Author Archives: Miles King

About Miles King

UK conservation professional, writing about nature, politics, life. All views are my own and I don't write on behalf of anybody else.

Dorset Chalk downland damage: Natural England respond.

        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 … Continue reading

Posted in chalk downland, farming, grasslands | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Dorset chalk downland site sprayed with herbicide and re-seeded for farming.

It seems almost inconceivable that 20 years has passed since a Chalk Downland Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) was ploughed up in Sussex. The Offham Down case became a minor cause celebre during the election campaign of 1997 which … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, Downland, EIA, farm subsidies, Natural England | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Time to rename Defra the Ministry of Agriculture and Fieldsports

While all talk of the Greenest Government Ever (anyone remember that?) has been quietly abandoned, another question arises. Is the fieldsports lobby getting unprecedented access to ministers in the Environment department and are the Environment NGOs being squeezed out of … Continue reading

Posted in Andrea Leadsom, blood sports, countryside alliance, Defra, farming | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Medway Council love birds, as long as they are not Nightingales

As Nightingales return to England, the Brexit juggernaut lumbers on, crushing all dissent as it goes. But the resulting mulch is full of contradiction and confusion. Take our current commitments to protecting Birds for example. Until 2019 (and perhaps for … Continue reading

Posted in Birds Directive, European environment policy, housing, Lodge Hill, Michael Gove, New Towns, Nightingales, People Need Nature, Recreation | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

No gathering Eggs for May: it has to be Easter

Can it really be true that there isn’t enough to keep our Prime Minister busy these days? Theresa May, while cosying up to the Extreme Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, still finds time to lambast the National Trust, for removing … Continue reading

Posted in easter, National Trust, symbolism, Theresa May, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Badgers eat Nightingales, according to Dorset MP Richard Drax.

Badgers and their culling found its way back on to the agenda at Westminster yesterday, where a Westminster Hall Debate took place, thanks to the petition led by Simon King (no relation.) You can read the debate here and there … Continue reading

Posted in badgers, Brexit, Nightingales, Richard Drax | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Guest blog by Vicki Hird: Imagine the death of UK farms

As the Government continues to fail to develop any coherent plan for farming after Brexit, Vicki Hird, Sustain Campaign Coordinator and independent consultant (@vicki Hird) writes a guest blog. Imagine the death of UK farms   Is it an exaggeration … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, Brexit, farm subsidies, guest blogs | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments

Brexit Bill Day of Reckoning for Labour MPs beckons

When so many things are happening so quickly, it can be difficult to decide what to write about, or even dismiss the idea that anything I write will be worth anyone’s time writing. There is also the small challenge of … Continue reading

Posted in Brexit, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

NFU proposals for a new farm subsidy system only fit for cloud cuckoo land

It’s a special anniversary this year – 70 years since the 1947 Farming Act. I will return to this anniversary in more detail later in the year, but today I want to discuss one particular thing.  The 1947 Act was … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, Brexit, farm subsidies, NFU | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

A Pebble in the Pond: People Need Nature report on opportunities for farming, food & nature after Brexit.

            I’m delighted to be able to tell you about this new report which is published today. It’s the first People Need Nature policy report – A Pebble in the Pond: Opportunities for farming, food … Continue reading

Posted in Brexit, Common Agricultural Policy, farm subsidies | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments