Developers replant trees
EDP24 30 April 2007
Developers have been
order to plant new trees after felling more than an acre of mature
bluebell woodland in Norfolk without permission. Householders close to
the new Queen's Hills development at west Costessey say they feel “badly
let down” by land developers Cofton and South Norfolk Council.
“The residents of
Ringland Lane were perhaps the only members of the public to notice what
appeared to be a surreptitious land grab,” said Dr Carl Stuttard , who
contacted the council as soon as he noticed the unplanned felling. A
planning enforcement officer was duly dispatched but subsequently
declared that all the tree felling was following the agreed plan.
was only when I visited the council offices to actually look closely at
the plans that the officer realised that the felled area should have
remained as a woodland boundary belt."
The developer told the
EDP that the land had been cleared by mistake and that it was now
replanting trees on the site.
Paul Whitham, South
Norfolk Council's development control service manager, said: “The
Queen's Hills development of over 1,000 new homes in west Costessy is
taking place within a site of almost 240 acres. When we were told that
the developers had felled trees in a one and a half acre corner outside
the boundary for which we had given them outline permission, we took
action requiring the correct boundary to be reinstated and new trees
provided. Now the developers are comprehensively replanting that area
with native woodland, under our supervision and with the agreement of
local people. Developers must not push the boundaries beyond what they
have permission for. That is vital if we are to build sustainable
communities, which in turn have the support of local people.”
Trust drops Tamar wetland plans
BBC online news 30 April
The National Trust has
withdrawn plans for a controversial wetlands scheme on the Devon and
The scheme, which would
have meant flooding 37 acres of pasture to create a wildlife habitat at
Cotehele on the River Tamar, led to local opposition.
Opponents said it would
ruin part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Trust said new
evidence from its own consultants had found that the river would not
silt up the new land as fast as had been thought.
The Trust, which has
spent about £30,000 on the plans, said there would be renewed
consultation this summer about what to do next.
Gamekeeper admits poison
BBC News Online 30 April
A Borders gamekeeper has
admitted using live pigeons as bait and lacing pheasant carcasses with
poison in a way likely to injure to birds of prey. George Aitken, 56,
admitted eight wildlife offences at Selkirk Sheriff Court while not
guilty pleas were accepted to another seven charges.
He was caught in a joint
operation with the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, RSPB and Lothian and Borders Police, last August when banned
pesticides and traps were found at Blythe Farm near Lauder. Aitken was
described by officers as showing no remorse for his blatant disregard of
the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Sentence was deferred on
Aitken for background reports. Dave Dick of the RSPB - who took part in
the raids - said it was one of the worst cases he had seen in 20 years.
"We have fought long and
hard for prison sentences for these kind of offences," he said. "I hope
the sheriff is looking at the option of a jail sentence."
SNH is accused of collusion in windfarms row
this is North Scotland
30 April 2007
Scottish Natural Heritage
recruited developers to devise a system of photomontage which has since
been adopted as part of the decision-making process in windfarm planning
To the horror of
politicians and landscape lovers, the trade's Scottish Renewables forum
played a lead role in shaping it and largely funded work on drafting the
There is currently no
uniformed method of photomontage to assess turbines and the issue has
consistently baffled Highland councillors who decide the fate of most
planning bids. Critics have pressed for years for a definitive system of
accurately assessing the visual impact of turbines.
The SNP's Fergus Ewing, a
consistent critic of SNH, is disgusted by the collusion and awaits an
explanation from agency chairman Andrew Thin.
In a statement, SNH said:
"The involvement of the forum helps ensure that guidance is realistic
and encourages best practice. We are currently preparing the material so
it can be published on our website."
this is North Scotland
Otter shot dead on Frodingham
Driffied Times 27 April
An otter has been found
shot dead near Driffield and Environment Agency officers are appealing
for information to lead them to the killer.
The body of the otter was
found with a shot to its head at Frodingham Beck by a member of the
public and reported to an Environment Agency bailiff.
