Welcome to friends of Ecological Owlthorpe

Please sign our petition to Sheffield City Council: https://chng.it/6vXHqcGG4S

Also our petition to Parliamentary Ombudsman: https://chng.it/FPc7X4Nq

Please help save Owlthorpe Heritage & Nature Trail:

Click hear to see a map showing what is at stake:

(Plot (F) is situated on Moor Valley opposite Diamond Cottages.)

Deforestation in Ecological Owlthorpe is not the way to help with Climate Change. This will lead to more flooding downstream in Beighton and Fishlake.

Climate change studies, and indeed the experience of people around the world, suggest that extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall and flooding are increasing in frequency, making the question of how best to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of these on people's lives an urgent one. Many attempts to provide solutions have taken the approach of fighting against nature which can make matters worse.

The ‘Ecological Owlthorpe' project described here takes its place at a different starting point: that it is only by co-operating with nature that we can safely live with nature. Birley Woods golf course stands approximately 650ft above sea level. Sixty years ago, before the golf course was created, this was an area of mostly farmland and woodland, where children used to play and catch newts in the headwaters of the Ochre Dyke, a stream then lined by flourishing trees. The stream passes through Birley Moor at an elevated position of around 650 feet above sea level. As a result of heavy rain towards the end of 2019, and the deforestation that had taken place to make way for the golf course and the Owlthorpe housing estates, the otherwise harmless stream was turned into a downward-rushing torrent. This caused downstream rivers to flood as it joins the river Rother, overwhelming Beighton and Fishlake. On television, we watched the desperate plight of the Fishlake victims as the emergency services worked to evacuate them. And, as we have seen so often in recent years, when survivors are able to return to their homes after a flood, what they are met with is a scene of complete devastation. Many find it hard to claim compensation, and insurance premiums rise relentlessly, as insurance companies are overwhelmed with claims. Ironically, it was a previously constructed flood defence in Sheffield that contributed to the problem.

Sheffield is a city with a history of damage to property and also loss of life caused by flooding, for example in 2007, when the River Don flooded the Don Valley area of the city, and a 14-year-old boy was swept away in the River Sheaf. To prevent further disasters, a concrete barrier was erected which did save the east of Sheffield from the 2019 winter floods, but instead caused floodwater to be channelled downstream towards Fishlake.

Ecological Owlthorpe: an environmental approach In contrast to solutions of this kind, Ecological Owlthorpe promotes the preservation and conservation of upstream environments, an approach which is finding some favour in government circles. In an interview with Sophie Ridge https://youtu.be/bbYXEDczL-U in February 2020, George Eustace explained that the government's approach to UK flood prevention would consist of an extra £4bn spending on flood defences but also in Yorkshire the creation and support of upstream nature-based solutions. In addition, as reported in a government press release on 23 January 2020, Environmental bodies set joint vision to tackle climate change - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) the Environment Agency , the Forestry Commission and Natural England have jointly committed to “nature-based solutions to tackle the climate emergency”, to which Ecological Owlthorpe has the potential to make an excellent contribution.

Taking action As we say on our website, public opinion is a very strong tool. It is by working together that we can change hearts and minds and curb the over-development of vital green spaces, especially when mature and valuable trees are threatened with the axe. Numbers are important: politicians take notice when they feel a sufficient threat to their re-election.

Please sign our petition to Parliamentary Ombudsman and help save upstream nature based solutions which stop downstream flooding.

Kind Regards Michael Meredith


E-Mail:  ecologicalowlthorpe@gmail.com



Ecological Owlthorpe Editorial, Working with nature: Sheffield campaign calls for protection of upstream environments to stop downstreem flooding.


Public Inquiry Information supporting Ecological Owlthorpe as an upstream nature based solution protecting the environment from downstream flooding.


Please sign our petition https://chng.it/FPc7X4Nq Sheffield campaign calls for Nature-based solutions to tackle the climate emergency.


I think we all want to live in an environmentally friendly world free from pollution, floods, disease, famine and war. I believe politicians from all political parties want the same and have signed up to ecological and climate emergency policies. They also agree that to help the environment the United Kingdom needs to reduce our carbon footprint as soon as possible.


If we are to meet our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint we need to protect areas such as Ecological Owlthorpe. Public opinion is a very strong tool. The young people of today fear there will be no Greenspaces left for them to enjoy. By working together hopefully we should be able to change hearts and minds and curb the over-development of vital green spaces, especially when mature and valuable trees are threatened with the axe. These trees are storing carbon and releasing essential oxygen into the atmosphere. Newly planted trees cannot provide the same service until they are mature, by which time the damage is irreparable. Future generations will wonder what this generation was thinking of!


If you agree that Ecological Owlthorpe is an upstream nature based solution protecting the environment, please make sure your views are known by Lobbying the following organizations:

The Environment Secretary Email: george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk .

Environment Agency Email: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

Forestry Commission mailto: alastair.suddaby@forestryengland.uk

Natural England Email:   enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk

Thank you for your attention

Michael Meredith


E-Mail: ecologicalowlthorpe@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Ecological-Owlthorpe/100064743398782/




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