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

Sunday 21 September 2014

Interesting update from the 2014 Azores Pelagic

Presumed South Polar Skua, Richard Bonser

BB Rare Breeding Birds in the UK report

Been reading this months British Birds journal about rare breeding birds in the UK. Interesting national trends mainly the continual colonisation of southern species e.g. in 2012 a few pairs of Baillon's Crakes, Black-winged Stilt, Great White Egrets, Little Bitterns, 866 pairs of Little Egret, 10 pairs of Spoonbill and over 1000 pairs of Med Gull. Cetti's, Savi's, Marsh, Iberian Chiffchaff and Great Reed Warbler were also breeding or were present in the breeding season.

Birds on the RBBP list that breed (or feed while breeding) at Beddington Farmlands:
Little Ringed Plover
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Cetti's Warbler- in 2012 we had a male holding territory but unfortunately did not attract a mate

 Female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker- one of the local pair
Juvenile Peregrine- one of the young from the nearby Sutton breeding pair

Saturday 20 September 2014

Beddington Farmlands Facebook

Please show support for Beddington Farmlands by liking  facebook page 

Friday 19 September 2014

What's the fuss?

Independence Referendum? I always struggle to see the relevance of party politics to the majority of people in the modern world .Am I wrong? but aren't un-elected business leaders, marketing moguls, fashion barons, musicians, film makers, inventors, etc, etc the leaders of this country (and the world) and the political parties respond to their achievements (by jumping on to winners that will keep themselves in power)- not the other way round. Political parties broker power between people and the real leaders. Real leaders fund the parties to introduce policies that serve their interests and to distract the wider populace into sub-contracting their individual power to their power brokers . They rely on individuals to believe in limited power to maintain the monopoly on power themselves. 

If  anyone has an appetite for independence all they have to do is bypass the middlemen and start making real changes by changing their personal projection on the world .People power is expressed by consumer and personal choices- what an individual buys, what organisations they support, how they organise things amongst themselves, what they watch, what they click on, who and what they work for, what values they express, what they do etc.  Nobody needs referendum or permission from anyone to express their independence and nobody with real power is elected to power- those with real power are powerful because of their nature. Anyone who has to be elected to power can't be very powerful- they need the people to give them power not the other way round.  Its all hocus pocussery from some and lack of individual self belief or interest from others but alls well that ends well- social and political systems come and go but individual power persists. Vote for true independence and true freedom- project your true self??.... Or tick a form and then go and have a lie down (and wake up later to the sound of wolves at the door) ? Aye-now perhaps I see some of the relevance.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Ivy Bee

A load of these have appeared in the last few weeks, interestingly in an area (a sandy patch) used by different species of bee earlier on in the year. (Thanks to Rachel from Biodiversity Gatwick for id)

Birdguides- Beddington Incinerator piece

Beddington incinerator decision imminent

Monday 15 September 2014

Birdwatch News Article- Beddington Farmlands Judicial Review


RSPB article- D-day for Beddington Farmlands


The judicial review dates have been set for 9th and 10th October.

Last couple of days at the farmlands

 Another Osprey- headed south yesterday morning
 Hobby- an adult been present for the last few days
 Three Jays seemed to be migrating this morning
 Shovelers- been an influx of waterfowl recently- 100 Teal, 80+ Shoveler, 5 Wigeon, 2 Pochard, 20+ Tufted Duck
 Reed Warbler- a few stragglers around now. The ringers caught a Cetti's yesterday too.
 Wasp Spider
 Small Tortoiseshell- not so many butterflies around now, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Small White, Holly Blue but fairly low numbers
Sallow- the best from the moth trap in recent evenings- still too cold

Saturday 13 September 2014

Wigeon arrival

 Adult male Wigeon, completing it's moult. Small numbers (sometimes flocks overhead) seem to pass through this time of year with more static wintering birds building in winter- although numbers have decreased in recent years due to lack of grazing edges (we need to get the mower out).
 Male Wigeon over Bedzed
 Shovelers- numbers increasing (40+ around). This time of year UK bred Shoveler and birds from Europe, Scandanavia and Russia start to congregate. At the farmlands annual numbers peak in October to November and reduce thereafter as birds move further south into France, Iberia and N.Africa. 
 Juvenile/first winter Great Black-backed Gull- first one in a while on site
 Sedge Warbler- about 15-20 on site at the moment.
 Horse-chestnut Leaf Miner Cameraria ohridella - This is the adult of the species where the larvae famously mine the Horse Chestnut leaves, causing discolouration of the whole tree- affecting nearly all trees in this area (and southern England). Been up to 50 adults at the light trap recently.
Wild Mignonette (A first for the farmlands- found by Nick)

