1) How brickwork and landfill site affects local people’s life?
The questionnaire from local people may give reasonable answers to this question. When we were asking local people questions, we provided them with scale indicator. If they find they are badly affected by brickworks, they indicated it as 10 in the questionnaire, and indicate 0 as not been affected at all.
From the questionnaire, we can see the brickworks and landfill site generally effects the majority of the people that we asked, lots people felt badly effected, some people felt slightly effected. Only minority of people said the brickworks and landfill site does not effect them at all. To simplify the questionnaire, I produced graphs on how local people effects by brickworks and landfill site in average. I also divided the graph into four smaller areas in each site, e.g.: the smell, traffic jam, rubbish and bad eyesore produced by the sites.
*The effects from the brickworks.
From figure A1-1, it shows us the total score of the effects on local people by the brickworks. Marston Moretaine got the highest, which is 467. Then followed by Wootton with 397. Ampthill scored the lowest with 177. By looking at the graph, we notice that brickworks have generally affected people in Marston Moretaine the most and there are a lot less effects on people in Wootton from brickworks.
To see more details of how local people are affected by the brickworks, we can look down in four different areas in which people are effected, they are: Smells, rubbish, traffic jam and bad eyesores that have been produce by the brickworks.
From figure A1-2, a graph shows the average score of how smell effects local people. We can see the people in Wootton have been affected the worst, with 4.6 average score. Only a small impact on the people living in Ampthill, with 2 average score. And Marston Moretaine in between, with 3 average score.
Figure A2-1 is about how local people are effected by the traffic jams that are caused by the brickworks. From this graph, we can see Wootton people felt they were effected by these traffic jams the most, with average score of 4.7. Then is followed by the people living Marston Moretaine, with 4.The people in Ampthill felt they were only slightly effected by the traffic jams that are cause by the brickworks, with 1.9.
Figure A2-2, showing how local people affected by the rubbish that produced by the brickworks. This time, the people in Marston Moretaine felt they been effected the most by the rubbish, with 4 average scores. And followed by Wootton with an average score of 3.3. The people in Ampthill felt once again not much effect on them, with 1.5 average score.
Figure A3-1, showing how local people are effected by the bad eyesore that is produced by the brickworks. People in Marston Moretaine felt they been badly affected by the bad eyesore that produced by the brickworks, with average score of 4. The second one is Wootton, they have average score of 3.8. Once again, people in amphill felt only a little effect from the bad eyesore that produced by the brickworks.
Overall, the brickworks aren’t effecting local people that much, but with relatively higher effects to the people in Wootton and Marston Moretaine than in Ampthill.
*The effects from landfill site.
Figure A4-1, shows us the total scores of how local people effected by the landfill site. The people in Marston Moretaine have been effected badly with 573 total scores. Then followed by wooton and Amphill with 364 and 293.
To look far more details, I have also divided the graph into four smaller areas like I did for brickworks.
Figure A4-2, shows us the average score of how local people are effected by the smell that produced in landfill site. All three villages scored roughly the same with wooton (4), Marston Moretaine (3.7) and Amphill (3.2)
Figure A5-1, shows us the average score of how local people affected by the traffic jam that caused by landfill site. Marston Moretaine with the highest score of 4.9, then followed by Wooton wit 4.2, and people in Amphill been effected the least among the three villages, with only 2.1.
Figure A5-2, shows us the average score of how local people effected by the rubbish that produced by landfill site. People in Marston Moretaine felt they been effected the worst among three villages, with an average score of 4.7. And Wooton scored 3.3, Amphill scored 2.8.
Figure A3-2, shows us the average score of how local people effected by the bad eyesore that produced by landfill site. This time, there’s a steady increase of score in Amphill, compare it with other areas. The average score in Amphill is 4. The people in Marston Moretaine they been effected the most among three villages, with average score of 5. Only a little impact on people who living in Wooton, with average score of only 2.6.
2) What’s local people’s knowledge on Marston Vale Community Forest project?
