Little Thetford : Residents' Survey

3. The environment
3.1 Environmental concerns
Overall, 12% of respondents said there were no environmental problems and 8% did not reply. However, dog fouling was of great concern mentioned by almost two in three respondents (63%; Figure 3.1). Other concerns were traffic (25%), and litter (23%). A total of 8% were concerned about flytipping, 7% about noise and 5% about street lighting.
Figure 3.1 Environmental concerns

Other issues mentioned were:
  • Bird scarer in field is very annoying
  • 4x4 off roading
  • Lighting bonfires during day causing problems if drying washing; litter in cemetery
  • Soil and debris dumped in Hereward garage area
  • Cat fouling on our front lawn and we don't have cats
  • Bonfires
  • Better maintenance of grounds such as raking up autumn leaves
  • Just some issues on parking/driving around school at start and finish
  • Quad bikes, skateboarding
  • Road markings (white lines) in centre of road need urgent attention; road gritting
  • Threat of travellers settling on farm land
  • Ball games in the street should be banned
  • Bushes and hedgerows overhanging from property boundaries
3.2 Environmental measures supported
When asked which of a list of environmental measure they would support (Figure 3.2), three quarters of respondents (77%) supported recycling, 62% solar panels on houses, 62% energy saving measures in the home and 58% co-operative purchasing of oil. Just under half the sample (46%) supported improving public transport into the village and one in three (33%) wind turbines on private houses. These was less support (22%) for an earlier switch off of street lighting A total of 2% said they supported none of the above and 7% did not reply to the question.

Generally people aged under 60 were more supportive of these measures than those aged 60 or over.

Figure 3.1 Environmental concerns

The two 'other' suggestion were:
  • Wind turbine for village, allotments
  • Thermal ponds in homes supported by the government
3.3 How village should be kept clean and tidy
Views on how the village should be kept clean and tidy were mixed with 39% supporting a twice yearly 'Spring Clean' day and 30% entering a best kept village competition. There was less support for putting up notices (19%). A total of 13% said none of these, 20% did not answer the question and 9% made other suggestions or comments.
Figure 3.3 How the village should be kept clean and tidy

The following suggestions or comments were made:
  • The council should be doing this out of the Council tax! (3)
  • More bins in Holt Fen
  • Everyone should do this on a daily basis
  • Reminder to village through newsletter that tidiness is everyone's responsibility
  • Volunteer scheme for gardening for the old and ill
  • Rather than enter just have a best front garden competition every year
  • Catch the dog owner fouling paths on the way to school
  • Prosecute untidy gardens/houses
  • By people abiding the law and not leaving litter in the first place
  • Funding from County Council and Parish
  • More litter bins regularly emptied; educate people to have greater respect for, and pride in, their environment
  • Encourage people to pick up papers/litter as they walk past it
  • When litter gathers in street e.g. strong wind scattering dead leaves council should send in road sweepers
  • Perhaps the bus stops could be cleaned regularly
  • Fines for dropping litter
3.4 Provision of bins and street lighting
Respondents were asked to enter 1 if they thought the provision was adequate, 2 if they thought it inadequate and 3 if they had no opinion. A small number of respondents just ticked the question and this probably means 'adequate'.

A total of 30% of respondents thought the provision of litter bins to be inadequate, with a similar proportion (30%) thinking the number of dog bins inadequate.

Overall, 8% thought street lighting inadequate.

Figure 3.4 Opinion on the provision of bins and street lighting

The following comments or suggestions were made about bins:
  • Need more bins
  • Need more dog waste bins
  • Need a bin on the sports field
  • Red Fen Road have none
  • Need more of each
  • Dog bin near river
  • Dog bin needed at start of walk across football pitch
  • Need warden, although there are two dog bins people don't use them and when kids walk a dog I doubt they pick up
  • Could do with another dog bin in the village
  • Do we have any litter bins? One more dog waste bin
  • The bins in use are broken
  • More waste bins and dog waste bins would help litter
  • Need more of both bins to keep people using them, more will encourage cleaner village
  • Dog waste provision is adequate but people don't use them
  • Too much dog fouling on field and streets
  • Litter near the park area

The following comments or suggestions were made about lighting:

  • Not enough lighting by park
  • Certain parts of Cowslip Drive very poorly lit between 19 and 29 no light at all very dark
  • Poor lighting Holt Fen green area
  • Quite a few street lights are out and it is very dark at the river end of the village
3.5 Drainage
A quarter of respondents thought that drainage of surface water needed improving with 63% saying it did not and 12% not giving a response.
Figure 3.5 Opinion on the drainage of surface water

The following places were mentioned as having poor drainage:
  • By entrance to village from A10 slip road (14 respondents)
  • Holt Fen (10 people) with 2 of these respondents saying this was due to ditches being filled in
  • Where Main Street meets Green Hill and Holt Fen (4 respondents) with a further 2 respondents saying Green Hill and a further two by Green Hill on the corner
  • Watsons Lane (2 respondents)
  • The Wyches (8 respondents) with three of these people saying this was where you enter The Wyches from Ely
  • Ditches along the A10
  • Drain near Green picnic seat and by bridge over drainage ditch on the green
3.6 Importance of preserving the natural environment
Preserving the natural environment is of great importance to residents with 59% saying this was very important and 28% important. Few residents thought it unimportant with 6% saying this was of slight importance and 1% of no importance.
Figure 3.6 Importance of preserving the natural environment

3.7 Conservation area
The majority of respondents (82%) were aware of the conservation area in Little Thetford. A total of 13% were unaware of this and 5% did not reply.

There was considerable support (80%) for the extending the influence of the conservation area to include other areas of open space or environmentally sensitive areas in and around the village. Overall, 9% of respondents were against this with 11% not replying to the question.

Three in ten respondents (30%) said they would be prepared to make a practical contribution to conservation in the village. People aged 60-74 (41%) were slightly more likely than others to say they would do this.

Figure 3.7 Awareness and interest in conservation area