Here’s a post-summer holiday trot through developments on some of the stories we’ve been following.
Dungeness. The purple heron family has taken to the wing and has now left the reserve. Time will tell if this was a one off event or if these elegant birds return next year. If they do it will be after the public inquiry into the proposed public inquiry into plans to extend nearby Lydd airport. The clock is now ticking and 24 September is the deadline for objectors such as the RSPB to submit their statement of case. Your voice counts too and there is now one final chance to strengthen the case against the planned expansion of Lydd airport by writing a letter of objection. Your letter will be considered by the inspector when looking at the case for and against expansion. The preferred deadline for public objection is 24 September, however public objection letters will be accepted up until the start of the Inquiry next February.
You can send your letter to
Inspector (K D Barton BA (hons) DIPARCH
c/o Leanne Palmer
Room 4/02, Temple Quay House
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Protected Areas at Sea. The rich wildlife treasures of the sea around our islands have been woefully under-protected for decades so it really is good news that two new Special Protection Areas have been given the green light. Liverpool Bay and the Outer Thames have the protection that they deserve for their red-throated divers and common scoters – we’ve argued that this un-necessarily overlooks the full range of birds that depend on these special areas – but that’s an argument for later, for now these new designations provide real hope that this demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to our wonderful marine life.
The Serengeti. Global concern for the proposal to construct a road across Serengeti is building.
The Severn. We are anticipating news on the future of tidal power in the Severn Estuary.
Talbot Heath. This proposed housing development threatening heathland in Poole has now had an ‘Article 14 Direction’ issued by the Government Office for the South West. This means that there is time now for the Secretary of State to consider whether this application will be called in and sent on its way to a public inquiry.
Forest of Bowland. Lancashire’s upland gem, the Forest of Bowland, is an important protected area for birds such as hen harriers. It’s also a great place for people too – the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been re-awarded the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.
Coo, Michael McIntyre and I together in the last weekend’s Sunday Times magazine. Fame at last