Category: Nature

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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 […]

Replacing a tree: not so simple

Sarah Cowley

When news broke of the destruction of some 136 mature trees in central Plymouth in March 2023, I was unimpressed by reports of local council plans to replace them with semi-mature trees and claims of an increase in local biodiversity as part of the new development. I’m not knowledgeable about trees or arboriculture, but I […]

Sewage, phosphates and the housing crisis in Somerset

Mick Fletcher

People understand sewage. It stinks. So does the system that has allowed privatised water companies to make huge profits while failing to upgrade our sewage treatment system. Over the last eleven years the companies have paid out £16.8 billion in dividends while sewage discharges continue to be unacceptably high. Graphic pictures of raw sewage spilling […]

Dartmoor – Anthony Mangnall MP still fails to address the issues

Editor-in-chief

A number of local newspapers, including the Totnes Times and Ivybridge Today, published excerpts of a letter by the Stars are for Everyone (SAFE) campaign group to Totnes MP, Anthony Mangnall, complaining of bias and the “gaslighting of constituents” in his article published in the Totnes Times in February. SAFE invited Mr Magnall MP to […]

Dartmoor’s blanket bogs

Miles King

Reading Tony Whitehead’s piece in West Country Voices (‘Failing nature on Dartmoor‘ ) exploring some of the realities behind the outpouring of protest from the farming industry and lurid claims that Natural England has a secret (and no doubt cunning) plan to “rewild” Dartmoor, has enthused me sufficiently to write a blog. I don’t intend […]

Poole Harbour oil spillage: unacceptable environmental damage

Vicki Elcoate

News broke on 26 March 2023 of ‘reservoir fluid,’ containing oil, leaking into an environmentally sensitive area for wildlife. The devastating impacts of the oil spill from the Wytch Farm site in Poole Harbour are unacceptable in a climate and ecological emergency – and heart-breaking for the many organisations and individuals involved in conservation work […]

Conor Burns and the Poole Harbour oil spill

The Highcliffe Guy

Originally tweeted by thehighcliffeguy (@AdamHighcliffe) on 29/03/2023. In 2015, Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns campaigned against the Navitus wind farm proposal, along with local Conservative peers. This proposed a wind farm 10km off the Dorset coast. He claimed it would “harm tourism”. It was then revealed that Conor Burns was also a consultant for Trant […]

The campaign to save the 136 mature trees on Plymouth’s Armada Way UPDATE: a scene of devastation

Ali White Founder, STRAW Plymouth

The trees planted to symbolise Plymouth’s ‘rebirth’ after the devastation of WWII have been torn up, chopped down and destroyed overnight. Luke Pollard MP: Overnight Plymouth’s Conservative council chopped down nearly 100 trees in the city centre. It’s a scene of environmental devastation and utter council vandalism. I’m appalled at the actions of the Tory […]

Greenwashing on the Somerset Levels? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to you in order to highlight what I perceive to be a greenwashing issue regarding the Somerset Levels. I was under the impression that following the Dutch N court case, the Somerset levels were protected from any additional phosphate discharge due to either their unfavourable condition or that they are […]

Funding for hedges!

Editor-in-chief

Funding to pilot a project involving the Lyme area community in the creation of the Great Big Dorset Hedge has been approved by Lyme Regis Town Council. Julie Leah from Charmouth, who is one of the coordinators of the project on behalf of Dorset Climate Action Network, said: ‘We really appreciate the Town Council’s support […]

Boo to poo!

Michael Puleston

A protest took place at Teignmouth Back Beach on January 28 as part of the Dirty Water nationwide protests. This was a collaborative effort involving Extinction Rebellion and a broad range of campaigning groups and highlighted the ongoing pollution of our seas and inland waterways. As our MP wasn’t able to accept our invitation to […]

We need a new Right to Roam Act

Guy Shrubsole

We are grateful to Guy Shrubsole for permission to reproduce this thread: If we’re to restore wild camping rights on Dartmoor, we need a new Right to Roam Act – and a government willing to pass it. New legislation is how we defend and extend public access to nature – anything less won’t cut it. […]

Wild camping on Dartmoor – what next?

Editor-in-chief

The judge’s decision on the right to wild camp on Dartmoor has cause upset and outrage amongst walker, climbers, nature-lovers and Dartmoor-lovers from across the country. On Saturday, people will be coming together to protest the verdict. We predict that this will be a very big event indeed and we will be there. You must […]

Turning a river nightmare into an achievable dream

Vicky Whitworth

Only 14 per cent of England’s rivers have good ecological status, and the government has just, incredibly, allowed itself another 36 years to clean things up. Yet all is not lost: local citizen scientists are joining together to save streams, brooks, and rivers, and to start action now. Vicky Whitworth shares a tale of hope […]

The stars are ours – the Save Dartmoor rally

Andrew Cooney

On December 11, 2022, with only a handful of days’ notice and on one of the coldest days of the oncoming winter, 400 people gathered for a rally to save access to Dartmoor for wild campers. They were the young and the old, locals and those who’d travelled considerable distances, wild campers and non-wild campers […]

Shores of South Devon exhibition

Michael Puleston

The Shores of South Devon (SOSD) Marine Interest Life Association held an art and photography launch event on Friday 25 November at the Maltings Taphouse, Newton Abbot. The Exhibition features local intertidal marine life, recorded and photographed on south Devon shores over the last three years, in the geographical area between the River Exe and the River […]

The Loder/police/sewage saga – the waters just got murkier

Anthea Simmons

More than 30,000 people have read the story of the police visit to two women, and if you haven’t – you can catch up here! Fran Swan, of Fishpond, and Beverley Glock, of Lyme Regis, had registered for a public meeting for Chideock residents, which was held on Friday 25 November. They had to give […]

The stars are for everyone

Andrew Cooney

Our rights are currently under attack as never before in my lifetime.  The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill so curtails the right to protest that it permits your arrest merely on the suspicion that you might carry out some act against the Establishment.  The Borders and Nationalities Bill makes it easier to strip someone […]