I woke again to blue skies. It's something I could get used to. Shame that so much of my life is spent indoors looking out.
But I have a confession to make. All this sunshine has slowed me down a bit. At home, at the Lodge and even in London where I was yesterday, spring is a wonderful distraction. Seeing wood anemone, bluebells, lesser celandines while the migrants provide the soundtrack to spring is an absolute joy. In the last ten days or so, the migrants have returned to the Lodge with whitethroat, chiffchaff, willow warbler and blackcap all now singing. Tree pipit, firecrest and ring ouzel have also been recent reported highlights (which I have sadly missed). But from where I sit, the green woodpecker on the lawn looks looks resplendent and I can boast about the two red kites which flew past my office window in the past month - something I can take for granted today but would have been an astonishing site for a Conservation Director of the RSPB just a few years ago.
This weekend, I am off to north Norfolk with the family, so I shall have no reason to feel guilty and, amazingly for a Bank Holiday weekend, it seems that the sun will shine.
So, as the local political map of the UK changes today, my mind may drift to the weekend.
But before I go, here are two bits of unfinished business:
First, have a listen to my colleague Tony Whitehead on the Today programme (at about 6.40 today) talking about the death toll from the south west England marine pollution incident. We've stepped up our call for the discharge of the sticking substance PIB into the sea to be banned. You can help by signing this petition.
Second, remember the Battle of Hastings around the proposed relief road? Well, recently released papers from the Department for Transport has shown that the rationale for deciding to go ahead with the scheme may not have been entirely in DfT's gift to give. The great clunking fist of economic growth seems to have won through again.
I hope the sunshine slows you down this weekend.
Peter - the Sustainable Severn conference was our latest contribution. Not sure you have seen this, but do have a look at some of the statements that emerged last month, here - www.sustainablesevern.co.uk/event-reports
Yet another wrong result from this Government that show they have little or no interest protecting our natural environment. With their other recent decisions in this area they are really are starting to build up a terrible record. Instead of the "Greenest Government Ever" they may well go down in the record book as the Philistines of the natural environment.
It is certainely heartening to see and hear the migrants returning after this aweful winter. However not forgeting that they will have travelled across Europe and are therefore an integral part of Europe's wildlife. We don't want them blown off course in the future by any political results that may manifest themselves today!!
Is it possible that an alliance of NGO's might challenge the DoT transport rationale in the Courts ? I would particularly welcome a clear contrast with the failure to invest in the tidal resource NB Stepping Stones Lagoon highlighted by Parsons Brinkerhoff which with Swansea Lagoon will provide near 10% of Wales' electricity and how the Treasury rules re tidal disincentivise power production. There is serious export potential and once installed will provide predictable energy for the next but one generations that will be CLEAN and FREE for 120 and more years.
Could we please have a clear view on the tidal resource; I am trying hard to raise this profile within Labour for the next Parliament; if there was a One Nation policy this is it. ACTION.
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