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British Wildlife Decline

mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,757
edited October 2019 in The cake stop
This topic saddens me greatly, especially when I drive round the south of England and see it being paved over by the likes of Barratts, TW, Redrow et all.
I know that the latest reports state that intensive farming is the main culprit, but most of the new housing estates are on sold off farmland.
Just near me the local 'laird' who hasn't lived in UK for decades has sold off some farmland for TW to stick 850 houses on.
I know we need housing. But schemes like this get waved through by local planning authorities with very little scrutiny. They only check to see if there is impact on a few endangered species of mammals but not for the loss of habitat and how it impacts on the greater bio diversity. It's just £s and more £s that they're looking at.

What hope is there for our beloved British wildlife and our glorious countryside? :(
Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,227
    Mr Goo wrote:
    This topic saddens me greatly, especially when I drive round the south of England and see it being paved over by the likes of Barratts, TW, Redrow et all.
    I know that the latest reports state that intensive farming is the main culprit, but most of the new housing estates are on sold off farmland.
    Just near me the local 'laird' who hasn't lived in UK for decades has sold off some farmland for TW to stick 850 houses on.
    I know we need housing. But schemes like this get waved through by local planning authorities with very little scrutiny. They only check to see if there is impact on a few endangered species of mammals but not for the loss of habitat and how it impacts on the greater bio diversity. It's just £s and more £s that they're looking at.

    What hope is there for our beloved British wildlife and our glorious countryside? :(

    There are lots of things wrong with the UK planning system but lack of scrutiny isn't one of them. Also, as you say, farming methods really are the issue, not the <10% of land that is built on.

    _98667309_land_use_chart_640_v1-nc.png
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
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  • rjsterry wrote:
    Mr Goo wrote:
    This topic saddens me greatly, especially when I drive round the south of England and see it being paved over by the likes of Barratts, TW, Redrow et all.
    I know that the latest reports state that intensive farming is the main culprit, but most of the new housing estates are on sold off farmland.
    Just near me the local 'laird' who hasn't lived in UK for decades has sold off some farmland for TW to stick 850 houses on.
    I know we need housing. But schemes like this get waved through by local planning authorities with very little scrutiny. They only check to see if there is impact on a few endangered species of mammals but not for the loss of habitat and how it impacts on the greater bio diversity. It's just £s and more £s that they're looking at.

    What hope is there for our beloved British wildlife and our glorious countryside? :(

    There are lots of things wrong with the UK planning system but lack of scrutiny isn't one of them. Also, as you say, farming methods really are the issue, not the <10% of land that is built on.

    _98667309_land_use_chart_640_v1-nc.png

    This is meant to be a topic on evil developers bribing officials and killing wildlife and then you attempt to ruin it with your fake stats.

    Now back on topic what about the near extinction of red kites?
  • They were extinct in the UK. They're immigrant kites!
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,757
    They were extinct in the UK. They're immigrant kites!

    I do marvel at seeing a red kite. However they've already become a pest in parts of the country so I hear.

    This thread not just about 'evil developers', they're just one ingredient in the endangerment of UK wildlife. Farming is another. Industrial scale forestry also an issue, planting quick growing pines and chopping them down again. I've seen tracts of broadleaf woodland cut down over the last couple years. Especially on the road between Dorchester and Honiton and cannot work out the reason for this other than £s. Would take over a century to get it back to previous state. But the real issue is all the creatures that have lost that habitat.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • david7mdavid7m Posts: 636
    Went Red Kite centre in Wales for feeding time. They are big beautiful things!
  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 6,945
    Kites are not pests. They are scavengers, tidying up the natural environment. Good birds. Pests are the d1cks who put out food for them. Example: I was working in S Oxfordshire bit of the Chilterns ridge above Henley. Mid afternoon started to see many red kites hanging about, eventually counted 25+ circling plus more settled on trees nearby. Turns out a neighbour to the place I was at regularly put out loads of food for them... Those birds being smart, is why we get flocks of big birds around and about.
  • ProssPross Posts: 24,248
    Developers seem to be yet another of the huge chips Goo has to lug around on his shoulders. The weight must get tough to bear at times!

