If Only

By Julie Taylor

About Me

Hi, I’m Julie, I’m a mother of two grown up daughters. I spend most of my time either campaigning with The Friends of Latton Island or my making creations for my Etsy Shop. My background is in publishing and I’m an avid reader and love to travel. I’ve been using the river for leisure for as long as I can remember

I live in Harlow and I become involved in the Save The Stort Campaign in June 2021. I’d been wild swimming in the Lakes at Redricks. It was amazing and transported me for a brief while into another realm, swimming on my back when I got tired of swimming on my front I was gliding under the shining sun with a blue sky and an occasional canopy of green branches. It was was pure bliss. I raved about it to my friends and family but then something happened!

I was scrolling through Facebook, like you do, and came across a post about “The Latton Island Problem”. Intrigued, I dug a little deeper and made a discovery that a road was to be built through the floodplain to the north of the river and then this road would go over the fishing lakes (adjacent to the beautiful lake I’d swam in the day before) and then the road would cross over the River Stort. I was horrified. Enraged, I contacted a friend who I knew was a boater and had a chat. It turned out that the island that he lived on and owned would be affected. He filled me in briefly about the campaign, the petition, that they needed objections on the application. The very next day I wrote a post and put it on my wall. That post got 342 shares. The following day I went to meet with the campaigners on the Island to offer my support. They were hospitable, sincere and very concerned. Since that day the campaign has changed many times, it goes through phases and people at a ever increasing pace as new people bring new ideas and differing skillsets to the table.

If only I’d begun blogging right back then. I’ve got some back tracking to do!

From that day forward there haven’t been many days when I haven’t worked on the campaign in some way or another. That could be creating posters, leaflets and social media posts, delivering leaflets, looking after our LinkedIn site, organising events, talking to the Press, contacting friends and family informing them of the crossing and asking them to sign the petition and make objections, as well as liaising with Friends of the Earth.

If only we’d known about this months ago before the application got this far. Why didn’t we know? Because the consultation was advertised in a Bishops Stortford newspaper as the road is in East Herts. That was in lock down when people couldn’t go out. I’m consistently uncovering derogatory information about the application and related issues.

Are we winning? We’ve certainly ruffled some feathers, raised awareness and made our mark.

Best Wishes

Julie Taylor

#saveourstort #bridgetoofar #friendsoftheearth

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