£3000 A YEAR FOR SALFORD TO TRASH ITS RAINFOREST!
How much is a rainforest worth? £3000 per year according to peat extractors William Sinclairs. That's the amount the company has offered Salford Council in `compensation' for "maintenance and management" - after it's finished almost wiping out Salford's prime bogland in 15 years time.
As the Salford Star has been stating for the last three years, bogs are not sexy in eco terms. They're not doe eyed dolphins. They're not cute Pandas. And they're not in the exotic Amazon, with Sting singing protest songs about them. But raised bogs are Salford's rainforest. And the way they treat the land is just as cruel as culling baby seals. They bleed the water out of the soil so you can watch it dying before your eyes...
• bogs act as carbon sinks… "If peat is dug up the carbon in the peat is oxidised and within a relatively short time it will all be in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. This is why restoring mosslands can make such a big contribution to fighting climate change, but peat extraction is disastrous" says Dr Chris Miller the Wildlife Trust's Mosslands Project Manager.
• Peat bogs are incredibly rare prime biological sites and sustain loads of protected wildlife and mosses. They take over 10,000 years to form. Now they are being destroyed – so that the peat can be used as compost for growing tomatoes and stuff, even though there are lots of alternatives.
• There is only 1% of UK mosslands remaining. All the rest have been destroyed. Most of them are in the North West. This one at Chat Moss is vital.
• Salford City Council and the Government has loads of legislation and policies covering conservation of mosslands and boglands. In a letter to Greater Manchester Minerals Planning Committee Salford Council has stated its "view is that the Minerals Plan should contain a clear policy statement that no further peat extraction should be permitted including time extensions to existing permission"… But virtually every time an application has been received in the past for peat extraction on Chat Moss, Salford Council has caved in and allowed it.
• The site of the peat extraction on Chat Moss is owned by Peel Holdings. Peel, if it any ethics, could stop the destruction itself but has instead continued to lease the land to the peat extractors. Peel owns MediaCityUK, which will soon welcome the Blue Peter Garden to the new northern home of Children's BBC. Spot the hypocrisy!
Peat mining has been happening on Chat Moss for years and it was assumed that once the current planning permission ran out there would be attempts to restore the bog. But peat extractor Williams Sinclair has applied for a 15 year extension. Don't leave it to Salford Council to save Chat Moss…
"In terms of global importance, these habitats are our rainforest, and 99% of them have been destroyed in our area in the last 100 years" says Mick Weston, Operations Manager for The Wildlife Trust "We are determined to save the rest before it is too late."
SAVE SALFORD'S RAINFOREST NOW!!!
The Wildlife Trust has started a SAVE CHAT MOSS campaign, calling for everyone to send it formal letters of objection to the proposal. It's backed by the Save our North West Greenbelt and Greenspaces group which has an ongoing campaign circulating petitions, holding meetings and organising walks to the site so people can see the disgusting destruction at first hand.
HOW TO OBJECT
Letters need to be in by June 5th 2010
• email letters of objection to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting application reference numbers 10/58824/FULEIA, 10/58825/FULEIA and 10/58826/FULEIA and include your full name.
• letters can be posted to Planning Urban Vision Partnership Ltd, Emerson House, Albert Street, Eccles, Salford, M30 0TE, quoting application reference numbers 10/58824/FULEIA, 10/58825/FULEIA and 10/58826/FULEIA and include your full name.
There are examples of letters and loads more information and a poster to download at The Wildlife Trust's website. Click here
To find out more information about Save the North West Greenbelt and Greenspaces group search Facebook, phone 07762552187 or e-mail email@example.com
The Salford Star history of Peat Extraction can be seen here and here and here...