Children make their voice heard in Wenny Meadow campaign
- Credit: Rob Morris / Kev Gregory
More than 50 children have written to Fenland District Council asking them to save Wenny Road Meadow from the development of 93 homes.
The children, aged between four and 13, join 340 adults who have written to the council to object the plans.
This is thought to be a record number of written objections against a single planning application within Fenland.
On October 2, children representing Glebelands Primary Academy, Kingsfield Primary School, Cromwell Community College, Chatteris Guides, Brownies, District Rainbows, Cubs and Beavers met to talk about their campaign.
They were joined by Cllr Hilary Cox Condron, vice-chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s communities, social mobility and Inclusion committee and board member of Natural Cambridgeshire.
Cllr Condron listened to each of the children talk about their views on the meadow, why they think it’s important, and what it means to them.
She spent an hour talking to parents and passing walkers about the plans while the children searched for conkers, climbed trees, and splashed about in heavy rain.
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One passing dog walker told Cllr Condron how during lockdown walking on the meadow “saved her”.
Cllr Condron said: “How wonderful to meet these young campaigners in Chatteris and hear about the letters, council speeches, leafleting and petitioning they have been doing.
“They gave me hope, but I left with a heavy heart.”
Plans to build 93 homes on the former Manor Park in Chatteris are due to be considered by Fenland council soon.
Last month, girl guide Evelyn Patterson urged Chatteris Town Council to object to the proposals but felt as though she had been ignored.
Determined to give children a voice, she created letter templates and spoke to Rainbows, Brownies and Guides about the fate of the much-loved meadow.
Cllr Condron said: “We know how important being in nature is for the development of our children: for wellbeing, for health, and for connections to the environment.
“We talk about the importance of loving where you live, taking care of neighbours and developing a strong sense of ‘place’, then so easily dismiss local concerns and campaigns.
"Taking care of our back yard is exactly what we should be doing.”