Moorland Does Matter

BY IAN COGHILL Back in August I failed to notice that Steve Carver had written a lengthy attack on my book Moorland Matters, using Country Squire Magazine’s ‘right to reply’. He started with a complaint that the oft repeated claim that the UK holds 75% of the world’s heather moorland is incorrect and that saying that there is less heather moorland in the world than … Continue reading Moorland Does Matter

Covid Rule Sceptics & the Countryside: Different Battles, Same War?

BY NIALL MCCRAE AND ROGER WATSON Protests and protestors do not have a good reputation in the mind of the public, being characterised by self-righteous agitators pursuing marginal and possibly subversive causes, while causing disruption to others. This image suits the authorities, but it is not always sustainable. People attending massive demonstrations, like that against war in Iraq in 2002 and 2003, could not be … Continue reading Covid Rule Sceptics & the Countryside: Different Battles, Same War?

Ed Sheeran ‘Ever Green’?

BY ROCHELLE BLAKEMAN In late December, it appeared that Dr Seuss’ Lorax had a man after his own hairstyle and heart. Ed Sheeran, one of the world’s most popular singer-song writers, announced his plans on BBC Radio London to buy up “as much land in the UK as I possibly can and plant as many trees as I can”. Revealing a penchant for green fingered … Continue reading Ed Sheeran ‘Ever Green’?

Silos & Narrow Definitions

BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN We are told that: ‘good uncles take an active part in their nieces and nephews’ lives. They spend time with them, offer valuable perspective on the family, and help resolve conflicts. They’re people who children and parents can both trust with difficult subjects and to advocate for their interests.’ By this definition an uncle who cannot even recognise most of his nephews … Continue reading Silos & Narrow Definitions

A Country Girl’s Reflections on Environmentalism

BY ROCHELLE BLAKEMAN “Toil mastered everything, relentless toil And the pressure of pinching poverty… Everything by nature’s law Tends to the worse, slips ever backward, backward.” Virgil, the Georgics As a farmer’s daughter, I was blessed with a bucolic childhood. With only 1% of the UK population being farmers, it is a lucky stroke to have lived my younger years with a closeness to the … Continue reading A Country Girl’s Reflections on Environmentalism

Moorland DOES Matter

BY DR STEVE CARVER Steve Carver replies to Dominic Wightman’s review of Ian Coghill’s book “Moorland Matters”: It matters for a whole host of reasons including carbon storage, water supply, flood mitigation, biodiversity and wildlife habitats. For Ian Coghill it matters for grouse, and though he rarely shoots them himself (he’s not a rich man and is at pains to point this out) he has … Continue reading Moorland DOES Matter

The Case for Rewilding

BY SARAH BATES A dramatically changing climate is threatening to destroy natural ecosystems, risks species extinction and the collapse of complex food webs. For some, the concept of “rewilding” is key to a sustainable future. They argue for changing landscapes to uncultivated states and introducing or re-introducing plant and animal species that should thrive in a biodiverse environment. A global project of reforestation would help … Continue reading The Case for Rewilding

Do Buzzards Eat Partridge?

BY DAVID EYLES In September, to great fanfare and publicity alarums, Chris Packham and George Monbiot released “A Peoples Manifesto for Wildlife”. This wide-ranging document claims to having no party political bias, but admits to being political and even controversial. The manifesto declares its intentions to form no less than 17 separate ministries for the management of the British countryside and seas. These 17 separate … Continue reading Do Buzzards Eat Partridge?

The Impact of Upland Farming

BY DAVID EYLES In many ways, George Monbiot’s book Feral, is a curious amalgam of anecdote, ecological theory, polemic and autobiography. On two or three occasions, he seems to feel intimately and mystically connected to events (as he envisages them) in the distant geological past. These intense emotional experiences lead to ideas of a revelatory nature. So his nostrums for the correction of the UK’s environmental ills (as … Continue reading The Impact of Upland Farming

Rewilding – The Question People Are Not Asking

BY LINUS WOODS There are those days that life deals you a curve ball and you just do not know how to respond. You are simply struck square between the eyes and remain there, frozen in disbelief as to what has just happened. Thanks to social media, this is a pretty common occurrence for many of us. Apparently, conservation (the conservation that has kept the … Continue reading Rewilding – The Question People Are Not Asking

Gove, the Northern Forest & Beavers

BY DAVID EYLES Somewhat overshadowed by the recent and momentous Cabinet Reshuffle – and the news that Larry, the Number 10 Downing Street Chief Mouser, remains in post – was a little reported item that the ever eager and cherubic Michael Gove has worked a blinder. He has announced that millions will be spent in creating a new Northern Forest along the M62 corridor. So we will … Continue reading Gove, the Northern Forest & Beavers

Are Motorway Embankments & Rewilding the Same Thing?

BY DAVID EYLES What are the ecological benefits of rewilding? To be honest, I do not know the answer to my own question. It isn’t as if I haven’t looked for the answer. I have asked the rewilders to provide hard evidence for the support of their claims, and I have received none. I have speculated here, for example, as to what the changes might be … Continue reading Are Motorway Embankments & Rewilding the Same Thing?

What’s Rewilding & Who’s it for?

BY DAVID EYLES For some time now, I have been searching the fogs and mists in the outer reaches of the conservation movement in an attempt to give shape and meaning to the term Rewilding. In wrestling with the dream-like world of rewilding, the more I read, the more it becomes a fantasy built upon an illusion. Background There is a strange fluidity about the distinction … Continue reading What’s Rewilding & Who’s it for?

Rewilding Revisited

BY NIGEL BEAN According to several internet sources the phrase ‘Rewilding’ first appeared in 1990 and was written by a man called Dave Forman. He was a founder member of Earth First!, a radical group promoting sabotage as a weapon of intimidation against large corporations accused by the group of damaging the earth and plundering its resources. Dave Forman was inspired by a novel concerning … Continue reading Rewilding Revisited

Monbiot’s Unintended Consequences

BY DAVID EYLES Don’t get me wrong about all this – I’m rather fond of George Monbiot’s writing. It is always entertaining and there is plenty to get your teeth into to get the argumentative juices flowing. His book – Feral – is just as you would expect. It is well written, almost poetic in places, spattered with knowledgeable asides about ecological systems and natural … Continue reading Monbiot’s Unintended Consequences