From what I hear and read, there is little movement on the notification of the West Pennine Moors as an SSSI (see previous blog).
Natural England say that: We are here to secure a healthy natural environment for people to enjoy, where wildlife is protected and England’s traditional landscapes are safeguarded for future generations.
So, how about notifying as an SSSI an outstanding area of moorland that your staff say qualifies on all counts?
Is Natural England fit for purpose these days? And does the senior management of NE have a grip on the organisation? And is that grip around its throat?
The suspicion is that notification of new sites is halted because it will be difficult to meet targets on SSSI condition if new sites of particular sorts are added to the SSSI complement. I’m normally pretty much in favour of targets, to keep people honest, but in this case there is a danger that it has the opposite effect.
Huge amounts of resource (including lots of volunteer survey effort) have been spent on this site and it remains unprotected by the statutory agency whose job it is to ensure its protection. I say again, is Natural England fit for purpose?