An Invitation to the Community to Visit the Northern Meadows from the 6th of December

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Dear all,

From Monday, the 6th of December, Save the Northern Meadows invites you to observe the continuation of enabling works at Forest Farm Nature Reserve.

Gather at Lady Cory Field to witness the work being carried out by Velindre, as they prepare to fell trees in January 2022.

Work being completed on site, over the Public Right of Way, and within Forest Farm Nature Reserve includes:

  • The drilling of two boreholes in the floor of the railway cutting;
  • Four samples from the embankment slopes if the conditions are suitable;
  • Two boreholes on the new Velindre Cancer Centre site.

This work will result in the felling of some trees, the destruction of habitat, and result in the beginning of the construction of the new Velindre Cancer Centre in 2022-3.

Velindre and the Welsh Government state construction on the cancer centre will not begin until 2023. However, enabling works were granted full planning permission in 2017 under a ‘hybrid’ planning process created by Cardiff Council, which allows Velindre to begin enabling work, without planning permission or even a realistic and detailed design for the Cancer Centre itself.

This means trees will be felled to build roads to a cancer centre which doesn’t presently exist, and is hugely contested by local people, doctors, nurses, environmentalists, and local organisations.

Roads will be built, but:

  • There is no understanding the impact the centre will have on flooding in the local community as our weather patterns change;
  • Construction will occur within forest farm nature reserve;
  • Cardiff has declared a nature emergency;
  • Spending at least £500 million of public money with a public financing model which sees private companies make 4 times the amount of the £500 million in interest for funding the cancer centre – amounts which could pay for all kinds of cancer treatments currently unavailable to patients;
  • The building of a cancer centre which goes against medical best practice and will put lives at risk.
Clinicians, patients, and community members protesting against the stand alone model of cancer care earlier in 2021.

How and why is this destruction being led by the Welsh Government in 2021?

Visit the meadows this week, join the community and see what this place means to local people.

We expect:

  • Surveyors on the meadow and railway cutting;
  • Site security;
  • A land rover pulled drilling rig and multiple drill points on the Upper meadow and railway cutting (both within Forest Farm boundaries).
Forest farm boundaries – this clearance is happening in our nature reserves. No space is safe.

If you come to the meadow, please do the following:

  • Wander the meadows and talk to local people to find out how you can help and get involved.
  • Record landscape with your phone what workers and site security are doing.
  • Ask questions –
  • If it’s security – what is your name and badge number. Security MUST HAVE BADGES ON DISPLAY. If not please take a picture.
  • Ask them where the site ecologists are. Talk to the ecologist. Ask what work they’re doing. Ask them to produce the ecology report – if they can’t produce it they can’t work.
  • Slow walking is also a fun way to observe and talk to site workers.

Send all recordings and images to savethenorthernmeadows@gmail.com

Keep in touch on our social media.

Email politicians and ask them to intervene. This work is enabling works and Velindre and the Government are acting unlawfully in completing this work. We are simply asking the Velindre, Cardiff Council, and the Welsh Government to enforce their own rules.

Experience the wildlife before it is gone forever.

In love and rage,

Save the Northern Meadows

The brown, dead area is where Velindre cleared vegetation – at the exact location of their access road. This is part of forest farm land. The oak trees behind the dead area are in the path of the access road. These trees are hundreds of years old.
The access road will then travel across the grass in this image, and through the trees highlighted here. A TPO protected tree is in the path of the road here.
Enabling works will also occur in the railway cutting, which also makes up a part of Forest Farm.
Herons nest along the North Eastern boundary of the railway cutting, at the oldest heronry in Cardiff. These will be just one of the species sacrificed for the development.