The Defence Infrastructure Organisation have informed us that the Woods are now open to the public. Any future closure will be when the ranges will be in use and will be notified by firing times and local media outlets.
The Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 20th. April 2016 at the Coton and Hopwas Social Club, School Lane, Hopwas commencing at 7.30 p.m. The meeting will commence with a talk by a representative of the Ministry of Defence and the business part of the meeting will follow. Further details are in the April Newsletter which will distributed by the end of March.
On Monday 26th. October there will an emergency closure of the bridleways that run through Hopwas Wood from Wood Bridge through to Whittington. The bridleway from Hopwas Hill will also be closed at the Tarmac/MoD boundary. This will be effective for 21 days and in the meantime a temporary closure order will be made, closing the bridleways for a period of 18 weeks, which will be advertised in the local paper. The closures are to facilitate work on the firing ranges and improving the bridleways through the wood so that they can be used by military vehicles. This will necessitate the removal and cutting back of some trees either side of the bridleways and the surface of the bridleways will be stoned such that they are suitable for horses to use.Work is also being carried out to repair/reinstate the fence between Tarmacs land and the MoD, which the MoD should have done when the land transfer took place a few years ago
The latest newsletter is now ready to view on the Newsletter page. All members should have received a Newsletter, but if anyone has not, please contact the Chairman so we can check our records are up to date. Importantly the Newsletter gives notice of the Annual General Meeting which will be on Tuesday 14 April 2015 commencing at 7.30 p.m. at the Coton and Hopwas Social Club, School Lane, Hopwas. There will be a talk by a member of the Woodland Trust about ancient woodland. Non-members are welcome to attend but will have no voting rights during the business part of the meeting.
Lafarge Tarmac has asked Staffordshire County Council to withdraw Hopwas Woods from the Minerals Local Plan, which is currently under public consultation.
Stuart Wykes, Director of Land and Natural Resources, Lafarge Tarmac said:
“Following dialogue with stakeholders and partners we have asked Staffordshire County Council to withdraw the Hopwas Woods proposal from the Minerals Local Plan. We pride ourselves on working in harmony with local communities and want to do so at Hopwas”
“We want to work with local stakeholders on the stewardship of Hopwas Woods and we are willing to fund an independent study on its long term sustainability. This could include issues such as public access and environmental protection”
“We are committed to managing and enhancing the local habitat everywhere we operate.
We did not have firm plans to develop Hopwas but intended to use the public consultation on the Minerals Local Plan as an opportunity for dialogue to agree a way forward”
The AGM was held on Wednesday 14th. May at which some 24 Members attended. The current Committee was re-elected for another year and it was agreed that the subscription for 2014/15 should be £5 which will be collected in September. The meeting was informed that the consultation into the Minerals Local Plan commenced on 12th. May and that Hopwas Wood was not listed as a proposed site for the extraction of sand and gravel. Comments on the Plan need to be made by 4th. July. Concern was raised over the drop in member numbers and that letters had been delivered to households in Hopwas outlining the activities of the Friends. Following the business part of the meeting Derek Crawley from the Staffordshire Mammal Group gave a very interesting talk and presentation covering the changes that have occurred over the last 50 years as to what animals and birds we can now see around us.
The latest newsletter is now available which includes notification of the Annual General Meeting which will be our 10th Anniversary. The AGM will be on Wednesday 14 May 2014 at the Coton and Hopwas Social Club commencing at 8 p.m. Following the business part of the meeting there will be a talk by Derek Crawley from the Staffordshire Mammal Group who was our first speaker in 2006.
There is a consultation pending on the Draft Minerals local Plan which be discussed at the AGM as well as updates on activities affecting the Wood including progress on the Neighbourhood Plan.
Staffordshire County Council has now commenced the preparation of a new Minerals Local Plan. The new Plan, when adopted, will replace their current plan. The new Plan will set out the vision, objectives and spatial strategy for future mineral related development within Staffordshire over the next 15 years.
The current timetable is as follows:
|Prepare the Local Aggregate Assessment, the Statement of Community Involvement and the Scoping Report||March to June 2013|
|Notify key participants on commencement of Plan (Reg. 18)||July 2013|
|Consult on Draft Plan (Reg. 18)||November 2013|
|Consult on Proposed Submission Draft Plan (Reg.19)||September 2014|
|Submit Plan for examination to the Secretary of State||January 2015|
|Adopt the Plan (Reg.26)||January 2016|
This will be a key area that the Committee will be involved with and if you want to keep up-to-date with the situation please visit: