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Give Nature a Chance

There were many concerns behind the views we have put forward to the Friends of Battlemead group formed by the Council:

  1. The Climate Crisis       The Council approved an Environment and Climate  Strategy in December 2020.  This should mean that it reviews all of its activities to ensure compliance with the Strategy.  Battlemead would be an easy win for them: no prior public access and the opportunity for significant biodiversity gain without taking anything away from anybody.  How often will they have the chance to do that with 110 acres?

  2. Damage by dogs       There is firm evidence about the damage that roaming dogs due to habitats, drawn from the National Trust, Wildlife Trusts and others.  They reduce foraging and breeding by wild animals (especially ground nesters) by around 35%.  We accept the need for public access but we would like to see it properly managed to minimise damage and we are pleased to see that the Council has, at least, insisted on dogs being on a lead on parts of the footpath routes and we are urging the Council to keep this firmly under review.

  3. Footpaths: no need established    There is no need locally for extra footpaths and areas for the public to exercise dogs.  There are 70 km of footpaths in Cookham and Maidenhead town alone, with plentiful green space literally across the road at Widbrook Common leading to the Green Way.  The Council's own Open Space Report in 2019 noted that there was a surplus of such space in Maidenhead until 2033.

  4. Wildlife ghettos   By opening up one field (West Field) to humans and dogs off lead and proposing to slice the other big field (East Field) in two they are forcing the focus on wildlife into areas that are likely to be too small - and too close to human/canine interference - to deliver the biodiversity (certainly bird and large mammal) gain they claim

  5. Two generations to go    The Big One!  We are moving ever closer to an environmental catastrophe of barely imaginable proportions.  Maidenhead won't solve that problem on its own but it has committed to do its bit.  We agree to access but we must look after the biodiversity first. If not here, where?  If not now, when?

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