Good luck looking for signs of spring

I’ve now heard my first chiffchaff and seen a common tern too (both on Friday). This weekend should deliver lots of migrants – I hope!

The cuckoos are coming with Scottish Chance on the right side of the Sahara, English Chris is keen as mustard near Dijon although the Welsh David and Lloyd are still in Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. But I’ll be hoping to pick up a few sand martins and swallows, and maybe a yellow wagtail.  We’ll see!

Good luck with your hunting for signs of spring.


Ralph Underhill cartoon





National Trust worryingly quiet

This blog praised the National Trust for its consultation on land management in the High Peak.  Time is ticking away and there is a worrying silence.  No doubt the Trust has come under pressure from the shooting community, but those of us who are ordinary paying members of NT are also waiting to see whether we should reinvest in this organisation or not.

Come on NT – man up and speak up!


Wuthering Moors – 30

Blogs entitled ‘Wuthering Moors’ form a series of articles about the Walshaw Moor Estate and its relationship with Natural England and Defra.

Dear Defra

I understand that you have sent your response to the EU Commission following the complaint by the RSPB about the way that matters at Walshaw Moor were handled by Natural England and Defra.

Please send me a copy of your response as this is a matter of public interest and cannot be regarded as confidential.

This request is made under the terms of the Environmental Information Regulations and under the Freedom of Information Act.  Please send your response to my email address within 7 working days there is no excuse for any delay.







Lydd – bad news

Earlier today the Secretaries of State for Local Government and Transport approved the planning application for an airport at Lydd.

The Secretaries of the State have found that there is development plan support for the proposals from LP policy TR15 and that, in an area where the prospects of significant regeneration remain precarious, the proposals would have a positive effect. In line with NPPF paragraph 19, they attach significant weight to the need to support economic growth through the planning system. After careful consideration, they are satisfied that there would be no likely significant effects on any designated conversation sites and also that the proposals would not have a significant effect on nuclear safety, landscape or tranquillity. The Secretaries of State conclude that the airport would be safe from flooding to 2115 and that the proposals would not have any significant effect on highway safety. Whilst they have identified limited harm to the wider population in respect of noise, there would not be significant harm at Greatstone School. Overall, the Secretaries of State conclude that there are no material considerations of sufficient weight which count against the proposal to determine the application other than in accordance with the development plan.

It’s the economy stupid!

CPRE described this as ‘crazy paving over the Garden of England’.

The RSPB won’t be thrilled.