Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Azores Rare and Scarce Bird Report

Got the proof for the new Azores report and making some final amendments (including spelling Scarce correctly on the front cover) .
If you would like a copy please email me

Beddington Farmlands JR Countdown- 8

Eight days to go.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Incinerator JR Countdown 9

The final argument will be as follows:

Grounds of Challenge

1. Error in interpretation of the South London Waste Plan

Basically, an argument over the interpretation of the consideration of two policies (WP3 ad WP5). The judge will consider whether the planning decision outcome would have been different if an alternative policy had been applied.

2. Legal errors in approach to development on Metropolitan Open Land

An argument over whether the harm to the local community had been considered and also whether there was an urgent need for the incinerator. The judge will look at the mitigation measures and the waste management targets to assess that. 

3. The defendant fettered its discretion to decide the planning application on planning ground

A contract was signed between the local authority and Viridor even before planning permission was granted. This is an argument over whether this then pre-determined the planning decision. The judge will decide whether that was acceptable business speculation or something else. 

4. Errors in the environmental assessment- failure to assess the environmental impact of the CHP pipeline 

No surveys were carried out on the impact of the pipeline that is supposed to provide heating for nearby communities via a district heating network. The judge will decide whether that is acceptable at this stage (as the final route of the pipeline has not been decided) or whether it amounts to a fundamental flaw in the planning process.

(Basically in my humble opinion- most of the arguments are interpretative, subjective and potentially circular and in a court it could come down simply to who runs out of funds first. Again in my humble opinion, the strongest arguments were the ecological arguments which would have come into the legal errors in approach to development on MOL. There have been clear fundamental failures in the on-going Conservation Management Plan, the impact on the wildlife populations has not been adequately mitigated so any consideration of the application in light of the failed current conservation management plan and conservation strategy, (assuming it was a robust strategy to assess and mitigate for impact of inappropriate development on MOL) is fundamentally flawed. The ecological arguments are unequivocal and are supported by countless ecological surveys over 15 years and upheld by the most respected conservation regional organisations which have expressed opinion through the formal planning process to the planning officers. That data and that professional opinion has been largely ignored and amounts to a fundamental failure of the planning system. However it is unfortunate that the JR process might not be able to address these issues due to the technical limitations of the JR process)

Monday, 29 September 2014

Beddington Farmlands High Court Judicial Review Countdown 10

10 days to go for the Beddington Farmlands high court hearing about the legality of the proposed incinerator.

Sid Day

 New build (straw bale) at the Woodcote Wood House
 Woodcote Wood House- one of LITTLE OAK 's main bases. Doing a bioblitz at the site- new species yesterday included Yellowhammer, Grey Wagtail and Mallow moth.
 Male Stonechat- been an influx recently, 9+ at the farmlands, 6 near Woodcote Wood and numbers elsewhere in the region.
 Meadow Pipit- about 30+ at the farmlands.
 Clouded Yellow- the second one for the year. Also Small Copper around.

Spent yesterday with Sid (my nephew). We had a look round his small holding at Woodcote Wood (part of the local conservation network) and saw 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Grey Wagtail, 6 Stonechat, 10+ Mipit, 15+ Chaffinch and 5 Jay. Then we headed to Beddington to have a look at the ducks on the lakes and check the moth trap. Good numbers of ducks but the moth trap was fairly quiet- Pale Mottled Willows, Large Yellow Underwing, Garden Carpet and a Square-spot Rustic. A Clouded Yellow on the mound.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Last couple of days

 Whinchat. Tank had 8 Stonechat and 3 Whinchat yesterday.
 Adult male Shoveler in eclipse
 Adult female Shoveler
 Juvenile (I think) Shovelers
 Migrant Hawker
  Common Darter
A few autumn moths. Its got milder in last couple of nights so a few more moths. Pale Mottled Willow, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Small Square-spot, Sallow, Black Rustic and Vine's Rustic
Had a good yesterday with a visit from Paul Morton from the Sound Approach and quite a few birds about too. Big passage of House Martin yesterday (900+) and Swallows. Quite a few Mipits and up to 8 Stonechat and 3 Whinchat. Lots of ducks 100+ Shoveler and Teal, 30+ Gadwall, 4 Pochard, 5 Wigeon and 1 Pintail. A few Buzzards and Peregrine.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Future Prospects?

Interesting article in the Guardian recently: Irreversible Collapse- The Guardian

So the future is perhaps something like this?:

1) Growing inequality, increasing population, more loss of green space, more loss of biodiversity

2) Concurrent to that-models for sustainable societies and new nature conservation models continue to develop.

3) Human discomfort, increasing disease, mass mental illness and sedation will be increasingly normalised while drug companies and the medical industry transfer health of the masses into money to empower other groups.

4) The current power houses continue the business as usual approach and embark on a mass propaganda campaign to conceal the declining state. They hang in there as long as possible. They know the bottom will go first before they do.

5) Increasing numbers of the human population become unproductive due to depletion/exhaustion/ill health. Foreign workers are injected into the system and are processed into states of learned hopelessness - the unproductive and burdens increase. Pressure for growth is focused into diminishing social and environmental protection areas which become over-loaded- the decline enters an accelerating negative feedback loop.

6) At some point during the crushing and slow transition there are a few economic quakes,big collapses and flash points. State control intensifies to maintain order. Independent groups start to organise themselves into creating sub-economies such as moneyless networks connected to social/environmental minded organisations/businesses.

7) The mass of society collapses in a combination of slow crushing squeeze and cataclysmic events, fundamentally destabilising the higher level social structures, so when enough of the masses are unproductive and fail to function, the foundations go and the top starts to go too.

8) The whole things ends in a simultaneous collapse and an emergence as it all levels out- the sustainable/alternative culture that has been developing alongside kicks in .

9) At the end will be in a post-growth society with a new improved condition. Biodiversity will start increasing from the protection network which was set up and defended through the decline.

10) Throughout it all most people won't be interested in or have a clue what's going on.

Who knows?

A little song by Muse
Gotta have a bit of Intervention when getting doom and gloomy