Author Archives: Miles King

About Miles King

UK conservation professional, writing about nature, politics, life. All views are my own and not my employers. I don't write on behalf of anybody else.

Jenrick’s Planning Reforms have nothing to say about tax dodges

                  It’s the last day for responses to the Government’s latest proposals to reform the planning system, to “level up” and solve the housing crisis, if you believe the spin. The proposals … Continue reading

Posted in planning, tax havens, tax reform, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lambs to the slaughter: What future for the UK’s sheep flock, post-Brexit?

Sheep near Wind Tor, Dartmoor. Photo by Anthea Simmons As we wait for what feels like the final slow-motion spin of the car as it hurtles inexorably towards the cliff edge, wondering if our heroes are going to escape from … Continue reading

Posted in Brexit, Dartmoor, George Eustice, lamb consumption, overgrazing, Sheep | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ten Years of Blogging

Ten years feels a bit like a significant anniversary – and a long time. Perhaps the last ten years feels longer than many decades have, given what has happened (and is about to happen) over that period. Ten years ago … Continue reading

Posted in blogging, grasslands | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Six visitors for you, Thirty grouse shooters for me. Counting the iniquity of the new covid laws

The figures for positive covid-19 tests have been climbing inexorably since a lull in the summer. Figures of 3000 new cases a day, despite the shambolic breakdown in testing carried out by the private sector (Pillar 2), look very much … Continue reading

Posted in Boris Johnson, climate change, coronavirus, covid-19, grouse shooting, tax havens | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments

It’s just not cricket: reactionary forces gather to challenge beavers’ right to stay where they belong.

In a rare piece of good news for the south-west’s environment, the government recently confirmed that beavers would be allowed to stay on the River Otter in Devon. Beavers were hunted to extinction in Britain about 400 years ago. Hunters … Continue reading

Posted in angling, Beavers, Natural England, NFU | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Ofqual Fiasco and Planning revolution point to where the Vote Leave Government gets its ideas

As I watched the A-level results fiasco unfold over the last week  – the latest in a long line of shambolic Government u-turns  – it got me thinking about how this Government actually decides on what policies it is going … Continue reading

Posted in covid19, Cummings, Dominic Cummings, Michael Gove, neoliberalism, planning, Policy Exchange, Think Tanks, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Forestry Commission plan tree planting on heathland after barbecue fire

The ground was bone dry and everything was flowering early. I was up at Poundbury (near Dorchester), checking on an area of wildflower meadow that I’d arranged to have sown. After the incessant downpours of the Autumn and Winter, the … Continue reading

Posted in climate change, Forestry Commission, lowland heathland, tree planting | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Building Back Greener – Defra’s Eustice announces Govt plans to weaken nature protections

  I’m not much a zoom enthusiast but the invitation to listen to Defra secretary of state George Eustice give a “major” speech on the environment, via Green Alliance, seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. So, having finally … Continue reading

Posted in Brexit, EIA, George Eustice, regulation | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

A Tale of Two Speeches – Gramsci, Newts and the Instrumentarians

As we finally reach the point where the first wave of covid19 has effectively passed (excess deaths in the week to the 19th June were the same as the 5 year average – 65000 dead so far),  it’s clear that … Continue reading

Posted in coronavirus, covid19, Dominic Cummings, instrumentarian, Michael Gove, neoliberalism, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Pheasant’s or Pheasant’s-eye? Nature Connection and Conservation

What’s important about nature? I’m not talking about however many tonnes of Carbon a Sitka spruce tree locks up during its short life, or whether a Beaver stops a town flooding.  I mean what is important to you, as a … Continue reading

Posted in Chris Packham, nature connection, pheasants, pictorlal meadows, road verges | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments