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.
Council confirms extra cost of the Western Link will fall to the taxpayer
Norfolk County Council now acknowledge the presence of protected barbastelle bats and they are looking to reroute the road around the bat maternity colony.
Norfolk County Council have no contingency fund should they not receive funding from the DfT.
Why Building Roads Doesn't Work
What Makes Wensum Valley Valuable
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
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.
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
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.
In January 2022, Norwich City Council voted to look into giving The Wensum the Freedom of The City (EDP article)
This presentation by Jonah Tosney of The Norfolk Rivers Trust shows us the importance of this precious ecosystem and the rare species that live there. A video is below
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.
Walk in the Wensum Valley
Some Sundays St Peter's Church, RIngland
Keep an eye out for details
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!
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!
Ecology and Surveying
Legal Campaign Group
Co-ordinating and Steering Group
Please contact us if you're interested in joining any of the groups.
Celebration of the rights of River Wensum
On the 30th April 2022, we celebrated the Declaration of the Rights of the River Wensum. This was an amazing afternoon when many people gathered in Wensum Park, Norwich to join us in recognising that our beautiful river is essential to all life and needs protecting.
The Norwich Western Link Road:
Witness the Wensum Valley
More than 300 people joined us in marking the width of the proposed Norwich Western Link. A very stark demonstration of the wreckage this road would cause.
These organisations have come out publicly against the link road
Click or tap on the logos to read more about their concerns
Click or tap here to see the case against the Norwich Western Link in more detail
Join Us and 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.
If you can put up poster for us or have somewhere you can leave our flyers, please email us.
Writing to local press
This is very useful in keeping awareness of local opposition to the scheme in everyone's minds. We can stop this if we make enough noise! There are references in our 10 myths section, which maybe useful.