Having been involved in setting up a go ape and Jungle park. I am not opposed to this proposal. Its time the young of Havering had new things to try and the park is underused it might justify those parking meters.
I have to agree up to a point Perc.
Being dad to a 10 year old there's nothing to write home about in this borough and without travelling miles. I'm often at a loss of where to take her especially in the summer months and the decent parks are up town.
However this corrupt administration seem hell bent on giving away our park land having tried twice and failing with solar and wind farms in Dagnam Park and now lets shove a glorified adventure playground in the middle of a nature reserve.
No thanks I'm signing.
Lorraine & Jan - Circumstances will not allow me the time to devote to this issue that is required but all the information I have I will share with yourselves and Lois.
This proposal must be stopped.
This has nothing whatsoever to do with providing facilities for families – The entrance fee to these Go Ape sites for a family of 4 is £130 plus £11.50 parking fee. This is about Havering council destroying a priceless Local Nature Reserve for profit.
These people are beneath contempt, the history of Bedfords Park goes back centuries and in the blink of an eye that history will be destroyed, not just the park but the priceless village of Havering ate Bower. I am sure Lois will have spoken to them but if you haven’t already get the Havering ate Bower Conservation Society involved.
They estimate there will be an additional 35,000 visitors to this site where there is no access by public transport, the parks car park has capacity of 50 cars and the entrance to the park is opposite St Francis Hospice.
Havering council claims it is committed to preserving and enhancing the Borough’s biodiversity and aims to do this by protecting the most important areas of semi-natural habitat. This particularly applies to statutory sites in the Borough. The statutory sites are SSSIs and Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) and the non-statutory sites are the Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation, which are based on a hierarchy of sites (Metropolitan including Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Borough Grade I, Borough Grade II and Local). These sites have been identified according to the criteria set out in Appendix 1 of the Mayor’s Biodiversity Strategy and are set out in the GLA/Havering ‘Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation’ document (November 2006). Appendix 3 includes reference to these sites.
Under powers given in the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, local authorities have the power to acquire, declare and manage land as Local Nature Reserves (LNR’s). The function of a LNR is principally to preserve features and areas of special interest and to provide opportunities for the study and enjoyment of their natural interest.
The Council also has a duty under the NERC Act (2006) to further the Conservation and enhancement of such sites. Havering currently has seven designated LNRs:
• The Chase (jointly managed with LBBD) (TQ 512 863);
• The Manor (TQ 550 930);
• Ingrebourne Valley (TQ 538 842);
• Cranham Brickfields (TQ 580 881);
• Cranham Marsh (TQ 565 854);
• Bedfords Park (TQ 518 923); • Rainham Marsh (TQ 528 804).
Bedfords Park is a designated Local Nature Reserve and contains a myriad of wildlife including colonies of Pipistrelle Bats, all four species of British Owl including Barn Owl. There are Fire Crests, Pheasant, Kestrel, Skylark, Little Egret, Buzzard, Sparrow Hawk, Grey Heron and Peregrine Falcon. The Park also has an autumn and winter Corvid roost of some 800 to 1,000 birds. In addition to these there are over 40 species of other birds and it is a rich resting place for many birds and water fowl on migratory routes.
The Wildflower Meadow is botanically, the most interesting area of the park with several species indicative of old, unimproved grassland in east London and Essex. These include Pepper Saxifrage, Pignut and Quaking grass; Adder’s-tongue Fern has also been recorded in Valley Marsh and the Wildflower Meadow. Experts believe this to be the largest population of Pepper Saxifrage anywhere in Britain.
Valley Marsh is an important and interesting area, the western margin which comprises marshy grassland fed from the ground water seepages within Nursery Wood to the north. A spring-fed ditch which runs down the margin of this marsh has silted and is largely obscured, a new ditch was dug on the southern border of Nursery Wood to channel run off into the marsh, there are examples of Common Spotted Orchid’s in this area.
There is varied woodland including a specimen tree garden planted in 1865 which contains Monkey Puzzle, Cedar of Lebanon, Holm Oak, Canadian Weeping Cedar and Sequoia to name a few. There are several ponds and a lake as well as a captive herd of Red Deer and Red Poll cattle which through their grazing greatly enhance the ground level biodiversity of the LNR. In addition there are wild deer, Fallow, Roe and Muntjac. The meadows and ponds provide superb natural habitats for a variety of invertebrates including a very wide variety of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. Several of the ponds are natal ponds where the Great Crested Newt returns each year to breed. The Park also has colonies of Badger, Fox, Mole and Rabbit.
This is not a theme park it is a Local Nature Reserve and a designated area of Metropolitan Importance. Should this Go Ape proposal go ahead huge swathes of this priceless site will be destroyed.
We haven't inherited the earth from our parents, we have borrowed it from our children.
Indeed Fred, a very difficult time for the whole family. Still it took a while but things have turned out very well job wise at least. Can't say I wasn't bitter at times but do recognise it was my own stupid fault really. Anyway, onwards and upwards eh.
