Photographs of Thorpe woodlands, their varied habitats, plantlife and wildlife all taken by friends and supporters. most taken between 2010 and 2013

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Map Magic

Take a look at these maps. The first is the Thorpe & Felthorpe Trust's 'Masterplan', as shown to the public at their 'charette' final presentation on July 13th. Notice the overall greenness of the image, suggesting (so they claimed) that lots of woodland would remain even after their 631 houses were built.

The second map has been amended to show only the T&FT's woodland, with land outside the woodland shown as grey. This gives a rather different impression. If you look at the first map you will see that their masterplan appears to include a piece of woodland along the eastern boundary of Brown's Plantation that isn't actually part of the site, but actually belongs to a different owner. If you look more closely, you should be able to see that there is a thin red line showing the actual boundary here, but at a casual glance - which is all we got to see at the presentation - it looks as if 'their' woodland extends right up to Dussindale Drive.

Look again and you will see that their masterplan also includes a fair chunk of apparently 'retained woodland' at the south-west corner of Racecourse Plantation. This chunk isn't part of the site either, but is actually occupied by a fence & shed business, two houses and a Scout hut & activity area. Again, the effect is to stretch the apparent volume of retained woodland.

Could these inaccuracies simply be explained as mistakes? Possibly, but it seems a happy coincidence that the 'mistakes' all work in the T&FT's favour, by exaggerating their scheme's 'green' credentials and creating the impression that more woodland would be retained.

Only a glance at the masterplan is necessary to see that virtually all of Racecourse's woodland would be destroyed, even if we are meant to assume that the patches of green splashed about represent the retention of existing trees. Woodland obliteration on this scale would completely eradicate the wildlife habitat value of the wood, leaving nothing but isolated clumps and narrow belts of trees, at best.

In Brown's, even the masterplan indicates that almost all land not actually built on would be turned into people's gardens - hardly an effective nature conservation method. At Belmore, the south-western corner is shown as retained, but this would represent less than 15% of the total woodland area. And, don't forget, this masterplan was drawn up in July, when 'only' 631 houses were proposed. That figure has since grown to 800, and T&FT have not yet let on where the extra 170 would go.

1 comment:

  1. As far as I'm concerned, losing a single tree from Thorpe woodlands is a tree too many. The whole area must be protected from development. It makes me so angry that people who have responsibility for such huge areas of our native fauna and flora think nothing of destroying it in order to line their own pockets.