We can find the answer on the questionnaire I did on the day; one of the questions was asked for how much knowledge they have on Marston vale community forest project.
For the readers to read the results easily, I produced a graph of it, which is figure A6-1. The graph describe as 47% of the people we asked has some knowledge on the project, 30% of the people we asked said they have a good knowledge on the project, only 4% of people has extensive knowledge on the project, 19% percent of them told that they know nothing on the project at all.
In all the people we asked for questionnaire, 1 out of 5 knows nothing about the Marston Vale community project. So I decided to look in more detail of this group of people. I divided them into age groups, shown in figure A6-2 as percentage. In this group of people who knows nothing about the project, 13% of them are aged between 0-19, 20% of them are aged between 40-59, and 27% of them are elderly people who are older than 60 and 40% of them are aged between 20-39. We see the problem here, the adults should know more about the project. Because they travel around, and work in society, they should at least know something of the project.
From the results, we can see the Marston vale community project should be more publicly known in the region around it.
3) How successful is the Maston Vale community forest project? Both in attempting to solve the problems of pits left on ground after the clay extraction, and to create the better environment for local people.
From my own experience, as I have been to both community forest and a present clay extraction pit, I felt the community forest is much more attractive than the clay extraction pit, which is dirty, noisy, and unpleasant to look at. I wouldn’t recognise the area in community forest as restored from clay extraction pits if I were not told. The environment in the Marston community forest is just like a natural green land. The Stewartby Lake gives the area even more variety. In my opinion, the Marston vale community forest is very successful, it has created a better environment for local people and solved the problem of pits left on ground after clay extraction fantastically.
Let’s analyse it in more detail with the E.Q surveys I’ve done on the day. To make them easier to read, I’ve produced bar charts of them.
In figure A7-1, this shows the comparison between present clay extraction pit and a area around Stewartby Lake which has been restored from a past clay extraction pit. There we can see the Stewartby Lake scored a lot higher than the quest pit. The Stewartby area is much cleaner, with less noise, more green plants, more attractive, fresher air and very natural compared to the Quest pit.
From this comparison, we can see the area that was restored has a totally different image from the present clay extraction pit.
In figure A7-2, this shows the comparison between a present landfill site and a restored landfill site. From there, we can see the restored landfill site has more plants grown on top, cleaner, more attractive, a lot less noises than the present landfill site. But the air is very bad in both areas, this is caused by the gases that produced when waste decomposes.
Today, the Marston vale community forest covers a very large area in Bedfordshire, and the size of the forest keeps increasing every year. The community forest has created a variety of different landscapes; provided new wildlife habitats; created an attractive environment for the local people; it also offers local employment opportunities; the most important thing is it has solved the environment issue caused by clay extractions in this area. From my own experience, I deeply felt how badly the clay extraction work damages environment, and I also find out how attractive the Marston Vale community forest is. In my opinion, I think the Marston vale community forest project is very successful, it has highly achieved the goal that set for the project.
In the restoration of the clay extraction pits, landfill site has shown an extra value of solving the waste. Reforesting and turning the pits into lake only solves the environmental issue. Landfill site not just solves the environment issue, but also provide a place where to bury the waste. Which I would call the landfill site restoration is a “double achievement”.
Although I have finished my coursework, but I would like to point out following areas I can do to improve my coursework.
1) The timing on the day trip in Marston Vale was very hurry. For example, I could have got much more information from the community forest centre if there’s enough time for me to do so. We could have asked more local people for the questionnaire, maybe 5 for each group, and we may have a more detailed questionnaire.
2) We didn’t do the water test in Stewartby Lake on the day trip, but done it more than two months later. This will definitely varies the results that it should be. So I don’t think the water test results is very reliable to say whether the river has been polluted by the landfill site or not.
3) I could have collect more information, like: doing more questionnaires with local people in holiday, taking more photographs, experiencing the clay extraction pit one more time, re-doing the water test, and drawing a better filed sketch to strength my initiative. But because I’m an overseas student, all the things that I mentioned above are relatively more difficult for me to do.