent animal in the wild and even more difficult to accept that it is our fault because we did nothing to help stop it from happening.

For more information about lions in danger and to discover what you can do to help go to