argylesock says… An excellent biography of Beatrix Potter, who became Beatrix Heelis, is ‘The Extraordinary Life of a Victorian Genius’. That book describes Mrs Heelis’ role in starting the National Parks movement in her beloved Lakeland. She saw that the future would include people wanting to destroy Britain’s great landscapes. And now look.
I admit that the title to this post is somewhat over the top but it is the vision that springs to the minds of many people I have spoken to about UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson’s plans to increase development in England’s ten National Parks including the Lake District, the Peak District and Dartmoor. Now I would always be one of the first people to stand up for people in rural areas to improve their lives, especially those who are struggling to run rural businesses. However, I take issue with the very philosophy behind Mr Paterson’s strategy – ‘biodiversity offsetting’.
How is it really possible to mitigate the effects of destroying a hedgerow that has taken hundreds of years to develop to a specific ecosystem by ‘constructing’ ‘similar’ habitat elsewhere? What’s done is done. When one creates a ‘new nature site’ one is doing just that, ‘creating a new nature…
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