Jones Hill Wood (and brood meddling)

Yesterday, Justice Lang stopped the felling of Jones Hill Wood in the ‘licensed area’ (as defined in License WML-OR58, issued by Natural England on 30 March 2021) and granted the Claimant, Mark Keir, permission for an expedited rolled up judicial review of Natural England’s licensing of the felling. This hearing will take place in the week beginning 24 May or as soon as possible from 8 June onwards. It is therefore at least a temporary, but in any case significant, stay of execution.

This is good to see. Congratulations to all concerned. Such legal challenges are frantic and exciting, and never guaranteed to succeed. The judge recognised that despite the inconvenience for the contractors, the inconvenience for any rare and threatened bats present in the area would be even more serious. That’s refreshing, if only our statutory nature conservation agency had …

If Justice Lang’s name rings a bell she is the same judge who heard my (and RSPB’s) judicial review of Natural England’s licensing of brood meddling. In that case, Justice Lang found in favour of Natural England but both the RSPB and I have gone to the Court of Appeal to appeal her judgment. The appeal was heard (after a false start in March 2020) in January this year and I would have expected that we would have had a result by now. Those involved in such a legal case usually see the judge’s (or judges’) judgment a few days before it is made public in order to correct any typos etc, but I can tell you we’ve had nothing so far and so i will update you on the result duting this blog’s aestivation period.


1 Reply to “Jones Hill Wood (and brood meddling)”

  1. This is indeed good to see, and fingers crossed for a good result. HS2 have years more ecological destruction planned for very dubious environmental gains (if any), so it’s important that things are done right. They will also be doing loads more spinning of the ‘we’ve planted 400 oak trees to replace the 400 year oak we’ve felled’ type. Tell that to the roosting bats.

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