Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Help shape the future of Earlswood Lakes!

I recently received the following from Dermot O'Brien, who is involved with the Tanworth-in-Arden Neighbourhood Development Plan, and is hoping for responses from as many interested parties as possible. Please comment, tweet or email me your thoughts and I will pass them on.


I am trying to contact as many groups/organisations that use the Earlswood Lakes and the immediate surrounds.

The Lakes are in the Parish of Tanworth in Arden. The Parish is working with local residents in order to construct a Neighbourhood Development Plan for the Parish.

The main focus of this plan will inevitably be on the housing issue. Where to build and what to build in order to comply with new homes requirements from Stratford District Council.

A part of this plan will also consider the best way to identify other developments which would protect the lakes and enhance the experiences of the disparate groups using the Lakes environment.

To this end we are inviting user groups and interested parties to consider how they would like to see development of the Lakes. There may be particular aspects pertinent to your group that we need to consider, or there may be a desire to maintain and protect the status quo.

If you have any thoughts on this development I would welcome your input.

Dermot O’Brien
NDP member and Parish Councillor

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Sites with wildlife interest vs. possible development sites

Further to the previous post, here's the Earlswood map of possible sites for future housing development alongside sites with wildlife interest:

In addition to the key on map:

  • Areas with dark green border are being considered for possible development.
  • Sites in light green have Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designation.
  • Sites in yellow have Local Wildlife Site (LWS) designation - These are wildlife-rich sites selected by a panel of experts for their local nature conservation value. They can contain important, distinctive and threatened habitats and species. Their designation is non-statutory and their only protection comes via the planning system. They are not protected by law like SSSIs or National Nature Reserves. Further info here.
  • Sites in orange have potential Local Wildlife Site (pLWS) designation - These are sites identified by a basic habitat survey but awaiting a more detailed survey before being considered for LWS status.
  • The area with purple border is National Trust estate (The Old Moathouse), where there has been talk about possibly allowing public access to the fields and improving them for wildlife.
  • Sites in pink have no formal designation but in my opinion have some importance from an Earlswood perspective for birds, attracting species that are uncommon or rare in Warwickshire.

Fortunately none of the sites for possible development encompass a site with known wildlife interest. However E8 is situated very near to Clowes Wood SSSI and Terry's Pool and may have some botanical interest, so this is now being monitored by Earlswood Wildlife Partnership. I'm also concerned about E7, which adjoins both a hedge that annually attracts Redstarts on passage and a field with pLWS status, whilst the E7 site itself may also have some botanical interest. The five sites near the Common are of less concern, but E4 is on the Old Moathouse estate, where in the future management of the fields may possibly become the responsibility of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and possibly be opened up to the public.

Perhaps E3 may be the most suitable site because of its larger size and lower impact on the streetscene? However I've never really had a proper look at it.


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Possible sites for future housing in Earlswood

From what I gather, 100 new houses are to be built in Tanworth parish, around 50 of which will be at Earlswood. Eight sites at Earlswood have so far been suggested for consideration, and I'm concerned about two of these in particular: E7 along Gypsy Lane, a small field that adjoins the "Redstart hedge"; and E8 Rose Farm (off Cloweswood Lane), which adjoins Clowes Wood SSSI. Both sites look to have semi-unimproved grassland, with more botanical interest than a great many other fields in the Earlswood area, so I'll be keeping an eye on this. The following has been copied from Tanworth-in-Arden Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan documents available from the website.


Possible Sites

This simply records all the sites that have been identified in one way or another. It must stressed that the list includes every site that has come to the attention of the Housing Group, in whatever way, and absolutely no judgement of any kind has been made about any of them.


E1 Valley Road

  • Mentioned in SHLAA and rejected because within flood zone 3
  • Close to centre and next to built up area

E2 Meadowside, Earlswood Common [just north of motorway]

  • Mentioned in SHLAA (2012) and rejected because in area of high/medium landscape sensitivity to development

E3 Shutt Lane (north of Umberslade Rd) [20 - 40 houses]

  • Identified by Group
  • Next to built up area – almost infilling
  • Scope for improving village centre (larger Co op; car parking; ?)
  • Access difficulties
  • Possible highway issues

E4 Shutt Lane (south of Umberslade Rd) [10 - 20 houses]

  • Identified by Group
  • Next to built up area - almost infilling
  • ?Possible scope for improving village centre
  • Owned by National Trust

E5 West Side of The Common

  • Identified by Group
  • Depending on how the built up area is rounded scope for 5 to 10 houses
  • Owned by Parish because of Enclosure Award 1857 Trust

E6 Copes Scrap Yard 

  • Identified by group 
  • Brownfield site

E7 Rear of 96-98 Malthouse Lane

  • Identified by owner
  • Number of units not mentioned

E8 Land at End of Cloweswood Lane
  • Identified in Landscape Study

Friday, 18 April 2014

EWP Birding for Beginners 2014


A morning’s practical introduction to Birding for Beginners on a local ‘patch’. Led by Tony Philp, an experienced local birder, the course will take the form of a guided walk around Earlswood Lakes and surrounds and will cover:

Equipment including binoculars, telescopes, cameras and clothing.

Fieldcraft or how to improve your chances of seeing birds.

Identification including bird behaviour, birdsong, plumage, seasonal variation and situation.

Books and Guides including information on where to find out what can be seen and where.

Stout footwear is recommended. Binoculars would be an asset, but can be provided where required.

As course numbers will be limited, advanced booking is essential. There is no course fee, but a donation towards the conservation work of the EWP would be appreciated.

Phone 07528 595444 for details or e-mail

N.B. Please note that this is primarily a beginners course and not really suited to clued-up birders.