Following yesterday’s story about the damage to chalk downland in Dorset, I’ve been contacted by Natural England and I thought it would be useful to let you know what they have said. I approached the EIA team to inform them of the damage and ask them to keep me updated with what action Natural England were taking.
Natural England national comms team said that because of the purdah restrictions which operate in the run up to the General Election, the couldn’t comment (on twitter) until there had been further investigations. I then received a phone call from the local team who explained that staff had been to the site to investigate the incident. They were following up multiple inquiries and seeking information about the site. Local team members had spoken to the landowner and they will be working with them to find a solution to the problem. Natural England confirmed that the site was on the Chalk Grassland Inventory, which means that it is high quality chalk downland.
I guess things will be fairly quiet over the next few weeks until the election is out of the way. I will be keeping an eye on the site to see if the farmer does anything else which might damage the downland, though I think is unlikely, now that Natural England have visited them.