Category: Nature

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Do you fancy being a nighttime bat detective?

Editor-in-chief

STOP PRESS: ALREADY FULLY BOOKED! BE QUICK NEXT YEAR, IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART! A leading local conservation charity is calling on people in Devon to help it discover more about the county’s bats. Devon Wildlife Trust is about has embarked on the ninth year of its Devon Bat Survey. The research is believed […]

I used to get irritated by the dawn chorus

Anna Andrews

Yes, you read that right. It would wake me around four or five in the morning – even earlier in May and June – starting with the twitterings of robins which were soon joined by blackbirds, chiffchaffs, and many others, and which would grow to a crescendo before fading as the birds began to get […]

Dorset landowner accused of exploiting Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland

Joanna Bury

Members of Extinction Rebellion Wimborne staged a colourful protest at the gates of St Giles House, the seat of the Earl of Shaftesbury, in Wimborne St Giles on Monday March 18, 2024, which was the St Patrick’s Day Bank Holiday in Northern Ireland. We wanted to raise awareness of the Earl of Shaftesbury’s exploitation of […]

A new deal for the eel

Mick Fletcher

England’s eels are in trouble. Since the 1980s, the numbers in our rivers and wetlands have declined by some 90 per cent. Without urgent intervention, a once-common animal could face extinction. There are several reasons for this dramatic fall. One of the most obvious is the growth of man-made barriers blocking access to suitable habitat. […]

Poole Harbour oil spill, one year on

Greg Lambe

The BBC have reported that ‘Perenco UK pledges no repeat’ of the oil spillage in Poole Harbour. In reply, local activists from Extinction Rebellion say the only way for Perenco to honour this pledge is to stop oil extraction in Poole Harbour now. Extinction Rebellion (XR) groups from Bournemouth-Christchurch-Poole (BCP), Wimborne, Purbeck, East Dorset Friends […]

Plymouth City Council’s ‘consultation’ fail

Ali White Founder, STRAW Plymouth

Recently, Sheffield City Council issued an apology to the courts to whom they lied during the tree felling debacle. This follows on from apologies to the people of Sheffield and personal apologies to the tree campaigners. Sadly, no individuals ever took responsibility for this shocking episode, and nobody in charge fell on their sword. In […]

Don’t Pay for Dirty Water campaign vows to get 10,000 to boycott water bills

Daniel Glennon

A bill payers’ boycott targets Wessex Water and demands they fast-track infrastructure upgrades and stop dumping raw sewage in our seas and rivers. Extinction Rebellion Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (XR BCP) has launched a new campaign calling for ten thousand people nationwide, including Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) residents, to stop paying their wastewater bills. […]

Dartmoor is leaking – carbon, biodiversity and actual water…

Harry Barton

The much-anticipated Independent Review of Protected Site Management on Dartmoor was published on 13 December 2023. It was overshadowed by the COP28 deal, but locally it’s just as significant: after all, Dartmoor is by far the largest area managed for wildlife in the south-west, and its peat bogs hold carbon stores equivalent to an entire […]

Dartmoor Review: yes, but where’s the urgency?

Tony Whitehead

Dartmoor Environmental campaigner Tony Whitehead looks at the Independent Review of Protected Site Management on Dartmoor published this week and asks whether it will help nature restoration in this precious landscape …  When I first skimmed through the Independent Review of Protected Site Management on Dartmoor that was published this week, my initial reaction was […]

Five key tests for the panel on the Dartmoor inquiry

Harry Barton

Dartmoor is one of England’s most treasured landscapes and important wildlife havens.  Just as the brooding hills, hidden valleys and spectacular tors delight visitors year-round, the oak woodlands, heath, bog and mires are home to many species that are vanishing elsewhere – including golden plover, curlew, high brown fritillary and countless rare insects, plants and […]

Plastic grass? No, thanks!

