Path of the proposed Norwich Western Link road which will cut a swathe through the Norfolk countryside 

Stop the Wensum Link campaign comprises ecologists, scientists, lawyers, academics and environmentalists, as well as many other concerned individuals. We are against the Norwich Western Link (NWL) infrastructure project which is proposed to cross the ecologically rich Wensum Valley west of Norwich.

 

The valley is a Special Area of Conservation and has Sites of Special Scientific Interest, ancient woodland and a rare chalk stream. It is also home to probably the only colony of endangered Barbastelle Bats in the country and 39 bird species of conservation value (Schedule 1, BoCC Red or Amber List). Studies show that bird and mammal abundance is reduced by 20-30% by major infrastructure like the Norwich Western Link road (Helldin, 2019)


The cost will be anything up to £300 million.

The above drone footage follows the path of the road, showing from above, the woodlands that will be destroyed should the project go ahead.

 
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Latest News

Crowdfunder

 

We are thrilled that Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin launched our crowdfunder on www.theselfisolatingbird.club/

The legal case against the Norwich Western Link is clear. However, it looks likely that we will need to ensure that environmental law is enforced. For this we need a legal fighting fund to be ready to respond quickly. Please donate whatever you can and share the link:

 

Why Building Roads Doesn't Work

Lisa Hopkinson from Transport for Quality of Life and Chris Todd from Transport Action Network describe many reasons why the link is unlikely to be a magic solution to traffic problems in the area.

 

What Makes Wensum Valley Valuable

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Ancient Woodland

Satellite photos of the Wensum Valley and a map of the proposed route showing how the Norwich Western Link Road would cut through the heart of the little natural woodland we have left. 

"There are Grade II listed properties that are younger than these trees and yet better protected. Now, after more than four centuries, my oaks – and many others like them – are soon to be felled." - Iain Robinson Read the full article here

Barbastelle Bats

The Wensum Valley is home to a super colony of endangered Barbastelle bats, discovered just last year, and the proposed road would plow right through the centre of their habitat.  If the road is built, colonies of this IUCN red-listed species will be lost.  This is against the law.

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Please help Wild Wings Ecology continue the independent scientific study which has already revealed how vitally important the woodlands in the Wensum Valley are to these extraordinary bats for shelter, raising their young and feeding. Robust evidence will enable us to demand that their protection is upheld, as legally required..You can read the open letter in which barbastelle expert Dr Lotty Packman presents independent research, funded by the public. A video presentation of Wild Wings Ecology's findings is available to view here

The River Wensum: A rare and precious chalk stream

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The Wensum river is a chalk stream - some of the planet’s rarest habitats and 85% of them are found in England. Of the 260 true chalk streams on Earth, 224 of them run through the English countryside, We are lucky to have most of the few examples globally here in the East of England.

On 26th February we welcomed Jonah Tosney of The Norfolk Rivers Trust who showed us the importance of this precious ecosystem and the rare species that live there.  A video of the presentation is below

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We'd love to hear what makes Wensum Valley special to you.

Please get in touch to share your thoughts, photos or artwork.

With your permission, we'll add them to "Your Valley" page.

Upcoming Events

Witness the Wensum Link

Saturday 29th January
10:30am
St Peters Church, Ringland

Join us on Saturday 29 January as we, alongside other movements and individuals, visit the proposed route for the Wensum Link Road to view the devastation it will cause to the Norfolk countryside.

.Meet 10.30am in Ringland, at St. Peter's Church for a briefing, followed by a 20 minute walk to the location.

Please wear suitable sturdy footwear, it is likely to be muddy, and waterproofs might be idea if the weather forecast is bad. Brightly coloured clothes if possible would be great/

Unfortunately there is no public transport available. Options are:
- Cycle to Ringland - about 45 mins from Norwich City Centre. Meet 9.30am at the Forum if you want to join the cycling posse
- Parking at Ringland Village Hall and at the Swan Inn (about 15 mins walk from the Church). There is limited on road parking available
- Please consider car sharing. This website might help

Bring banners and placards representing your organisation or why you're opposed the the Link Road. We will be taking photos and getting an aerial view of the route, marked out by lines of people, to give an idea of its impact.

