Category Archives: Austin’s blog

Are we making progress on better protection for ancient woodland?

As we head towards the Easter break there is a real feel that spring is properly here, although it’s perhaps a little too early to talk of summer (climate change notwithstanding). But, in those places where an institutionalised approach to … Continue reading

Posted in Austin's blog, AWPR, Campaigning, Conservation, Consultation, Defra, England, Government Affairs, Planning, Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS), Protection, Woods Under Threat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ever decreasing circles… the Government appear ignorant of their failure to protect our ancient woods

Our recently launched campaign urges Government to increase protection for our irreplaceable ancient woodland. It is aimed at David Cameron and identifies eight low or no cost measures that could quickly be put in place to set this in motion. … Continue reading

Posted in Austin's blog, Campaigning, Conservation, Defra, Planning, Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS), Protection, Woods Under Threat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Ancient Woodland Protection – Making a bad situation worse…

Our ancient woodlands have scant protection from development – whether it’s roads, quarries, housing or major infrastructure. We are losing ancient woods year-on-year. We know this because we are contacted by individuals and communities up and down the country, many … Continue reading

Posted in Austin's blog, Campaigning, Climate Change, Conservation, Defra, Local Government, Planning, Roads, woods, Woods Under Threat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Has Owen Gone Off-piste on Offsetting?

Owen Paterson (Secretary of State for the Environment at Defra) has moved the discussion about biodiversity offsetting both back up the agenda and backwards too, with his comments reported on Saturday that ancient woodland could be part of an offsetting … Continue reading

Posted in Austin's blog, Campaigning, Conservation, Defra, England, Government Affairs, Planning, Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS), woods, Woods Under Threat, WoodWatch | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

Making our woods more resilient – tapping in to the insight of experts…

My head is still full of new ideas, information and insights from our conference on Thursday 27th June on “Chalara, Other Threats and Resilient Woodland Landscapes”. The Woodland Trust set the event up, working with Defra, to bring together a … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Austin's blog, Climate Change, Conservation, Defra, Planting, Protection, Woods Under Threat, WoodWatch | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Future of the Forestry Commission… are the postage stamp designers on standby?

Is it just the British who to love to mark centenaries and anniversaries? That thought was triggered in my head when I caught sight of the new postage stamps celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Football Association, complete with a … Continue reading

Posted in Austin's blog, Climate Change, England, Forests Report | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Chalara ash dieback – what next?

It’s been a while since my last blog on this subject but the question of ash dieback, and tree pests and diseases in general, has never been far from my mind. The level of public concern and media interest in … Continue reading

Posted in Austin's blog, Climate Change, Conservation, Defra, Protection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Re-thinking tree planting?

I find I am, to some extent, on a similar wavelength to Andy Byfield in his Guardian piece on tree planting. Perhaps more so in the light of recent developments that emphasise the need to think how we can deliver … Continue reading

Posted in Austin's blog, Climate Change, Conservation, Forests Report, Planting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ash Dieback (Chalara)

The arrival of ash dieback disease (Chalara Fraxinea) on our shores is a real tragedy. The likelihood of major damage to our native and ancient woods, copses and hedgerows seems to be growing each day as we find out more about … Continue reading

Posted in Austin's blog, Conservation, Government Affairs | Tagged , , , , , | 34 Comments

New Defra Secretary of State – A Little Too Quick Off the Blocks?

The Government’s latest statement on all things rural was released today; within days of new ministers sweeping into Defra HQ and hours of the Monday morning staff dutifully setting out chairs in the Nobel House atrium for departmental teams to … Continue reading

Posted in Austin's blog, Climate Change, Government Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments