There is a lot going on at the moment. And I am here to help.
If you are concerned about High Speed 2, why not read my colleague Andre Farrar's blog here.
If you are concerned about the implications of us leaving Europe you could always listen to my interview on Farming Today last week. You can find it here about 8 minutes in. I waffle a bit - but you should be able to get the gist.
If you are concerned about the future of the United Kingdom... well that's one area where I really am not going to comment.
But, if you just want to be distracted by all of this, why not simply take a moment to look at the image below.
This picture was taken by a licensed doormouse surveyor called Liz Cutting at our Wolves Wood Nature Reserve in Suffolk. It is our first record of the species in the reserve's 40 year history. As Liz says, the discovery of dormice at Wolves Wood is testament that if you have a solid block of well-managed woodland with plenty of suitable habitat, dormice will respond. And they have, which is great.
Surely one to warm even the coldest of hearts.
I agree that there is still more to be done to make the carbon case for HSII. And we shall continue to push on this point. And, Peter, on the barrage, if it is deemed to be necessary as part of our future energy requirements, it makes economic sense and there are no more environmentally benign alternatives, we have always said that we would support it provided that adequate compensatory habitat was in place prior to construction - according to the terms of the directive. We have not been convinced on need and government ruled it out on cost grounds.
I have always believed that whether in EU or not their are two important points,1)pay farmers reasonable amount for wildlife benefits and just as important get them to feel it is a important aspect that we all appreciate.
Cannot believe that this small saving in time on HS2 is important as the amount of time that is wasted at most work places makes this small saving crazy and everyone almost without exception has loads of spare time.We will never get a return on our money spent on it and cannot believe with modern technology we could not run more trains on existing network.
I wholly agree with Barcud above.
I thought your piece on Farming Today very good; your point re the high quality of EU environmental law, for fear of repeating myself, can be extended to recycling, sewage, landfill, air, climate change etc etc etc. EU environment law has been very good law driving the UK forward over the past 20 years.
Re HS2 the work I have seen re CO2 is that it increases exponentially with speed due to exponential increases in air resistance; so just as with cars at speeds over 60 on motorway so it is with trains; the faster they go the more polluting they are; for half an hour of journey time, probably lost at the Tube, HS2 is a waste of money I'm afraid (unlike barrages which have a similar carbon profile to wind farms due to their high and fast CO2 payback; 9 months on the Severn I believe).
Hi Martin, I agree 100% with what you said in your interview on farming today and clearly the RSPB as a charity cannot give a view on whether this country should be in or out of the EU. However as an individual commenting here perhaps I could give a view. I strongly believe we should remain in the EU. That is not to say I think the EU is "the best thing since sliced bread"; it isn't. It has many, many faults, but your comment about the EU providing a level playing field with common rules so that no individual country takes an unreasonable competitive advantage is absolutely key. (I have seen it in other subjects like pollution control). This country, and especially the RSPB, has a lot to offer the rest of Europe. That experience and the abilty to influence the rest of the EU members during negotiating stages would all be lost. Our birds are inextricably linked with those in Europe so it is vital European countries work together on halting and reversing biodiversity loss and a sustainable environment. Leaving the EU would make this much more difficult, and, as you say put at risk much our current wildlife protection measures. In short I think leaving the EU it would be a disaster. In this respect much of industry and business seems to take a similar view, for there own reasons, so I very much hope it is not likely to happen. We need to work within the EU to correct its deficiencies and not sit on the side lines.
On an HS2 point I wonder whether anyone has considered the risk to birds flying across the path of a train travelling over 200mph. There would be no chance of avoiding it at that speed.
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