Rachel Marshall

The lawn is a terribly British thing: Wimbledon, picnics, making daisy chains. For me summer starts when I’m hit by the scent of cut grass and then it’s that bit of green that remains into the winter months after the trees have lost their leaves. So why are so many gardens in the UK being […]

Raising the spirit of Old Crockern

Tony Whitehead

On Saturday September 30, around 300 people gathered at Princetown to show their passion for creating a wilder Dartmoor.  The “March for Wild Dartmoor” was organised by Wildcard, a growing grassroots movement of ordinary people, campaigners and experts who want to put pressure on the country’s biggest landowners to commit to ambitious rewilding projects as […]

Poo protest at Wessex Water’s Ringwood site – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor On September 10,2023, activists from Extinction Rebellion Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (XR BCP) held a protest against the illegal dumping of sewage into Dorset’s waterways by Wessex Water at their Ringwood water recycling centre. In the week that a BBC report revealed that in 2022 Wessex Water was responsible for 215 dry spills […]

Campaigners defy wild swimming ban on Dartmoor

Lewis Winks

Signs were put up across the 4,000 acre Spitchwick Estate on Dartmoor this summer forbidding swimming along 17km of the River Dart, including at popular beauty spots. Forty right to roam campaigners held a ‘protest swim’ at Spitchwick on Sunday 10 September in defiance of the ban. Groups included Right to Roam, The Stars Are […]

Human poo chain

Joanna Bury

We have had enough! Our rivers are full of poo because water companies haven’t updated ageing sewage systems. They prefer to pay millions to shareholders and in bonuses to directors. The government says water companies must reduce the dumping of raw sewage, and of course customers must pay, so our bills could go up by […]

Introducing M I Birtwhistle, special adviser on burning boats…

M I Birtwhistle

Hello South-westerners, My name is M I Birtwhistle, retired secret service officer, and I live in a small Somerset village where I’ve kept my neighbours up to date on government thinking almost every month for the last fifteen years.  By a strange quirk of family history I recently found I was entitled to a place […]

March for a wild Dartmoor! 30 September, Princetown, Devon

Editor-in-chief

What follows is information from event organisers, Wild Card. There are details of a zoom to explore the strategy and plans for the day at the end of the article. Ed Dartmoor is dying, its wildlife is declining and disappearing, and the time to do something is now. Will you be a voice for nature? […]

Dirty Water protest at Dawlish

Editor-in-chief

On Sunday 13 August, Extinction Rebellion held a ‘Dirty Water’ protest at Dawlish seafront in Devon. [What follows is an edited version of their press release.] This is part of ‘Wave Four’ of an ongoing Extinction Rebellion campaign running throughout 2023. Through a combination of theatrics and public engagement, protestors yet again peacefully highlighted the fact […]

Fabulous news! You CAN wild-camp on Dartmoor!

Editor-in-chief

Campaigners are celebrating today’s decision to overturn the controversial ruling earlier this year that made camping illegal on Dartmoor without landowner permission. Lewis Winks, a campaigner with The Stars Are For Everyone, said: “A permission is not the same as a right – and today the court has seen sense and re-established people’s right to […]

Right to roam: quashing the scaremongering

Jonathan Moses

Where to start with the recent Farmers Weekly piece on the right to roam (RTR)? It seems to have no idea what is being proposed and bemoans the loss of opportunities to “monetise partnerships with healthcare providers as solutions to the UK’s health and wellbeing crisis”. Firstly, the RTR proposals are not an “all-access approach”. […]

Thank you, Alexander Darwall – you have mobilised a movement!

Anthea Simmons

We are currently living under a regime which is happily removing rights willy-nilly and, in most cases, appearing to get away with it. It seems that most people are quite relaxed about the fact that a child born in England (specifically) today has fewer rights than one born 13 years ago. That should bother all […]

A new purpose for Dartmoor National Park?

Tony Whitehead

Nature in Dartmoor National Park is in a poor state. A new piece of legislation being debated this week in the House of Lords could help change that – and put nature’s recovery at the heart of the purpose of all our National Parks and AONBs.  But will the Government do the right thing?  Dartmoor […]

Are you wiped out?

Plastic Free Axminster -

We’re well into Plastic Free July and here’s another area where you can cut your plastic usage and help stop the blockages in our sewers and the pollution in our waterways. Wet wipes – why are we so addicted to them?  Surface wipes, face cleansing wipes, floor wipes, make-up remover wipes, baby wipes, personal hygiene […]

Dartmoor – what does the future hold for the national park?

Anthea Simmons

On Friday 14 July at 19:15, we will be hosting a panel event to be live-streamed from the Byline Festival, which is being held for the first time at Dartington Hall. The theme? Dartmoor’s future from political, agricultural, societal and environmental perspectives. Your panel for the evening: Caroline Voaden: the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for […]