    Have you ever seen the amount of ecological and landscape impact reports that have to be submitted in support of a planning applications? Look one up on your local planning portal and the responses from the relevant officers as your comments show a massive amount of ignorance on the subject.
  • land development is about money. end of story. It might be dressed up in social need and sustainability etc but in the end its just about money.

    Anyone who doubts that look at the amount of land banking and the slowing of building when the market dips slightly.

    look at 100million pound pay packages
  • Pross wrote:
    Developers seem to be yet another of the huge chips Goo has to lug around on his shoulders. The weight must get tough to bear at times!

    Have you ever seen the amount of ecological and landscape impact reports that have to be submitted in support of a planning applications? Look one up on your local planning portal and the responses from the relevant officers as your comments show a massive amount of ignorance on the subject.


    The officers are for the most part window dressing.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    land development is about money. end of story. It might be dressed up in social need and sustainability etc but in the end its just about money.

    Anyone who doubts that look at the amount of land banking and the slowing of building when the market dips slightly.

    look at 100million pound pay packages

    can you point to something that isn't about money? or at least would happen if it made no money?

    land banking is not a good thing - the land is paid for well in advance and is only useful to a developer once the houses are built and able to be sold. the reason building slows is because it costs money to build houses and you have to build houses before you can sell them to make money and if people stop buying the houses you have or are building then you can't afford to build the new/unstarted ones.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • ProssPross Posts: 24,248
    Pross wrote:
    Developers seem to be yet another of the huge chips Goo has to lug around on his shoulders. The weight must get tough to bear at times!

    Have you ever seen the amount of ecological and landscape impact reports that have to be submitted in support of a planning applications? Look one up on your local planning portal and the responses from the relevant officers as your comments show a massive amount of ignorance on the subject.


    The officers are for the most part window dressing.

    Well, in as much as the Councillors on the planning committee regularly ignore their expert opinion resulting in costly (for both sides) appeals then yes but ultimately they are the ones checking for compliance with the NPPF.
  • Without doubt most people know very little about the process ending with a completed new housing development.
  • ProssPross Posts: 24,248
    Without doubt most people know very little about the process ending with a completed new housing development.

    Ain't that the truth. The amount of work we do even in my little sub sector of the process for small developments would surprise a lot of people who seem to think it's just a case of an application form and a few plans. Pre-apps, scoping, surveys, preliminary design, possible public consultation, further design, liaising with the relevant officers and finally getting in the application only for a planning committee to ignore national planning guidance and their own employees to refuse. Then the decision of whether to spend more money on an appeal, reviewing whether the design can be amended to anyway to address reasons for refusal etc. etc.

    The irony is that the above often leads to smaller, more sympathetic developments getting scrapped on cost grounds whilst the big boys have the resources to fight an appeal and build their generic estates.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 39,366
    Red Kites have just about obliterated the feral Pigeon population in High Wycombe.

    Birds populations are doing better in Urban environments. It's a sad state of affairs.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • My local builder always gets his plans approved, his mother is head of planning on our City Council, green, brown or any other zone, it matters not, it goes ahead.

    Luckily a few foxes still scrape a living in the bit of green space that has not yet been bulldozed and turned over to over priced houses that I don't know who can afford?
  • LagrangeLagrange Posts: 652
    pinno wrote:
    Red Kites have just about obliterated the feral Pigeon population in High Wycombe.


    It would be nice if they did the same with the human population too. Then move on to Maidenhead and Windsor. And Slough of course.
  • LagrangeLagrange Posts: 652
    My local builder always gets his plans approved, his mother is head of planning on our City Council, green, brown or any other zone, it matters not, it goes ahead.


    Well I hope that you have reported this crime to the police. Thought not.
  • Over development
    Land banking
    Excess profits
    Corruption

    BINGO!!!!
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,962
    It's farming - it really is. Go to Eastern Europe where meadows are common and see the difference. Our green and pleasant land is a desert for most wildlife and our crappy gardens don't help; I live in the middle of a quite pleasant village proud of it's village in bloom awards and most years there's hardly a butterfly to be seen. Friend lives on the other side of the valley in a more urban area but backing on to a disused railway line and sees loads.

