Concreting over our National Parks

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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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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2 Responses to Concreting over our National Parks

  1. Carol Hague says:

    The more words I hear coming out of Owen Paterson’s mouth, the more convinced I become that a) he’s a completed and utter [expletive deleted] and b) he shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near environmental issues because he hasn’t a single solitary clue.

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