Monday, 22 April 2013

Owen Paterson - Flogging the Country to Death!

Developers can build on nature reserves - if they 'offset' the damage elsewhere, says Government review

Today marks one of the darkest days in the history of the UK, where our natural world is concerned. Owen Paterson has, in effect given the green light for bulldozers to demolish our most diverse and unique wildlife habitats throughout the country.
When something is classified as a nature reserve, you would imagine and hope that it has been recognised as an area of significant importance and will therefore be protected? However, under Mr. Paterson's upcoming schemes we could see these tranquil and unique areas destroyed, to make way for development.

He goes on to say that this is OK as long as the damage is "offset" by creating similar habitats elsewhere.
So, what I would like to know and I expect you are asking yourself the same question; "how is it possible to re-create habitats that have taken centuries to mature and become established?"
Has he given any thought to this at all and I now wonder if he even knows what the word mitigation means?

Some of our most vulnerable wildlife such as the dormouse, great crested newt, water vole and adder can not just be lifted from one area and dumped in a man made equivalent a few miles or so away.
If this man thinks that this is OK and even achievable then he has concreted the fact that he knows very little about our natural world and environment. As he is supposedly our Environment Secretary, surely this proves that he should be replaced immediately before he destroys our wild places.

It will not matter if the targeted reserves are 10 square miles or just 1 square mile, if the chosen area has ancient and unique habitats, these will not be replicated by man overnight and whatever unique wildlife is living within will be lost forever.
If the wildlife is moved to an already established site, this will upset the balance and will lead to the significant loss a of number of the species in question.
Wildlife mitigation should be taken very seriously, especially where vulnerable, fragile species and habitats are involved. Sadly this seems to be something our Environment Secretary is either overlooking or ignoring.

In the Forest of Dean, we are already seeing this on a massive scale, losing one of our most diverse areas to development.
Among other wildlife, Northern United is home to the following species...

Great Crested Newt
Greater Horseshoe Bat
Lesser Horseshoe Bat

Work has already begun at this site. EU protected bats have already been seen flying for their lives as heavy machinery smashed down the buildings in which they roosted and work is soon to begin on a spine road, paving the way for the entire area to be concreted over.

So don't think your areas are safe for one minuet, as baron land is nothing more than a money making opportunity in their eyes!

We must all stand together to protect our most precious wild places before it is too late.

Telegraph Article - HERE

This sight, along with the wildlife will soon be lost forever!

Just some of the prime wildlife habitat, soon to be bulldozed to make way for a road!

EU Protected Great Crested Newts are Present at Northern United


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Oh Deer!

A Fallow & Roe Encounter

The past few nights have been encouraging and although I was actually out tracking wild boar, I did manage some nice fallow deer shots and a fleeting roe encounter.

I did stumble (literally) upon two young male boar sleeping, but before I could raise the camera they were bolting through the forest, weaving through the trees like two torpedoes.
If you have ever seen a wild boar run you will understand that when they take off, they can reach speeds up to 20-25mph within a second or two and in dense woodland, all you can do is watch them fade away into the shadows.
Another encounter was of a sow, but yet again it was of her bum disappearing into some dense plantation. There is no point following as it is too dense and you would just disturb them for no purpose.

Moving on and covering approximately 5 miles in total I did find some handsome fallow bucks, which were a little more accommodating.

I never tire of seeing deer, but there is one species that I adore and that is the roe deer, Britain's true native deer species.
There were 5 in total and although I get a massive buzz every time I see them, I couldn't have picked a worst location as they were right next to a old, half collapsed Forestry fence and the sun was in my face. 
Unfortunately you can't predict when and where you are going to have your encounter, so I made the best of it that I could.

Roe Buck

Here we have forest ecology at work; wild boar diggings deep in the forest. To some, this looks unsightly when it appears on the road verges, but I dare anyone to prove that this is actually bad for the forest?
This activity unearths dormant seeds and cultivates the soil, revitalising and regenerating it after centuries of being compacted.
The wild boar are partly responsible for creating our living landscape, from when they lived wild throughout Britain centuries ago. 

Boar Rooting, Deep in the Forest

And what better than a natural fertiliser! There were absolutely loads of boar turds like this strewn throughout the boar diggings, with most already trodden into the exposed soil.
Ask any farmer what muck spreading does for their land as this is what is naturally happening throughout our forest every year. 

Wild Boar Turds

I couldn't leave you without showing a cute humbug shot!

Oink Oink!

And finally, it may feel like we have missed spring this year, but the signs are still out there!

Spring Lamb