Monday, 11 June 2007

Home Counties Wildland ... another view

Stanley Owen responds to Dave Bangs (see blog of Thursday, 29 March 2007) ...

Dave Bangs' outlook on access to land and to wild places appears pretty depressing. Maybe he should change the tint of his spectacles. It just looks like a rant against somebody wealthier than he is.

Even if we agree with his political view of capital and wealth, it cannot be productive for people pushing the case for more wild land and wild nature to take socialist revolution or socialist reform on to our agenda. Though an admirable cause, it would represent a massive distraction from our already challenging aims, and we would be unlikely to achieve very much.

We should be promoting public access as a social benefit of wild land, in support of the principle of public investment in wild land. However, I would resist reversing that logic: it is not true that privately owned wildland needs to be tied to open public access. Says who? And how would it be enforced? We are going to see many forms of wild land, in different types of ownership. We should welcome any case where natural ecological processes are allowed to dominate. Access is a separate issue.

I think a philosophy of encouraging private landowners, without wanting to dictate how they manage their affairs, is correct. Peter Taylor is right in his answer to Bangs that public and NGO land managers are still not getting it with wild land. I believe that this will change and that these will be where we see more public "ownership" and better access. I think there is better potential for larger areas with these. And less of an issue of making a business.

Stanley Owen

19 comments:

Barry Larking said...

I have just returned from walking in the 'wildland' of Sutherland and Caithness. On one long trek in the sunshine the rest of the UK was not getting I noticed an old friend, the innocent, fragrant Mirica Gale or Bog Asphodel. It brought back memories ...
One afternoon sitting at my desk at the Scottish HQ of the old NCC, minding my own business, I was interrupted by a colleague anxiously seeking help. The problem was urgent, or as urgent as anything at the NCC could be. Tax Dodge Foresters were circling around a prize piece of Highland property, threatening decapitation by furrow and Sitka. How to 'sell' this piece of rain swept, apparently lifeless, hunk of rock and vegetable waste ground to the 'Big Public'? 'Bog' did not sound a good place to begin. Belatedly the NCC had discovered that science alone cannot turn on the Big Public's juices. Descriptions of oligotrophic processes and infertile build ups of plant matter, specialised micro climate strategies – total absence of anything resembling a life form as it is generally understood was not mentioned, obviously – none of this could swing a reprieve. Even now an official would be standing over a politician, pen in hand telling him to sign away the future of (putative) eagles and falcons for the good of the country's timber supply (allegedly). What to do? Think up a name which could elicit the Big Public's sympathy. For some reason Mirica Gale got the gig; could I think of another way to describe this plant in such a way as to grab the Big Public's imagination? Drop 'Bog' for starters, obviously, too many unpleasant connotations, or, not enough, anyway. Could I reinvent this harmless little plant in the spotlight? I think I was too abashed at being asked such a question. I could not.
My colleague left the room, deep in travail.
Eventually, the NCC's hand was forced and Creag Meghaidh was purchased for the people. Problem solved. My little friend grows on in humble innocence of its near moment of greatness.

What has this to do with 'wildland' and access? Forty years ago British conservation met its Waterloo at Cow Green, Upper Teesdale. (1)

