Here is the draft response from the Friends of the Downs to Canterbury City Council’s management proposals for the newly created QE2 Coastal Park.
We would like all the Friends of the Downs to take the time to read it and let us know what they think – the final version has to get to CCC by the end of November.
You can download the document by clicking HERE.
The Executive Summary:
- The Vision for the Coastal Park does not provide any clarity about what the Park is for and what it is intended to become. We suggest:
“To develop a Coastal Park that appeals to a wide range of residents and visitors by offering a variety of high quality seaside experiences – traditional; sporting; unspoilt and natural – in one beautifully integrated seven kilometre stretch of coast.”
- We should emphasise that the Park offers “something for everyone” by integrating the entire Park without detracting from the distinctly different experiences and mood that the three distinct sections of the Park has to offer – developed coast with beach huts in West Bay; retail coast in the central area; natural coast in the Downs and in Reculver Country Park.
- This is a great opportunity to remove or re-site some of the “visual clutter” – signs, bins, benches – on the Downs and replace it with low-key, consistent signage and well-placed amenities.
- We are concerned by the suggestion to “provide car parking near the King’s Hall” – we would like to see more information about where and how this would be achieved.
- The maintenance of the Downs should not involve pesticides or herbicides.
- We present on page 10 of this response a detailed SWOT analysis for the Downs as part of the Park.
- Much of the draft Plan is already work in progress or work that is planned by the Council. There is surprisingly little scope for community contributions.
- The special scientific and ecological importance of the Downs has been under-stated, when its natural richness should be emphasised.
- The idea of grass cutting on the lower slopes between Beltinge and Hillborough is not a recommendation from KWT, it is merely a suggestion – the Friends will examine it more closely to see if it is worth progressing. Action L14 should be replaced with:
“Research the wildlife implications of a change to the cutting regime at the rear of the promenade at Beltinge and Hillborough and decide whether there would be any benefit in making such a change
- Similarly L15 should be replaced with:
“Research the wildlife implications of managing the scrub on the lower slope and decide what the best management approach would be”.