A cut too far

Woodland Matters

Councils are facing difficult choices, but slashing tree planting budgets should not be one of them. 

At this time of year, councillors and senior officers in local authorities go into “budget mode”. Councils have to agree how much they are going to spend over the next year… both for ongoing revenue expenditure and investment in capital projects. They also have to set the level of council tax for local residents for the year ahead. 

A big proportion of council funding comes from Government grant. The funding formula  is fiendishly complicated and has changed again this year. There has always been pressure for budget savings but now things have moved into a different league. As part of the Government’s programme to cut the country’s budget deficit, grants to local authorities are being cut by around 28 per cent over a four year period.  

A report from the Local Government Association last year estimated that when unavoidable…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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4 Responses to A cut too far

  1. EqFe says:

    In Maryland, there is a process of converting farmland into housing develpments, as part of that process a certain amount of the land is allowed to revert back to nature, and eventually will be a small clump of forest. This practice is one of the reasons that we are overrun by deer. Personally I think that more should be set aside for community gardens, but there isn’t much demand for that here. I wonder if some of your parkland, where the funds are short for planting trees could be converted over to community gardens.

    • argylesock says:

      I like this idea. Over here we have allotments, which aren’t quite the same as your community gardens – they’re a wonderful tradition and part of our landscape. In recent years allotments have returned from a very low phase in which their tenants were getting older and gradually dying off, to a phase in which they’re so trendy that people queue for years to get a plot. I’m gestating a blog post about allotments.

      • EqFe says:

        What I;m really jealous of is that you have them for the long term Her I have to renew my seasonal lease annually, The plot is plowed in early April and has to be cleared in November so no asparagus or strawberries etc.

  2. argylesock says:

    I don’t understand why you’re kicked off the land every autumn, then given it again (or maybe a different plot?) the next spring after it’s been ploughed. That stops you building up the soil as you’d choose. And as you say, it stops you growing perennials.

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