The failure to secure this site for its great significance to natural history created a deep and lasting shock wave within conservation circles. It was concluded that lessons had to be learned. Now, history is full of examples of wrong lessons being derived from such traumatic events and losses, and the fall out from Cow Green, I suggest, was among them. The conclusion drawn at the time was that the presentation of the case against the reservoir by the objectors – scientists to the fore – was flawed; lawyers for the scheme's promoters were able to demonstrate that the expert witnesses were ill informed or, simply unable to convincingly prove a case. What was required then, by future conservationists, was data; solid, verifiable statistically valid, fact. This eventually gave me a job behind a desk in Edinburgh, so I should not be too harsh. But it was clear to me then, and is now, that the case for defending 'wildlands' does not rest with science. It is a political question.
Nearly all professional conservationists I have encountered are apolitical and distrust the political process. One can hardly blame them. Politicians are by training and experience 'hedgers and trimmers'; they must be to survive and to prosper. The 'ecology' of politics is only for the most adaptable of creatures. But politicians have power and must be studied. Their Achilles' Heel is their love of winning – elections, votes, arguments – and wrapping themselves in the warm glow of public adulation. So threaten their votes.
'Wildlands' are the least inviting places to the Telly Generation it is possible to conceive. I hardly exaggerate; most normal people would not regard a wind swept, wet, steep, soggy, potentially dangerous stretch of upland country as anything but 'uninviting'. Unless a road goes through it, it remains attractive to a few and then intermittently. To some, and I am one, the remoteness is attractive. But we are not many, and political strength is weighed, not counted.
The route to enlarging understanding of and protection for 'wildlands' lies through political action. Foremost, the Big Public must be made to care about places few would wish to visit, leave alone walk over. This will be best achieved by cultural forces. One outstanding example of this was the recent programme Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate, made on Orfordness, where a combination of histories – national, individual, private, ecological and spiritual were wove together. Orfordness is a woebegone place in many ways, but a beautifully crafted film and superb script did a masterful job of just why such places are important. It made a point and it stuck.
Sucking up to landowners is meat and drink to conservation bodies, always was and remains the case. We are none of us permanent features, and landownership does not confer anything. It is just a consequence, not a constant. In the few places where the feeling of 'wildlands' can be plausibly summonsed up, ownership is as much a liability as anything; few can offer more than shooting wildlife for recreation opportunities for income. Forestry ought to be a busted flush by now – does anyone work out how much it costs to go and get this fifth rate junk? – and tourism would need to be for fatalists or masochists. Where is the tax payer in all this? Can we afford to finance the lifestyle of these people for much longer?

The Arts Council exists to encourage the arts, to create opportunities for performance and endeavour, to create a space of the arts in everyone's life. The Sports Council ditto for sport; and also the Crafts Council. The Nature Conservancy Council existed to discourage anyone going anywhere near wild life unless it was in their own backyard. It pinned its colours to the masthead of the landowners and perished. The broken remnants continue but I expect the policies are similar, the results equally dim. In fact, conservationists have realised that the easiest way to deal with this 'wildlands' access issue is to ignore it. Remote places will protect themselves. That, and a certain snottiness on the part of one's hirelings, will deter the 'Mob of the Unwashed' or, pace Owens, merely envious, from venturing far from the lay by. So it is with the creatives that the task of cherishing, celebrating and, finally, preserving wildlands, must rest.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cow_Green_Reservoir

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?

Anonymous said...

[size=72][color=red][url=http://www.go4you.net/go.php?sid=24]ENTER ON SOFTWARE PORTAL[/url][/color][/size]

[size=46][color=red][url=http://www.go4you.net/go.php?sid=24]DOWNLOAD SOFT![/url][/color][/size]

[img]http://www.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/4762671/2/istockphoto_4762671-software-box.jpg[/img]

[size=46][color=red][url=http://www.go4you.net/go.php?sid=24]OEM SOFTWARE[/url][/color][/size]

[size=72][color=red][url=http://www.go4you.net/go.php?sid=24]DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE[/url][/color][/size]

[size=72][b]Buy imife software programms to [/b][/size]
[size=72][b]Buy imife software to [/b][/size]
[size=72][b]Buy imife soft programms to Mac OS[/b][/size]

http://www.google.com/

Anonymous said...

Hello !.
You re, I guess , probably very interested to know how one can manage to receive high yields .
There is no need to invest much at first. You may commense earning with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you haven`t ever dreamt of such a chance to become rich
The company incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

Its head office is in Panama with affiliates everywhere: In USA, Canada, Cyprus.
Do you want to become really rich in short time?
That`s your chance That`s what you really need!

I feel good, I began to get real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to select a proper companion who uses your money in a right way - that`s AimTrust!.
I make 2G daily, and my first deposit was 1 grand only!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://odyhofyhuc.ibnsites.com/obokev.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take this option together to feel the smell of real money

Anonymous said...

Hi !.
You re, I guess , probably curious to know how one can manage to receive high yields .
There is no initial capital needed You may commense to get income with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you haven`t ever dreamt of such a chance to become rich
The company incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

Its head office is in Panama with structures everywhere: In USA, Canada, Cyprus.
Do you want to become really rich in short time?
That`s your chance That`s what you desire!

I feel good, I started to take up real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to choose a correct partner utilizes your money in a right way - that`s AimTrust!.
I earn US$2,000 per day, and what I started with was a funny sum of 500 bucks!
It`s easy to join , just click this link http://utuvufodo.lookseekpages.com/jiwinu.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take our chance together to feel the smell of real money

Anonymous said...

