Blanket Bog 1: Walshaw Moor Estate 0. Stone and timber access tracks won’t be built

The Walshaw Moor Estate proposed new stone and timber track across protected blanket bog will not go ahead, thanks to the efforts of local residents who objected to the planning application, Mark Avery’s legal challenge to Natural England, and Natural England’s resulting withdrawal of support for the track.

On 19th March this year, Walshaw Moor Estate emailed Calderdale Council Planning Services to withdraw their APPLICATION 18/00237/FUL. Continue reading

No-burn management of Geltsdale blanket bog and heath is restoring habitats and wildlife

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Grouse moor owners and their allies claim heather burning on peatland is necessary for habitat restoration and reduction of wildfire risk.

The RSPB’s management of Geltsdale reserve in Cumbria shows that this is not the case. Continue reading

Calderdale Council continues glyphosate use despite US court rulings on cancer link

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A US court has recently ordered the manufacturer of the bestselling weedkiller brand, Roundup, to pay one user $80m (£61m) in damages after he developed cancer.  This is the second such ruling from a US court.

Now Councils across England are reviewing their use of Roundup  (the brand name for glyphosate).

Hebden Royd Town Council decided a few years ago not to use glyphosate on any of its projects, according to the Clerk, Jason Boom.

But Calder Ward Cllr Dave Young says that Calderdale Council is continuing to use gylophosate, although they are reducing the amount year on year. Continue reading

Ban the Burn, Treesponsibility and others call on Gove to ban burning of upland peatlands in England

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Ban the Burn and Treesponsibility are among a group of charities, academics and local campaigners with a track record of working on peatland conservation, which has today written to Michael Gove urging him to implement a complete ban on the practice of burning on upland peatland habitats.

A ban is vital in order to protect carbon stores, wildlife, habitats and communities.

We have seen plenty of evidence of continued burning on protected peatland this year, despite the government’s introduction of a voluntary ban on burning.

The lack of compliance with the voluntary ban on burning is likely to worsen, thanks to Natural England’s recent ‘restoration burning’ position statement. Continue reading

Calderdale Council’s RE:FIT scheme cuts costs and carbon emissions of some of its energy- guzzling buildings

In 2017 and 2018 Calderdale Council took steps to cut carbon emissions from its buildings, through Phases 1 and 2 of its “Re:FIT” programme to reduce energy use and costs in some of its most energy-guzzling buildings. Continue reading

Natural England objects to Walshaw Moor Estate’s proposed permanent track- finally!

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Thanks to legal action by Mark Avery, and more than 100 people who objected to Walshaw Moor Estate’s planning application, Natural England has produced a new Habitats Regulations Assessment of the Walshaw Moor Estate’s proposed track across blanket bog. 

On the basis of this new Habitats Regulations Assessment – which concludes that the track would cause permanent loss and damage to protected habitat, as well as negatively affecting protected birds –  Natural England have written to Calderdale and Pendle local planning authorities objecting to the proposal to build a track across Walshaw Moor.

Despite the Estate’s claims that the proposed track was to enable fire engines to quickly reach the site of possible fires, it is intended for the convenience of grouse shooters.

You can read more about this on Mark Avery’s blog here.

Now it’s up to Calderdale and Pendle Councils’ planning committees to say no to Walshaw Moor Estate’s planning application. Continue reading

Say No to “Austerity” Bollox

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The People’s Assembly against Austerity has circulated a short video (4.5 mins) showing some highlights of last Saturday’s demo calling for a general election.

The demo was quite widely reported. Even the BBC, which usually ignores anti-austerity protests, covered it,  including an interview with Bristol People’s Assembly activist Jack Hazeldine.

BBC VIDEO. BBC news online article

The march and rally came after trade union leaders and celebrities, including director Ken Loach, signed an an open letter urging the public to

“stand up, resist and demand they (the government) step aside”.

You can read the open letter HERE.

The real yellow vests Continue reading

23rd Jan Halifax Affordable Warmth drop in – advice on heating and insulation schemes and cheaper energy suppliers

On Wednesday 23 January at Better Lives, 42 Market Street in Halifax town centre (opposite Tesco Metro), between 10am and 12.30pm, Calderdale Council and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau are holding an “affordable warmth” drop-in event.

This is so people can see what they could save on their heating bills and find out more about Better Homes Yorkshire “affordable warmth” heating and insulation schemes for residents on low incomes who own or privately rent their own homes.

Calderdale Council and Better Homes Yorkshire are offering 500 households fully funded insulation for attic bedrooms and lofts.  Typically, the homes that will be treated are stone-built, terraced properties. Continue reading

4th Dec Goole Demo at Planning Inspectorate Hearing for Drax switch from coal to gas

The Planning Inspectorate is examining Drax Power Station plans to replace its two remaining coal-fired units with a much larger power station (3.6GW) burning fossil (natural) gas.  This will, if granted, allow Drax to secure its position as the UK’s biggest fossil fuel burner for decades to come!

The Planning Inspectorate held a  preliminary hearing for this in October and the next hearing will be in Goole on 4th December.

Biofuelwatch intend to hold a short and respectful banner protest outside this hearing, starting at 1.30pm as people are going in to the hearing and finishing at 2pm so they can go in and listen to the hearing too.

The Goole demo will be a good opportunity to let the Planning Inspectorate know (again) that there is widespread opposition to Drax’s proposal on the grounds of climate change. Continue reading

Posted from here.