Monthly Archives: March 2014

Feed the World….. sugar till we are all obese.

  We are told that Fat is the new normal and this is undoubtedly true. It’s another example of shifting baseline syndrome, also known as the “frog in the saucepan“. I have noticed my own waistline expand over the years … Continue reading

Posted in Common Agricultural Policy, ecosystem services, farming, public goods, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

A Lenten Story: The Gamekeeper’s Gibbet, Biodiversity Onsetting and Confirmation Bias

spot the badger The Gamekeeper’s Gibbet Not so long ago, a walk in the country would entail this scene – a gamekeeper’s gibbet. Vermin would be presented by the estate gamekeeper, neatly strung on fences or hung from trees, as … Continue reading

Posted in agricultural pests, animism, badgers, biodiversity offsetting, blood sports, Defra, Owen Paterson | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Humans as Deicides – we killed our original gods and we have forgotten them

Straight Tusked Elephant I had been thinking about writing about this again and George Monbiot spurred me to write this, following another eloquent, passionate but depressing counsel of despair in the guardian yesterday.  George argued that hominims had been driving … Continue reading

Posted in Ecosystem Engineers, forest elephant, Pleistocene, straight tusked elephant, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Mark Reckless MP for Lodge Hill rails against Natural England, Quangos, spiders, bugs and – vegetated shingle

Following yesterday’s blog on the latest machinations at Lodge Hill, I was informed that the local MP for the Lodge Hill area Mark Reckless, had not made any statement either for or against the development at Lodge Hill or the … Continue reading

Posted in anti conservation rhetoric, anti-environmental rhetoric, biodiversity, biodiversity offsetting, Lodge Hill, Natural England | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Offsetting at Lodge Hill rears its ugly head again.

CIEEM held a conference on biodiversity offsetting last week, and I was lucky enough to be the first speaker. I had put in an abstract for a talk which was highly sceptical of offsetting and whether it would provide any … Continue reading

Posted in biodiversity, biodiversity offsetting, Lodge Hill, RSPB, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

No targets and prescriptions – Conservation: The Knepp Way

wild daffodils on Knepp Estate (c) miles king On Wednesday I was privileged to spend a day at the Knepp Estate in Sussex, with Natural England Agriculture Policy experts – not that NE do policy of course. Other experts (and … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, biodiversity, carbon storage, Common Agricultural Policy, ecosystem services, grazing, landscape dynamics, rewilding, scrub | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Defra publish correct Bovine TB herd breakdown data – previous figures were inflated by one third

The Badger Cull has been found to be ineffective and inhumane according to Defra’s own expert panel looking at the Pilot areas in Somerset and Gloucestershire. The BBC report Prof Rosie Woodroffe, a scientist at the Zoological Society of London, … Continue reading

Posted in badgers, Defra | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Supergrass that betrays real Environmental Goods

I was intrigued by this headline in Farmers Weekly (where else?) – “£2.5M boost for grass that helps prevent floods“. What can it be? A panacea for all our flooding problems – is it superabsorbent? Is it a climate change … Continue reading

Posted in agricultural pests, agriculture, ecosystem services, flooding, grasslands, Neonicotinoids, public goods, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Solar Farms and Grasslands: A cautionary Tale.

Rampisham Down Masts Anyone who has lived in West Dorset for more than five years will immediately recognise the extraordinary landmark that was the Rampisham Down Transmitting Station. A large array of very tall Masts on one of the most … Continue reading

Posted in biodiversity, grasslands, Solar Farms | Tagged , | 5 Comments