Following yesterday’s story about the damage to chalk downland in Dorset, I’ve been contacted by Natural England and I thought it would be useful to let you know what they have said. I approached the EIA team to inform them of the damage and ask them to keep me updated with what action Natural England were taking.
Natural England national comms team said that because of the purdah restrictions which operate in the run up to the General Election, the couldn’t comment (on twitter) until there had been further investigations. I then received a phone call from the local team who explained that staff had been to the site to investigate the incident. They were following up multiple inquiries and seeking information about the site. Local team members had spoken to the landowner and they will be working with them to find a solution to the problem. Natural England confirmed that the site was on the Chalk Grassland Inventory, which means that it is high quality chalk downland.
I guess things will be fairly quiet over the next few weeks until the election is out of the way. I will be keeping an eye on the site to see if the farmer does anything else which might damage the downland, though I think is unlikely, now that Natural England have visited them.
Well done, Miles.
Yes, well done Miles. I was a bit depressed when I read your first blog – I mean, who cares about chalk grassland at a time like this? – but well done and keep it up. Good luck!
Well done and please keep us updated Miles
As for the “Muzzled Watchdog” (1997) sadly I won’t hold my breath but I’d be delighted to be proven wrong and they’ll morph into a tenacious (not toothless) terrier ….
Let’s hope this isn’t the tip of an iceberg that the ship titanic (environmental safeguard) is heading into as the bonfire is lit?
Thanks Miles. Let’s see what happens now. Hopefully some kind of resolution will be possible.
Regulation is only possible once the regulator becomes aware and you know how important it is that NE get to hear about these things promptly.
It is a worry that the most powerful tool left in the box is EIA, which is rooted in EU legislation, but while we have it let’s make sure we use it.
Well done Miles. There should be no further damage now.