A real good feel of autumn migration today. Birds of the day were a Raven (6th for the site but 2nd this year) that Sicknote had and a Bullfinch that I had (first for year). Also 30+ Swallow, 4 House Martin, 1 Sand Martin, 35+ Meadow Pipit, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Whinchat, 15+ Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 10-15 Chiffchaff, 8 Chaffinch (highest number in a while), 1 Reed Bunting, 5 Wigeon (first two for autumn arrived yesterday), 40+ Shoveler, 20+ Teal, 2 Pochard, 20+ Tufted Duck, 20 Grey Heron, 5 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Snipe, 1 Hobby, 4 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 2 Common Gull and 1 Great Black-backed Gull (first of these gull species for a while).
Other stuff- quiet on the moth front, cool evenings, just a few Horse-chestnut leaf miners, Vine Rustics, Square-spot Rustics, Setaceous Hebrew Character and other autumn jobs. Nick found some Wild Mignonette on the Southern Mound (not recorded that before- a Downland species).. All the Fathen is flowering now, so is Ivy (full of honey bees), Knotgrass flowering on 100 acre, a good year for Red Bartsia and the Southern Mound is covered in flowering Bristly Ox-tongue.

Thursday 11 September 2014


I changed the text to this post. Tried to explain the link between birding and this song. The only link is that as well as being a birder I somehow have to fit into the wider world, which often conflicts with birding- something that often confuses me, particularly with regards to what class I'm in or where I belong.
Anyway I decided birding is classless- in our bird group we have people from all walks of life.  I also decided that there seems to be things out of my control that keeps me where I am, including being a birder and my lack of interest for things that most people seem interested in means that its hopeless to measure my achievements against those kind of values, whereas freedom and time to observe is prestige in my opinion- something others seem to value much less- I guess from different histories and different substance. Somehow there is something levelling about having different values and having different definitions of wealth. Anyway this song was somehow somewhere something to do with that- where social hierarchy is a myth and somehow we all end up classless.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Migrants etc

 Sedge Warbler
 Green Woodpecker
 Great Tit
 Long-tailed Tit
Beddington Ringers
Another good day today. Great White Egret dropped in and then flew off southeast (I missed it- in the cafe), 1 Tree Pipit over, 4 Whinchat, 15+ Sedge Warbler (mainly in a small patch by lake), 25+ Chiffchaff, 5+ Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler, 5+ Reed Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, 8+ Common Buzzard, 1 Hobby, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank (yesterday), 3-4 Green Woodpecker, 4+ Jay, 10+ Meadow Pipit, 4 Swallow and I think that was it.  

Monday 8 September 2014

Common Buzzards

Dog fighting Buzzards over Bedzed today.

Sunday 7 September 2014

Good migrations

Osprey heading east
A good September migration day today- 1 Osprey flew east, 2 juvenile Ruff dropped in, 1 Wheatear, 70+ Meadow Pipit flew south, 40+ Swallow and 10+ Sand Martin went south, 5 House Martin and also 50+ Teal, 40+ Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 3 Green Sandpiper, 4 Snipe and 15 Lapwing. Around the edges 10+ Chiffchaff, at least one Willow Warbler (see below),  5-6 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler and overhead 2-3 Common Buzzard, 1 Hobby, 4-5 Kestrel and 3 Sparrowhawk.
AUTUMN Willow and Chiff
 White eye ring, (very prominent on lower eye) on Chiffchaff (left)- not on Willow Warbler. Also check out stronger supercilium and lemon coloured suffusion on underparts on Willow Warbler. More yellow/orange in bill of Willow (and in legs- not visible)
 Who's who?
Longer wings of Willow Warbler on right making the Chiffchaff (left) look longer tailed