Join Hands Around Coate poster
Postcards to send to local councillors
Ridgeway Theatre Company sent their apologies
Author Richard Jeffries grew up here and wrote about Coate
Ex-Swindoner now in Oz asked us to make a cardboard cut-out of him
Hands around the lake
Horse shoes (there are horses stabled on the land under threat)
That's a lot of hands!
In August, the Save Coate! campaign broadcast the call for people to make cardboard cutouts of their hands, write on them why Coate is special to them, and send them in to the campaigners. These cardboard hands (and in some cases, paws and horseshoes) were stapled to lengths of string or ribbon and spread out round the edge of the Coate Water lake, ultimately reaching from the cafe to almost the point where the trees and bushes hide the path from the lake.
At a slightly chaotic stall beside the lake, supporters and passing members of the public handed in hands they'd prepared, or made some on the spot. They added their signatures to the 12,500+ already on the petition calling for a kilometer of undeveloped buffer zone around Coate Water Country Park, and they filled in postcards to be sent to their local councillors, Mike Bawden (leader of Swindon Borough Council), and their MP. Fortunately for those who did not know who their councillor was or which ward they lived in, a map of the wards and a list of councillors was on hand.
Finally, all the cardboard hands had been stapled onto string and spread out around the lake, and supporters were holding the entire chain off the ground for all to see, with a kind of mexican wave effect breaking out at one point. Central TV news were in attendance, and I think I saw an Evening Advertiser photographer, as well as some media studies students from New College just down the road.
Save land next to Swindon's Coate Water SSSI from developers. Sign the petition today at http://www.savecoate.org.uk
Who gives a *** about Swindon Town Centre?
19th September 2004
By a strange co-incidence, the Swindon Gateway Partnership (an unholy alliance of the University of Bath, Redrow homes and Persimmon homes) were holding their 'consultation' on the same day and in the same shopping centre as Swindon Civic Trust, who were carrying out their own public consultation on ideas such as putting the university campus in the town center instead of at Coate.
The STOP march - Swindonians Together on Planning
6th June 2004
Photo-report of the thousand-strong march from Shaw Forest and Coate Water to the council's civic offices, to protest against greenfield development for profits rather than development strategy for the benefit of the people of Swindon. There was a large contingent on this march from the Save Coate! campaign, as well as from the Swindon Forest Protection Group (and some in both), but there were many other campaigns and organisations represented.
Note - the month after the STOP march, the Swindon Forest Protection group won their campaign to prevent Shaw Forest from being buried under a football stadium - see http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/07/295296.html