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The Good News/Bad News Sandwich

Jay Andrews Published: 01 May 2024

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kids in winter coats building bug hotel

The good news: Wymondham has a new hotel. It’s wooden, airy, multi-floored and has a vague chalet-type vibe going on. But it’s only for those with six legs or more: it’s the splendid Bug Hotel on the Browick Road Community Orchard. We’re sure it’s already welcomed its first guests – who will eventually pay for their keep by pollinating the fruit trees and flowers, and helping break down waste matter.

The bad news for the Orchard is that plans have been submitted to South Norfolk District Council for a fibre exchange telecommunications station bang next door to the orchard’s seating area. Greening Wymondham are hopeful the station can, at least, be sited further into the lorry park to allow for some screening against the industrial nature and noise of the building.

You can still comment though the 21-day deadline is over: info.southnorfolkandbroadland.gov.uk/online-applications, planning application number: 2024/0817.

And more very bad news. Many of you will already seen the “Sewage Map 2023” produced by the National Rivers Trust – if not, you can see it on https://theriverstrust.org/sewagemap which you can also find at https://sustainablewymondham.org under “Whiffy Tiffey”.

In short, untreated sewage was pumped into our river for nearly 500 hours last year – mostly from the Chapel Lane “Water Recycling Centre” but also upstream from the Station Road and London Road pumping stations.

River with trees and abbey in background

Water companies are allowed, when torrential rain threatens to overwhelm flood holding tanks, to divert waste water direct to rivers. But 500 hours is nigh on 21 days, and Wymondham surely wasn’t that wet. Anglian Water says 2023 was unusually rainy, but they were still disappointed by their own performance.

A spokesperson told GW the company would be spending £113m on expanding flood tanks and wetlands in Norfolk – with Chapel Lane one of the 6 areas to benefit.

While we wait, Greening Wymondham needs to expand its river testing to go for e-coli – and we’d love more volunteers. Email us at greeningwymondham@gmail.com and let us know if you can give us a couple of hours. We’ll also be removing debris on our river litter picks in the summer.

But just to cheer you up with a final slice of good news: Greening Wymondham with its colleagues and friends will be taking over Market Square on June 8th for the launch of its Great Big Green Week. There’ll be masses to do throughout the week – from seed-planting and potting-on at MyHills for small people; a Bat & Swift evening organised by Wyng at the Abbey on Friday 14th; a mass Swap event – which is the theme of the week – organised by Wild Tribe, and a major Recycling, Repurposing and Repairing jamboree on Saturday 15th. We’ll have dozens more events to tell you about in next Wymondham Magazine, but you’ll be able to find out what’s on where later in May on greeningwymondham.org or check us out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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