    We actively farm wildlife to death and we actively garden wildlife to death. Great job we are doing.

    On the bright side, I think Welsh farmers reckon 50% of them will go out of business as a result of no deal so as long as we can avoid too much scrub build up there is hope.....
    Faster than a tent.......
  • ProssPross Posts: 24,248
    Rolf F wrote:
    It's farming - it really is. Go to Eastern Europe where meadows are common and see the difference. Our green and pleasant land is a desert for most wildlife and our crappy gardens don't help; I live in the middle of a quite pleasant village proud of it's village in bloom awards and most years there's hardly a butterfly to be seen. Friend lives on the other side of the valley in a more urban area but backing on to a disused railway line and sees loads.

    We actively farm wildlife to death and we actively garden wildlife to death. Great job we are doing.

    On the bright side, I think Welsh farmers reckon 50% of them will go out of business as a result of no deal so as long as we can avoid too much scrub build up there is hope.....

    Problem with that is that most of the farming in Wales is sheep and dairy which has less negative impact on the environment. It's the intensive arable stuff that is most damaging, East Anglia seems particularly bad when I have to go there. We're semi-urban I would say (right at the edge of a city suburb and about a 100m walk to woodland and dairy / sheep pasture) and I see bats, hedgehogs and foxes regularly when I walk the dog at night and I'm often kept awake by owls hooting away. We get the occasional red kite and lots of buzzards overhead.

    If you want butterflies (and bees) my garden is pretty good. The back garden is all patio but with loads of pots and troughs full of the plants they love. I only recently learned that bees like plants with a single row of petals and those with more rows like roses are difficult for them to access for pollen.
  • craigus89craigus89 Posts: 887
    Pross wrote:
    Ain't that the truth. The amount of work we do even in my little sub sector of the process for small developments would surprise a lot of people who seem to think it's just a case of an application form and a few plans. Pre-apps, scoping, surveys, preliminary design, possible public consultation, further design, liaising with the relevant officers and finally getting in the application only for a planning committee to ignore national planning guidance and their own employees to refuse. Then the decision of whether to spend more money on an appeal, reviewing whether the design can be amended to anyway to address reasons for refusal etc. etc.

    The irony is that the above often leads to smaller, more sympathetic developments getting scrapped on cost grounds whilst the big boys have the resources to fight an appeal and build their generic estates.

    Seconded. Story of my life. What do you do, Pross? Consultant Engineer?
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,868
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Industrial scale forestry also an issue, planting quick growing pines and chopping them down again.

    As this is one of the very very few topics I am remotely qualified to talk on, I feel I should dip in here. Industrial scale forestry has little or no impact on wildlife decline. I'm not really up to date with English estate forestry but isn't not really 'commercial' as such, unless you had a good reason you wouldn't get a felling license so I'd guess we'd need a bit more info on your example to work out what was going on. Felling large areas of broadleaves isn't really a commercial industry unless it's a plantation of sweet chestnut or something and even then you'd have to exclude land prices. If it has protected species in it is illegal to fell, and if it's semi ancient woodland it would be extremely difficult to get a license.

    In terms of proper industrial scale forestry it only really financially viable on upland marginal hill farming land. If you compare it to sheep farming even a forest planted with a single species (sitka spruce rather than any sort of pine) supports for more wildlife (and makes a lot more money). The aim of the forest industry at the moment really is to restructure existing upland forests planted in the 70s and 80s over a 20 plan period to create a mosaic of different aged stands. The felling licence/plan system with the relevant forestry commision/NRW/Scottish Forestry regulator also stipulates what you can restock with, the overall forest would go to something like 70% single species, 10% second species, 10% open ground and 10% broadleaves, or some variation depending on what your reasons are for the ecological benefits.

    It's very difficult to sell any real volume of timber in the UK unless it is FSC or PEFC certified, for this our forests are audited and the mangement companies who offer certification have to prove that what they are doing is in line with the UK forestry standard.

