Photographs of Thorpe woodlands, their varied habitats, plantlife and wildlife all taken by friends and supporters. most taken between 2010 and 2013

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

January birdsong in Racecourse wood

Video and audio recorded in Racecourse wood on a beautiful day earlier this January. There seems to be a lot more species here than I was told by an ecologist working for the landowners. Employed only to assess the woodlands suitability for development, not to discover the many species previously listed and observed in NWT surveys and photographed by local photographers, The representative of Applied Ecology when questioned about well known resident species missing from his report told me, there was no more birdlife here than you would find in your back garden.
Judge for yourself.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Ancient Woodlands up for development in Government's new 'Biodiversity Offsetting' plan

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has suggested that Ancient Woodland can become acceptable building land if new saplings are planted to offset the trees lost. Owen is just the latest member of this out of touch Government to attempt to free up planning law and allow the theft of our woodlands for unsustainable development.
Surely only a keen nature denier working solely in the interests of unscrupulous developers and landowners could ever suggest such a moronic notion. 
Firstly to suggest that planting new saplings can replace entire woodland habitats with roots stretching back hundreds or even thousands of years is either ignorant or wilfully misleading.
Secondly, if there is a space to plant hundreds of new trees to offset the loss of an incredibly valuable, scarce and diminishing environment, then why on Earth not build on that site instead. Are we not meant to see the criminal stupidity of Owen Paterson's proposal?

Even in the Government's own Consultation that ended last November it was acknowledged that
ancient woodland would be "impossible to recreate on a meaningful timetable".
Showing his apparent ignorance, Mr Paterson claimed while destroying mature trees was a "tragic loss", replacing each with 100 new ones would "deliver a better environment over the long term".
Concrete over our most valuable habitats and wildlife today for a better Environment tomorrow. This is apparently what we are supposed to believe.

The Environmental Audit Committee of the House of Commons said recently the plans outlined by the government must be strengthened if they were to "properly protect Britain's wildlife".

The MPs said an assessment proposed by the government appeared to be "little more than a 20-minute box-ticking exercise that is simply not adequate to assess a site's year-round biodiversity".

The Woodland Trust has campaigned against the inclusion of ancient woodlands in any offsetting scheme and it rejects the suggestion that the future of these habitats should rest on the proposed economic benefit of a given development.

The future of Thorpe Woodlands still hangs in the balance while we await Broadland District Council's decision on the Growth Area Action Plan early this year. 
It appears that this new year as before, those with influence and keen on grabbing a quick quid at the expense of our environment are an ill wind still blowing very strongly.
Keep watching the blog for further news.

Link to Guardian article

Link to Article in The Express