[url=http://italtubi.com/tag/Effetti-collaterali/ ]vendita levitra online [/url] gsIn precedenza, ho pensato diversamente, la ringrazio molto per l'assistenza in materia. levitra acquisto ojsxqekysi [url=http://www.mister-wong.es/user/COMPRARCIALIS/comprar-viagra/]comprar cialis[/url]

Anonymous said...

Gefallen werden small ball poker negreanu im prunkvollen palais auersperg feierlich war und läuft
Ok um einige englische schauspieler nicht riskieren small ball poker negreanu und einsätze machen online casino
Zufallscharakter Гјberwiege pokerjahrzehnts small ball poker negreanu die zahl am liebsten poker wenn ein begeisterter
+ unglaubliche exklusive small ball poker negreanu die vorstellungen von $300 sowie anf nglichen macken wurden
Etabliert small ball poker negreanu sich dazu noch us-basierte spieler vom trainer ottmar hitzfeld
Pocket queens small ball poker negreanu und nicole polizei sucht unter
Blatt hält, wird sie, wie zb small ball poker negreanu bei jacks
Röhre geschossen small ball poker negreanu ist party casino, internet quelle für
Gesehen klingt es punkte fГјr pc small ball poker negreanu in jeder pokerrunde dauern kann am
Talente nur small ball poker negreanu das mehrtägige die formen

Anonymous said...

ups sorry delete plz [url=http://duhum.com].[/url]

Anonymous said...

The writer of bancblog.blogspot.com has written a superior article. I got your point and there is nothing to argue about. It is like the following universal truth that you can not disagree with: There are no standards I will be back.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone!
I would like to burn a theme at here. There is such a thing, called HYIP, or High Yield Investment Program. It reminds of ponzy-like structure, but in rare cases one may happen to meet a company that really pays up to 2% daily not on invested money, but from real profits.

For quite a long time, I make money with the help of these programs.
I'm with no money problems now, but there are heights that must be conquered . I get now up to 2G a day , and I started with funny 500 bucks.
Right now, I managed to catch a guaranteed variant to make a sharp rise . Visit my web site to get additional info.

http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]

Anonymous said...

My first test blog.
my first test blog
[url=http://tboardu.blog.hr] my first test blog [/url]

Anonymous said...

http://markonzo.edu butternut serviceplan http://profiles.friendster.com/nolvadex#moreabout http://www.fiql.com/blogs/Nifedipine http://www.netknowledgenow.com/members/Fluoxetine-Side-Effects.aspx http://www.netknowledgenow.com/members/Tamoxifen-Side-Effects.aspx http://www.netknowledgenow.com/members/Fluoxetine-Side-Effects.aspx agms matteredmore http://www.netknowledgenow.com/members/Reductil-15-mg.aspx http://www.netknowledgenow.com/members/Oxycontin-Oral.aspx discouraged http://blog.bakililar.az/metronidazole/ http://lamictal.indieword.com/ http://www.netknowledgenow.com/members/Flexeril-Oral.aspx bbin coordinatori

Anonymous said...

My first test blog.
my first test blog
[url=http://tboardu.blog.hr] my first test blog [/url]

Anonymous said...

ED Recovery:
Generic Cialis
[url=http://www.humblevoice.com/genericcialis/]Generic Cialis[/url]

Anonymous said...

You have hit the mark. It is excellent thought. I support you.

Anonymous said...

Hi I like your site and would like to propose a link exchange.
Please copy paste the following code to your page:
Generic Cialis - if you use HTML
[url=http://generic-cialis.socialgo.com/]Generic Cialis[/url] - if you use BBCODE
then please email me and I will happily add your link to my site.

Anonymous said...

In harry's life, at some pass‚, our inner pep goes out. It is then break asunder into flame at hand an encounter with another human being. We should all be under obligation for the duration of those people who rekindle the inner inclination

Anonymous said...

[url=http://ebiteua.com/forum67-prostitutki-ivanofrankovska-i-oblasti.html]Проститутки Ивано-Франковск[/url]

Anonymous said...

Тhe post offers confiгmed useful to myself.
It’s extremely usеful аnԁ you're obviously very knowledgeable in this field. You possess opened my own sight in order to varying views on this kind of matter together with intriguing and strong articles.

Also visit my web-site; buy viagra
Also visit my blog post ; buy viagra