    The wider level of commercial forestry (which was nicely highlighted in a recent David Attenborough video, and is supported by most NGOs) is that the more timber than can be produced in plantations, the less virgin forest we need to destroy. The major major benefit of commercial forestry in my eyes really is carbon sequestration as 4x as much carbon is stored in forest soils than in the timber itself, the best way of accumulating forest soils is to grow something which likes our climate and produces the most amount of total biomass. It's a slight aside but what we are being forced to do by the government is make our commercial forests less productive, less able to sequester carbon and less valuable from an investment point of view.

    Sorry for that!
  • Don't apologise for shutting up Mr Goos ill informed rants.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 39,366
    Lagrange wrote:
    pinno wrote:
    Red Kites have just about obliterated the feral Pigeon population in High Wycombe.
    It would be nice if they did the same with the human population too. Then move on to Maidenhead and Windsor. And Slough, Reading, Milton Keynes, Luton, Swindon, Leicester, Coventry, most of the SE, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford... of course.

    @HM: Isn't forest plantations of non deciduous mono culture though? Wildlife only really thrives on the peripheries and fire tracks?
    I see they are replacing pine with mixed deciduous all around Galloway Forest Park and Cree valley woodland trust.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 2,353
    Why the censored do we not force developers to build on brown-field sites where, generally, there is already the infrastructure in place for the increase in population, rather than eroding the greenbelt / greenspaces where people are dumped with no public transport and no services to support them?

    I know it costs more...oh right. forgeddabowdit

    On the subject of farming, yes there is a lot more we could do with just managing that land better whether that be in terms of growing the right stuff in the first place, putting back the hedgerows or making sure we don't pump censored (literally and figuratively) into our waterways.
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 2,353
    Pross wrote:
    Rolf F wrote:
    It's farming - it really is. Go to Eastern Europe where meadows are common and see the difference. Our green and pleasant land is a desert for most wildlife and our crappy gardens don't help; I live in the middle of a quite pleasant village proud of it's village in bloom awards and most years there's hardly a butterfly to be seen. Friend lives on the other side of the valley in a more urban area but backing on to a disused railway line and sees loads.

    We actively farm wildlife to death and we actively garden wildlife to death. Great job we are doing.

    On the bright side, I think Welsh farmers reckon 50% of them will go out of business as a result of no deal so as long as we can avoid too much scrub build up there is hope.....

    Problem with that is that most of the farming in Wales is sheep and dairy which has less negative impact on the environment. It's the intensive arable stuff that is most damaging, East Anglia seems particularly bad when I have to go there. We're semi-urban I would say (right at the edge of a city suburb and about a 100m walk to woodland and dairy / sheep pasture) and I see bats, hedgehogs and foxes regularly when I walk the dog at night and I'm often kept awake by owls hooting away. We get the occasional red kite and lots of buzzards overhead.

    If you want butterflies (and bees) my garden is pretty good. The back garden is all patio but with loads of pots and troughs full of the plants they love. I only recently learned that bees like plants with a single row of petals and those with more rows like roses are difficult for them to access for pollen.
    Anyone been to Knepp re-wilding project? They have had a big explosion in butterfly numbers there, especially purple emperors.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/h ... ly-expert/

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... erflywatch
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • pinnopinno Posts: 39,366
    elbowloh wrote:
    On the subject of farming, yes there is a lot more we could do with just managing that land better whether that be in terms of growing the right stuff in the first place, putting back the hedgerows or making sure we don't pump shoot (literally and figuratively) into our waterways.

    Farmers up here have been paid for set aside land. Some for tree plantation and some just for meadow land. Perhaps this scheme could be broadened/incentivised more.
    In the news last week was a scheme in Cumbria which is creating a corridor of meadow land all the way along the A68 (I think).

    ...and:

    https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk ... estoration
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,962
    elbowloh wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    Rolf F wrote:
    It's farming - it really is. Go to Eastern Europe where meadows are common and see the difference. Our green and pleasant land is a desert for most wildlife and our crappy gardens don't help; I live in the middle of a quite pleasant village proud of it's village in bloom awards and most years there's hardly a butterfly to be seen. Friend lives on the other side of the valley in a more urban area but backing on to a disused railway line and sees loads.

