The recent series of Spring Watch featured the Sand Martin Banks at Rutland Water.

As many of you will recall the Society helped purchase a nest camera to spy on the intimacies of the Sand Martin Nest.

Further details of this, and a very welcome promotion for the Society, can be found by following the link:-




The Society has received information from Barrie Galpin, who many of you may know, advising of a planning application for a holiday development in Fineshade Woods.

Whilst there is already a camp site adjacent to the visitor centre this new development could have a major impact on more undeveloped parts of the wood.

The contents of the contact document are fairly self explanatory.

If after reading the information you feel you would like to express your views please follow the information re contacting the planning authorities.

This year Fineshade Wood has been under attack from two different developments:

In May a planning application was put in to develop a glamping site in the field right in front of the visitor centre. There would be 30 "glamping pods" (wooden sheds with metal roofs), a toilet block, car park, warden's bungalow etc. With lots of help we think we have fought off this application - a decision will be taken by the council in September. (Loads of objections from individuals and important environmental groups).

This week a potentially more disruptive planning application emerged when a Forest Holidays/Forestry Commission plan was published. They intend to construct 70 cabins, 2 miles of new vehicle tracks and a central leisure and maintenance complex in 96 acres of this publicly owned forest. It is an area of undisturbed semi-natural woodland that will be turned into what would be essentially a holiday park

We have less than 3 weeks to respond to this second planning application, so the small community here is urgently trying to muster support. Below are fuller details and if you could simply send the council a short email to object we would be very, very grateful.

Barrie and Tricia Galpin
15 Top Lodge, Fineshade, Corby. NN17 3BB

The erection of 70 cabins and associated buildings and infrastructure and construction of new access road’

The full application can be viewed here:

http//:www.east northamptonshire.gov.uk/planningapplications

The reference number for the application is 14/01156/FUL.

The deadline for objections is 23 July.

This is a very detailed application and all the documents and plans run to many hundreds of pages.

Here are some particular points from the application:
70 cabins in 96 acres of public land of Fineshade Wood.
2 miles of new vehicle tracks.
Parking spaces for 189 cars.

This part of the Public Forest Estate will be leased by this company for 125 years.

460 mature trees (trunks > 6in. diameter) to be removed for roads and building construction.

Access will be by means of the existing single track lane from the A43 to Top Lodge.
New forest road to be built from the end of the existing visitor car park passing very close to Top Lodge residents.
An additional 60 vehicles per hour will be added to the existing traffic.

Construction traffic will use the single track lane and then the existing walking track that skirts the north of the site.

Only a preliminary ecological report has been submitted.
Biological surveys are incomplete - both the area surveyed and the time they were carried out.
Very many notable and protected species reported, showing it is certainly an environmentally sensitive site.
Site is "of at least county importance for reptiles and birds".
Partial botanical survey revealed 45 (axiophytes) "worthy plant species" and 22 Ancient Woodland indicators.
460 trees to be removed for roads and building construction.

We are currently reading all the documents in detail - if you have time to read any of them and come across anything very important please let us know (email to
fineshade.wood@zen.co.uk) so we can share them widely. There are two documents that summarise the application: "Design and Access statement" and "Planning statement" (particularly section 5.) The other documents deal in much more detail with, e.g Transport, Ecology, etc.

If you are able to send an objection to the council, here are some pointers.

Include your name and address (The address will not appear on the website)
Include the reference number 14/01156/FUL
At the top, use the word objection (or the council may count it only as a comment)
Indicate why you are qualified to object (e.g. "I have been visiting Fineshade for many years")
Stick to a single issue - we believe the main weaknesses of the application are access from the A43 and the environmental sensitivity.
For many of us a short, pithy objection may be the best approach, as we hope there will be many objections for counsellors to read
If you have particular expertise and develop a detailed objection please send us a copy by email.
Your objection should appear on the website within a few days. If it doesn't please follow it up - several comments were lost on the previous glamping application.

If you live locally, can you get your Parish Council or Village Meeting to consider the application and send an objection? Several local villages in East Northants are listed under "Consultee comments" on the website. We believe that comments from parishes in Rutland will be important too. If you would like some help with this, please get in touch - for example we may be able to attend a parish meeting if invited.

On behalf of the residents of Fineshade thank you very much indeed for your help and support
Barrie Galpin

PS Latest news on glamping. 57 public comments and 21 consultee comments have been published - almost all objecting. East Northants Council are planning to make a decision in September. We are very hopeful!

Objections can be made: by email to:
or online www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/planningapplications
or by letter to Planning comments, East Northants Council, Cedar Drive, Thrapston NN14 4LZ