This blog is where you can read about the places we work to protect and the people on the front line. The scope of this blog covers planning, the policies and legal framework that exists to protect the best places for wildlife and of, of course, the individual cases that are the daily work of staff across the UK. We help BirdLife International partners overseas – and you will be able to read contributions from Europe and further afield.
Of course – probably of the best way to save a site is to a acquire it as a nature reserve – this blog will sometimes feature our reserves and the role they play in future of our wildlife, but the full story of the RSPBs network of nature reserves is told elsewhere: http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves
This blog features the contributions of many individuals – I will have the pleasure of holding the ring and acting as the narrator to this compelling story. So a little about me; I’m Andre Farrar and my first active involvement with the RSPB was in the late 1970s as a volunteer with our Leeds Local Group http://www.rspb.org.uk/groups/leeds.
I was one of many who wrote to their MPs as part of the campaign to get the best outcome for what became the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). It wasn’t perfect but it was a good start. Thirty years on, I’m still in the thick of it campaigning for our protected areas and special places for wildlife. Are we winning? Read on and find out, and see how you can help.
I have now read the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) line-by-line, comparing it with last year’s draft.
I am impressed, and still happy, as Martin Harper reported in his blog yesterday.
Why am I so happy? Martin mentioned our top three red lines. The Government has listened to us on all three points, and the result is a much more balanced document that we believe will help to deliver the Government’s own objectives in the Natural Environment White Paper.
Here are some extracts that make me really pleased: all things that planners or the planning system have to do, which have been added in the published version:
And here are some good things which were in the draft thanks to our influence, and are still there in the published version:
I could go on, but I’d like to end with thanks to a terrific team. Lots of people were involved, but I’d particularly like to thank Brendan for his determined technical advocacy, Alice for leading our campaigning, Annabel’s policy input while dealing with the Localism Bill, Laura for her parliamentary advocacy, Julia for keeping us sane, Penny our legal advisor and Nathalie Lieven QC for her advice on SSSIs.