Category Archives: Natural England

Shifting Baselines

This post isn’t about how our perceptions of environmental change get reset with each generation. It’s about Defra’s budget. Today’s spending Review saw Chancellor Osborne perform some typical numerical tricks, as he sought to position himself nearer to the centre … Continue reading

Posted in cuts, Defra, Natural England | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Natural England steps into the Tumbrel

Liz Truss has apparently already agreed to a 32% cut to the Defra budget for the 4 years from 2016-17 onwards. This impressive feat allows her to sit on the panel which resides over the imposition of cuts on other, … Continue reading

Posted in Defra, George Osborne, Liz Truss, Natural England, SSSis | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Rampisham Factcheck #5: The photographs of Rampisham Down

Some people are trying to make out that Rampisham Down SSSI is a poor quality, low value piece of wildlife grassland, or, as Professor Ghillean Prance, former Director of Key Gardens said a “very degraded and often impacted habitat”. They … Continue reading

Posted in Natural England, Rampisham Down, Solar Farms, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Rampisham Down and Lodge Hill demonstrate that Natural England must Notify every site which qualifies as SSSI

      Offham Down SSSI ploughed to grow Flax 1997 (http://www.eco-action.org/history/offham/offham.html)   When the Wildlife and Countryside Act was introduced in 1981 in order for the UK to comply with the European Union’s Birds Directive, nationally and internationally important … Continue reading

Posted in Lodge Hill, Natural England, Rampisham Down, SSSis | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Another SSSI to be trashed? Councillors approve solar farm on Rampisham Down

            Rampisham Down SSSI  (c) Miles King   While we wait to hear whether Brandon Lewis will decide to call in the planning permission granted by Medway District Council for the new town on Lodge … Continue reading

Posted in Eric Pickles, Lodge Hill, Military Land, Natural England, public land, Rampisham Down, Solar Farms, SSSis, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Lodge Hill latest: Housing Minister Lewis ruins Christmas for Medway Planning Committee members

The battle of Lodge Hill has gone a bit quiet since the Rochester and Strood byelection, when all the candidates except Labour were clamouring to be seen as the one true defender of Lodge Hill, despite the fact that both … Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Lewis, Eric Pickles, Lodge Hill, Military Land, Natural England, RSPB, SSSis | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Somerset Levels Update: Reflections on Flooding

It’s not just “You forgot the birds” who have been attacking RSPB recently. Earlier this year, they were blamed by a number of people, for causing the flooding in the Somerset Levels and Moors. Christopher Booker, in the Telegraph, was … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, flooding, Maize, Natural England, RSPB, Somerset Levels, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sells brings Cross to NE Board. Goodbye Doug Hulyer

The white smoke has appeared from the Natural England papal chimney – we now know who the new Natural England Chief Executive is – James Cross. He has arrived fresh from being the second CEO of the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Sells, Natural England, Uncategorized | Tagged | 7 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

EFRA fails to grill Sells, more of a light poaching

As  I recall there was a lot of effort involved in turning Parliamentary Select Committees from a cross-between talking shops and clubs, into an influential element of Parliamentary procedure and ultimately an addition to the British Democratic process. Watching the … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Sells, Natural England | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments