Safeguard the Countryside
The Colne Valley Park was established in 1965 when the previous generation saw its potential to serve communities of west London and neighbouring counties in providing a valuable escape into the countryside. With each passing year, the Park has to fight harder than ever to preserve its precious and fragile landscape against a wave of threats. These include giant infrastructure projects like the High Speed 2 railway line, and proposals for a new runway and further expansion at Heathrow Airport.
The Colne Valley Park does not automatically oppose all development. While we may support some sustainable projects, it is a hard fact that loss of land, habitats, open space and recreational areas, comes with responsibilities and obligations for developers to mitigate the direct impact their schemes have on landscapes, wildlife and communities. This damage is hard to overcome without their substantial support and willingness to provide at least an equivalent – or preferably better – environment.
Balancing the need for development against the protection of the countryside in the interests of healthy lifestyle, recreation, education, farming and wildlife in today’s modern world is a difficult task. Where these developments do go ahead, it is important to ensure there is effective mitigation to minimise their impact on their surroundings.
We were dismayed when HS2 was approved. The line cuts a swathe across the Colne Valley Regional Park, and we have been working hard to mitigate its effects and protect the surrounding landscape. This is being done through numerous and varied projects, and we continue to promote the fact the Colne Valley is still ‘open for business’ – especially for the Dogs’ Trust, Broadwater Sailing Club, and other organisations directly affected by this colossal railway scheme.