    We actively farm wildlife to death and we actively garden wildlife to death. Great job we are doing.

    On the bright side, I think Welsh farmers reckon 50% of them will go out of business as a result of no deal so as long as we can avoid too much scrub build up there is hope.....

    Problem with that is that most of the farming in Wales is sheep and dairy which has less negative impact on the environment. It's the intensive arable stuff that is most damaging, East Anglia seems particularly bad when I have to go there. We're semi-urban I would say (right at the edge of a city suburb and about a 100m walk to woodland and dairy / sheep pasture) and I see bats, hedgehogs and foxes regularly when I walk the dog at night and I'm often kept awake by owls hooting away. We get the occasional red kite and lots of buzzards overhead.

    If you want butterflies (and bees) my garden is pretty good. The back garden is all patio but with loads of pots and troughs full of the plants they love. I only recently learned that bees like plants with a single row of petals and those with more rows like roses are difficult for them to access for pollen.
    Anyone been to Knepp re-wilding project? They have had a big explosion in butterfly numbers there, especially purple emperors.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/h ... ly-expert/

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... erflywatch

    It's impressive and well worth a visit - they do really well for Brown Hairstreak as well and lots of other species. But that sort of thing needs to be everywhere. But places like that are like islands in an ocean - they don't do much for national biodiversity unless there is enough habitat for species to be able to move about. It doesn't need to be much either but the constant focus on making food ever cheaper means that the environment just gets pushed out.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 2,353
    Rolf F wrote:
    elbowloh wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    Rolf F wrote:
    It's farming - it really is. Go to Eastern Europe where meadows are common and see the difference. Our green and pleasant land is a desert for most wildlife and our crappy gardens don't help; I live in the middle of a quite pleasant village proud of it's village in bloom awards and most years there's hardly a butterfly to be seen. Friend lives on the other side of the valley in a more urban area but backing on to a disused railway line and sees loads.

    We actively farm wildlife to death and we actively garden wildlife to death. Great job we are doing.

    On the bright side, I think Welsh farmers reckon 50% of them will go out of business as a result of no deal so as long as we can avoid too much scrub build up there is hope.....

    Problem with that is that most of the farming in Wales is sheep and dairy which has less negative impact on the environment. It's the intensive arable stuff that is most damaging, East Anglia seems particularly bad when I have to go there. We're semi-urban I would say (right at the edge of a city suburb and about a 100m walk to woodland and dairy / sheep pasture) and I see bats, hedgehogs and foxes regularly when I walk the dog at night and I'm often kept awake by owls hooting away. We get the occasional red kite and lots of buzzards overhead.

    If you want butterflies (and bees) my garden is pretty good. The back garden is all patio but with loads of pots and troughs full of the plants they love. I only recently learned that bees like plants with a single row of petals and those with more rows like roses are difficult for them to access for pollen.
    Anyone been to Knepp re-wilding project? They have had a big explosion in butterfly numbers there, especially purple emperors.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/h ... ly-expert/

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... erflywatch

    It's impressive and well worth a visit - they do really well for Brown Hairstreak as well and lots of other species. But that sort of thing needs to be everywhere. But places like that are like islands in an ocean - they don't do much for national biodiversity unless there is enough habitat for species to be able to move about. It doesn't need to be much either but the constant focus on making food ever cheaper means that the environment just gets pushed out.
    I've been quite a few times now on day trips as it's only about an hour away from me and Ive camped there 3 times also. It's a really nice camp-site with just a few, big pitches with fire pits and great facilities. They also do "safaris" which are quite fun. I especially like the pair of kestrels that hunt in the field right next to the campsite.

    They're also reintroducing cranes there at the moment.

    dsc_1246-3.jpg

    https://seewildlife.co.uk/2018/08/19/a- ... a-kestrel/

    disclaimer: this is from my own blog
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,868
    Don't apologise for shutting up Mr Goos ill informed rants.

    I don't mind really, it's a pretty common criticism from the public really
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