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Our Aim

The aim of the Friends of Windsor Drive Community Open Space group is to have the land at Windsor Drive given to the people of Houghton Regis in perpetuity to be kept as a green open space enjoyed by the whole community.

Potential Harm to Wildlife
  • The site covers part of the green corridor at Chalton Cross and stretching out to the A5, which includes a Site of Special Scientific Interest, including Dog Kennel Down (rare chalk meadow). This corridor is unique to this area. Building on this site contradicts/conflicts with many sections of the CBC Local Plan, for example, paragraphs 15.14.10, 16.2.11, 16.2.16 and 17.9 as well as the draft HRTC Neighbourhood Plan paragraph 9.3.

  • Houghton Regis has lost so much of the rural countryside, which was rich in wildlife and plant habitats, due to the residential development. Very little space remains for wildlife and habitats to thrive as a consequence of CBCs purposeful strategy of densification and coalescence of residential areas.

  • Not only do the plant and wildlife gain from this space, but residents also gain a greater sense of well-being and improved mental health from knowing plants and wildlife exist at Windsor Drive, it is irreplaceable. The wooded area and the open space, are home to a variety of wildlife i.e. foxes, badgers, black squirrels, bats, red kites, peregrine falcons, owls and many other birds. We are concerned about habitat loss for swallows, bats, swifts and skylarks among others.

Recreation and Family Time
  • Currently, the open space is used by families to exercise and walk their dogs to escape the overcrowding of Houghton Hall. Local football and rounders teams use it as a practice field.

  • To many, the open space has been a lifeline during COVID, helping to support mental health and well-being during tough times. COVID is not going to disappear overnight, we could be faced with more pandemic situations made more unbearable without our green open spaces.

  • This space is more important than ever to keep for residents and their recreation. It's crucial that we maintain the few green spaces we have left.

  • As stated in the Government White Paper, the Natural Choice: Securing the Value of Nature, "The National Energy (NEA) and the Marmot Review, Fair Society, Healthy Lives, demonstrated the positive impact that nature has on mental and physical health. High-quality natural environments foster healthy neighbourhoods; green spaces encourage social activity and reduce crime. The natural environment can help children's learning".

Our Objectives
  • Help make sure the green open space is a well-maintained safe public site which enhances quality of life for local people, improving their physical and mental health, seen by them as a catalyst for bringing people together.

  • Operate a not-for-profit group available to all those who wish join and abide by group rules and who, particularly in the case of social media, are approved to join by the group Committee.

  • Make sure all are aware of the green open space and the intentions of the CBC to build homes on it. Methods to include social media, leaflet drops and meetings/virtual meetings as appropriate

  • Always act respectfully and responsibly towards all involved or connected to the Windsor Drive green open space, regardless of their thoughts or objectives towards the space.

  • Involve users of the space in the planning, decision-making and all other aspects of management affecting Windsor Drive.

  • Look to improve funding to maintain and improve the green open space and to help with the running costs of The Friends of Windsor Drive Community Open Space.

  • Develop relevant and beneficial partnerships with other bodies, both local and national where we share similar objectives in protecting and preserving natural, green open space, promoting community cohesion, health and wellbeing.

  • Drive Diversity and Inclusion best practices when promoting the green open space to encourage people of all abilities, from all communities to use the site and to enjoy it to its full potential. We will role model and insist upon an atmosphere of mutual appreciation and respect.

  • To promote community cohesion bringing all residents of Houghton Regis together to enjoy and benefit from the green open space as a natural asset.

  • Make sure that CBC and HRTC are aware of the strength of feeling towards any development on the space via petitions, meetings, and various other methods of campaigning.

  • Seek good working relations with any other user groups focused on the space.

  • Find out the views of local people and users of the space, listen to requests and, where possible and reasonable, meet their needs or communicate the rationale openly and honestly if that cannot be achieved.

  • Encourage users, including ourselves, to organise public or virtual social activities on the space, abiding by appropriate Covid and/or any other restrictions required. Seek good working relations with any other user groups focused on the space.

  • Link with others to help protect and improve green open spaces generally.

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