Dartmoor Preservation Association
Friends of Dartmoor
A celebration of wildflower meadows in Scoriton Village Hall with renowned ecologist, George Peterken, author of the definitive guide
Wildflower meadows - bees love them, butterflies love them, people love them. Nothing sums up summer like the experience of walking through a species-rich meadow, carpeted with flowers and alive with insects.
Yet across the country, wildflower meadows have all but disappeared – 98 per cent of them have gone since the Second World War and Dartmoor is no different. Fortunately, there are still some wonderful survivors.
If you have a meadow or pasture you would like to restore to a flowering meadow, or if you simply wish to create wild areas in your garden – gardens and orchards can be wildflower meadows too - then come to Scoriton Village Hall on the evening of April 10 to discover more.
Notices showing the main features of Hawns and Dendles and High House Waste are now in place .....
Hawns and Dendles is owned by Dartmoor National Park Authority with Dartmoor Preservation Association undertaking conservation work there. The DPA own High House Waste where it practices exemplary management principles as a good landowner. The adjacent wood, Dendles, is owned by Natural England.
Charities across the UK are today joining forces to campaign for the protection and enhancement of our treasured landscapes.
Encompassing 27 national and regional organisations, including the Campaign to Protect Rural England, National Trust, British Mountaineering Council and Wilderness Foundation, the coalition is believed to be the largest ever to be formed on this issue.
Ahead of May’s general election, the coalition aims to raise the profile of landscape and to emphasise the importance of landscapes to our wellbeing, environment and economy.
With ongoing speculative development in and around sensitive areas, such as National Parks and AONBs, the varied group of organisations believes that it is vital for future government policy and funding to reflect the extraordinary value of landscapes.
The Landscapes for Everyone vision is supported in parliament today by Natural Environment Minister Lord de Mauley, Shadow Minister for Natural Environment Barry Gardiner MP, and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environmental Affairs Baroness Parminter. The vision calls for better landscapes for people, better planning for landscape and better places for nature.
CLICK HERE to read the Landscapes for Everyone leaflet.
Earlier this year the Government consulted on introducing changes to Section 106 planning agreements, proposing a threshold of ten units, below which planning authorities would not be able to require that developments contained an "affordable" component. As most housing developments in the National Parks tend to be small infill sites, the imposition of a threshold would seriously jeopardise the provision of sustainable affordable housing to meet local needs.
Over the last week, this issue has received a lot of attention. First, England's ten National parks wrote a joint letter to Communities Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, asking the Government to exempt National Parks from the proposed Section 106 changes.
On the same day, Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes, raised the issue in a House of Commons debate, asking the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for CLG whether he was aware that introducing a threshold "could halve the ability of the authority for the national park that I represent, Dartmoor, to deliver affordable housing, including social housing?" In response, Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West stated: "Yes, I and my ministerial colleagues certainly are aware of the special concerns about providing affordable homes in national parks. That is why, in the consultation, we have proposed a different threshold for national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty from that for urban areas." In reality, of course, any threshold would undermine the provision of affordable housing in the National Parks.
The issue was raised again when Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning attended the Council meeting of the Campaign for National Parks on 13th November. After talking to the Council about the importance of the National Parks, he took a number of questions, including one on the proposed Section 106 threshold. In replying, Mr. Lewis confirmed that he understood the issue, was still considering it and intended to respond before Christmas.