I was asked by a volunteer to look at a Local Wildlife Site, designated for its native grassland species, which had been destroyed by the landowner and discovered that there was virtually nothing I could do to prevent this happening again elsewhere; I was livid that a landowner could do such a thing. I reasoned that the only way to protect my patch was to change how we as a society value our historically and culturally important Ancient Grasslands through the way our elected representatives legislate and fund their protection at both a national and regional level.
These blogs are my investigations: The more I find out, the more livid I am at what is happening.
I’m turning the blogs into a book ‘Finding England’s Ancient Grassland’.
Theresa Villiers’ acres, Rishi Sunak’s ‘taking back control’, Zac Goldsmith’s ‘ramp up’, the very real problem of Teesside International Airport, and the meaning of words. – the way politicians use words inventively, lack of funding for Natural England, and problems getting access to biodiversity information; basically me rolling my eyes with frustration and a funny joke.
Mis-reporting of the data in England biodiversity indicators Priority Habitats 2018 – the data Defra publish is out of date, inaccurate, and misleading.
Sow trees for Conservation: Plant trees for Timber – what do we mean by conservation and are we prepared to conserve our native species?
Year of Green Action – the work of Natural England is 2/5 as important to this government as it was to the 2009 government.
Collecting Data – there is no way of knowing at a national level whether National Priority Habitats are being destroyed year on year and more depressing facts of a similar nature.
Keeping Count – HS2 Phase One and 2a will destroy about 1% of England’s National Priority Habitat Lowland Meadow
Struggling – why do we have 158,993 ha of Upland Heathland SSSI, but only 845 ha of Upland Hay Meadow? and other vexed issues of a failing and under-funded SSSI designation system.
Bringing Ancient Grasslands into the heart of our towns and cities. – a really sensible solution to connecting urban people with their local culturally important ancient grasslands whilst saving money on management of road verges.
Estimates – an official reply from Defra explaining what the extent of National Priority Habitat Lowland Meadow in England is and co-incidentally that it disagrees completely with another figure of extent that they publish
Available data – establishing that the government’s data-set on unimproved grassland is incomplete and wrong in my area and some of the national figures for extent differ
A proposal for dating ancient neutral grassland (MG5) communities using indicator species – a theory and mechanism by which indicator species can used to differentiate pre- and post- Enclosure unimproved neutral grassland communities
Defining Ancient Grassland – a scientific definition of ancient grassland
The Curious Incidence of the Knapweed in the Meadow – common knapweed flowers later than a normal hay-cut is taken, so how is it still present?
Rural Road Verge Links – list of UK projects on management or surveys of rural road verges
Why is no-one sciencing urban road verges? – bemoaning the lack of scientific studies on creating and managing native species-rich grassland in urban areas