Dear [name of civil servant]
I am writing to ask you about your role, if any, in the Natural England decision to reach an agreement with the Walshaw Moor Estate over moorland management.
I believe that this enquiry falls under the remit of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, but in any case I am asking about a matter of public interest given that the protection of our natural environment, legal case law, public expenditure through agri-environment schemes and precedents over the management of a large part of the English uplands may all be influenced by NE’s position on this matter. I would therefore be grateful for a full reply within 20 days of this letter.
Please let me know:
- what role have you played in advising NE in the position they should take in this case?
- what meetings have you had, and on what dates, since September 2011 with other Defra staff (in particular [name of civil servant]) and/or Defra Ministers on this matter.
- what advice or instructions, if any, have Defra Ministers given you on the outcome of this case? Please give details.
- did you meet Dave Webster, the interim Chief Executive of NE, in or around February 2012 and give the impression that NE’s relationship with land managers in the English uplands was seen by Defra as being sufficiently poor that this might influence NE’s future position after the upcoming triennial review? Please give an account of that meeting if it did indeed take place.