The campaign to prevent the extension of the Wincheap Park and Ride onto the Wincheap Water Meadows, across the river from Hambrook Marshes, is still active. Canterbury City Council has not yet made its final decision on whether to go ahead with building the car park, but a judge has given permission for a Judicial Review of CCC planning committee’s decision to approve the application. The legal case is in the name of CPRE (Kent). They are working closely with the local community, who will almost certainly be launching Phase 2 of the fundraising drive in the near future to meet the legal costs. This means it is unlikely that the Council will make a decision at their full council meeting on 20th February. Council officers have said that they will be looking at alternative locations for the Park and Ride extension, and we know that various discussions have been going on.
Meanwhile, some readers may have noticed that a circle of willows has recently appeared on the Wincheap meadow. We thought they had been planted by a group of campaigners to mark World Wetlands Day on 2nd February, but recently-obtained photos now reveal that the guerrilla planter was none other than our Wind in the Willows friend ……… Ratty! The circle of 39 trees represents the number of councillors who will make the final decision on the fate of the water meadows, and the stunt was intended to put across the message that planting trees on this site is a much better use of the land than building a car park.