Witness the natural beauty and abundance of the Wensum Valley, with its areas of ancient woodland, rare chalk stream habitat, barbastelle bat colonies and other flora and fauna.

We need numbers for this so please spread the word.

The Rights of The River Wensum
Saturday 30th April - 11am Wensum Park, Norwich

Great speakers, music, stalls. All around caring for and preserving our river Wensum, a rare chalk stream.
More details soon = SAVE THE DATE!

Walk in the Wensum Valley

Some Sundays St Peter's Church, RIngland


Keep an eye out for details

Campaign Subgroups

Stop the Wensum Link has various sub groups which work on various aspects of the campaign and hold various events. If you'd like to know more, please get in touch
 

Norwich Western Link Alternatives 

There are terrible traffic problems in the Wensum Valley. But there are better alternatives to the NWL which are cheaper, better for residents and better for the wildlife. With your help we can start to put together some other strategies: other roads that can upgraded, public transport. They avoided building the M4 in Wales because they came up with a better plan - that was cheaper and less destructive to the environment. Come and help us!

Outreach Group 

Come and join our friendly team working on getting the word out on the Norwich Western Link Road. All ideas on online/ in person events welcome. Any little time contribution is helpful, we have so much to do!

Rights of the River - Planning next meeting Wednesday 19th January 7pm on zoom (follow link to join)
On April 30th, in Wensum Park, we are holding a spectacular event to highlight the danger the river Wensum is in - from the NWL but also pollution from other sources and other threats. This meeting is to help plan the event and to build contacts with other interest groups.

 

Ecology and Surveying

Legal Campaign Group

Artists Group

Co-ordinating and Steering Group

Please contact us if you're interested in joining any of the groups.

 

These organisations have come out publicly against the link road.

Click on the logos to read more about their concerns.

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The Norwich Western Link Road:

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This map shows the extent of land the NWL will take up. The road itself will vary from 80 metres wide to 150 metres wide, where embankments or cuttings are needed.
On top of this, the area needed during construction plus a proposed gas line 250 metres away from the road, mean that a strip 1km wide will be disturbed along some parts of the route. Access routes will also be needed.

The Case Against in Detail

Norwich Western Link, context in local plan and on-going Council, DfT and planning processes

Ringland Woods owner, Dr Iain Robinson, on ecology and the devastating impacts of the NWL

Planning, Habitats Regulations and legal issues

Complaint to NCC Leader re decade long failure to deliver on climate change promises (DOC)

Open Letter of complaint re evidence of bat super colony
Submission
to the Greater Norwich Local Plan consultation (PDF)

 

How You Can Help Stop the Link

We would love your help!


Whether you can help out by attending the occasional event or spreading the word by sharing our social media posts. Or whether you have the time for a weekly or monthly commitment, we would love to hear from you. Please watch the video to see what's involved. We are a passionate and friendly bunch of people.

 

T-SHIRTS!!    POSTERS!!    FLYERS!!

Want the latest fashion trend?! Our fabulous T-Shirts
are on fleek and raise awareness for just £12.

Email us for more details.


If you can put up poster for us or have somewhere

you can leave our flyers, please email us.

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On 7 June, Norfolk County Council  voted to push ahead with the

Norwich Western Link Road

They will now apply for central government funding by presenting the Outline Business Case to the Department of Transport.

This funding is only to be given if certain environmental standards have been met, and Norfolk County Council have not yet finished their surveys, so cannot demonstrate this! 

The 'business case' for the road is also based on inadequate and pre-COVID (2011!) transport data. The Council is now under massive financial strain and they would be liable for any project cost overruns.

 
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Join Our Mailing List

 

For the latest on the campaign and how you can help, subscribe to our mailing list
(If you don't receive a confirmation email, please check your spam box)

Our past email updates can be accessed here
 

Stop The Wensum Link

is proud to be working with:

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Please visit the websites of our supporters

Beryl bike share Logo

beryl the bike-share provider in Norwich is pleased to support our surveyors carry out their crucial work by providing access to their bikes and eBikes.

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