The residents of the village are very concerned about the volume of traffic now - Should this Go Ape proposal go ahead there will be an additional 35,000 headaches for the residents.
Full council September 13th 2017.
PETITIONS (agenda item 6)
Petitions were presented by Councillor Crowder in relation to traffic issues in Havering Park ward.
From the September 2017 Havering atte Bower conservation society newsletter.
Traffic petition - Many thanks to all who supported our traffic petition. We achieved well over 600 signatures from residents and those who use and are affected by traffic in the village. Nearly 90% of households signed the petition. Jenny delivered the petition to Councillor John Crowder who will present it to the full council meeting on Wednesday September 13th. Some of the committee will be attending in support and we will let you know the outcome.
I'm not sure if Bedfords park falls on his turf Fred.
If you want his opinion you could try contacting him in Gibraltar the Cayman Islands Jamaica Sri Lanka Kosho nightclub Romford (Tuesdays only) or if all else fails his constituency office in Romford.
Well done for those two superb posts but there is one thing I'd like to ad ie the lack of accessibility to the park by public transport. The only bus that goes to the park is the 499 which goes all round the houses and I believe only runs twice an hour.
It stops at the bottom end of the park in Lower Bedfords road so if this proposal is where I think it is its a nice long walk uphill. The only other route that goes nearby is the 103 which ends at Chase Cross so there's another at least a third of a mile walk down Lower Bedfords road then another slog to the site.
Nearest station is either Gidea Park or Harold Wood and I'm not sure if any buses go nearby from there.
So lets take the most frequent route the 103 from Romford. Get off at Chase Cross have a third of a mile walk to the entrance in Lower Bedfords road enter the park have another three quarters of a mile hike uphill to the site and by the time the little wannabe Tarzans and Janes arrive and their mums and dads I'd guess they'll all be too knackered to do anything.
You raised the point about parking.
Ok Go Ape predict 35,000 visitors to this site pa.
So does this mean they are going to use the existing car park which if the one I'm thinking of probably holds about 250 vehicles tops?
Theoretically they could get up to 1,000 visitors a day during the summer hols so that must mean a bigger car park.
And who keeps control of that need I speculate.
Then we have catering facilities which in all probability will put in direct conflict with the visitors centre who's prices are quite reasonable.
All in all at best a totally ill thought out shambolic proposal.
And will I be going there with Little Miss D1?
Well I can think of many better things to do with the cash as opposed to chuckling it down the drain at a glorified adventure playground!
There is only one car park in Bedfords Park and it is accessed from the main entrance in Broxhill Road, it holds a total of 45 cars. There are two small parking areas on the main drive and they both hold a total of 18 cars.
• Bedfords Park has no access by public transport at the Main Entrance in Broxhill Road. The only means of access to the Bedfords Park main entrance is by car.
• Broxhill Road only has pavement on one side of the road from the junction of Orange Tree Hill and that pavement is less than half a metre wide.
• The south side of Broxhill Road from the Orange Tree Hill junction has a steep ditch with no barriers to protect pedestrians.
• There are 3 stables and riding schools in the immediate vicinity and this stretch of road is in constant use by HGV’s, agricultural vehicles and horse boxes.
• The main entrance to Bedfords Park and only vehicle access is a bridle way and in constant use by the equine community.
• Bedfords Park only has one car park with capacity for 45 cars.
• Go Ape at Bedgebury in Kent has a car park with capacity for 350 cars.
• Go Ape at Leeds castle in Kent has a hard standing car park for 90 cars and a further 2 fields set aside for parking of 400 cars.
• Broxhill Road to the east of the Bedfords Park main entrance has no pavements on either side of the road.
• Broxhill Road is a busy road connecting Harold Hill to Collier Row; Havering ate Bower and Stapleford Abbots.
• The main vehicle access to St Francis Hospice is 500m from the entrance to Bedfords Park and there is no pavement in this area of the road.
• The main entrance for Bedfords Park is only wide enough for one vehicle to enter/exit at a time.
• The main driveway is the only access to a large council grounds maintenance depot and has large agricultural vehicles using this drive at all times of the working day.
• There are two pedestrian entrances on Lower Bedfords Road. No car park or on road parking exists for these entrances and there is no pavement between the two entrances on the north side of Lower Bedfords Road.
• The Lower Bedfords Road entrance is over 1 kilometre from the proposed Go Ape site and there are no footpaths, the entire route from the Lower Bedfords Road entrances to the proposed Go Ape site is over rough ground, woodland and meadow.
• There is no safe storage area for push bikes within Bedfords park and access to the proposed Go Ape site from the Lower Bedfords Road entrances by push bike contravenes Havering Parks bye laws: Bye Law (9) (ii) A person shall not except in the exercise of any lawful right or privilege ride any bicycle or other similar machine in any part of the pleasure ground.
We haven't inherited the earth from our parents, we have borrowed it from our children.
They could put in a funicular railway or even a model railway from Lower bedfords to the café or walled garden. They could easily double car parking space by putting a car park there at the lower bedfords road bus stop its only a flat field nothing in it. Bye laws are easy to change.