The post-mortem results,
which have just been released, have revealed the otter had been shot
conservationist, Martin Christmas, said: "It is unbelievable that anyone
should kill one of these beautiful creatures. The otter is a protected
species which makes this crime even more appalling.
A spokesperson from the
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the maximum
penalty for intentionally killing or injuring an otter or other wild
animal listed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act is six months
imprisonment and a £5,000 fine per animal killed or injured.
Police fear island's historic badger population has been exterminated
this is North Scotland 25
The entire badger
population of one Argyll island may have been deliberately destroyed,
according to wildlife experts investigating a spate of animal crimes in
the area. Around 40 of the creatures have been killed on Seil island
over the last few years. A police officer investigating the crime
believes the animals may have been gassed to death.
PC Finlay Christine, a
wildlife officer with Strathclyde Police, said: "People haveto report
things straight away if they fear something is happening, so that we can
getevidence. Unfortunately, on Seil, the badgers have all gone now. The
setts have been there for hundreds of years."
Police are also concerned
that, since 2002, two golden eagles and one sea eagle have been found
poisoned near Seil, using the banned substance Carbofuran.
this is North Scotland
'Illegal' beaver caught in wild
BBC News 13 April 2007
A beaver living wild in
part of rural Perthshire for the past several months has been captured.
It was thought beavers were on the loose after trees started to
disappear at a fishery, with the trunks gnawed in two, and then a lodge
Staff from Edinburgh Zoo
have now captured what appears to be a male European beaver. The animal
is being kept temporarily at the Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie.
Releasing beavers into
the wild is illegal but it is not yet known if there are any more in the
area. Tayside Police are investigating.
Anger at National Trust grouse shoots triggers withdrawal of public money
Scotland on Sunday 8
The National Trust for
Scotland has been stopped from spending public money on promoting grouse
shooting on its Highland estate. It emerged earlier this year that the
trust was using part of its annual grant from the government's
countryside advisers, Scottish Natural Heritage, to help finance
shooting days for private clients.
SNH has now reduced its
annual grant of around £200,000 per year by more than £23,000 - money
which up until now had been spent on employing gamekeeping staff to run
the commercial shoots.
The NTS has held
commercial grouse shoots on Mar Lodge, close to the Queen's Balmoral
estate, since it bought the estate for the nation in 1995. A spokeswoman
for SNH said agency grants had to be spent on projects with a clear
outcome in conserving and protecting the estate's natural environment.
"SNH grants will not be used to support sporting interest," she said.
The trust's exploitation
of red grouse contrasts markedly with its attitude towards other native
birds on the estate, particularly other members of the grouse family. In
what it terms part of the "spectacular" Cairngorms National Park, it is
recreating natural habitat for the black grouse, the capercaillie and
the Scottish crossbill.
The island of Sark gains new status as a wetland of international
Defra News Release Ref: 108/07 2 April 2007
An area of Sark, the smallest of the Channel Islands, has for the first
time been recognised as a Wetland of International Importance under the
international Ramsar Convention. The site covers four hectares, from the
west coast of Sark stretching across the renowned Gouliot Headland to
the famous Gouliot Caves.
The Gouliot Caves support a thriving wealth of species, making this a
significant wetland site. This rare intertidal habitat contains many
endangered species; including sponges, sea anemones, and hydroids. The
Headland above the caves supports a range of coastal ecosystems
including coastal grassland and hard rock. These habitats are home to
many rare and endangered species of plants, insects and lichens.
Jo Birch, member of the committee of Chief Pleas, responsible for
managing the site said:
“It is important to stress that designating the Gouliot Caves as a
Ramsar site will not result in traditional activities such as shore
gathering, inshore fishing, angling, or diving being prohibited;
conservation and wise use of resources are totally compatible with these
With the addition of the Gouliot Caves and Headland in Sark, the UK has
designated 169 Ramsar sites, covering 897,122 hectares .The site will be
officially designated on 9 April.