High on the agenda are measures to mitigate climate change, encourage the planting of new trees and hedges, and create better drainage schemes to reduce flood risk. They are intent upon putting landscapes first ensuring it is a priority to be conserved and enhanced.
The importance of protecting nature and the ‘ecosystem’ services it give us, such as clean water, food and space to breath, is significant as they must recognise that farmers are their key allies.
It raises the importance of the natural environment, clean water and air which is exactly what farmers within and around the SDNP have been doing for centuries.
The Plan also highlights the benefit of dark night skies and the tranquillity provided by the land within the National Park, 85% of which is owned and managed by farmers. A night time curfew on noisy bikers who disturb hardworking farmers and livestock, throughout the night as they hurtle along the South Down Way, would be a good starting point.
There is a focus on the conservation of ‘green corridors’ which link up habitats and support wildlife, as well as promoting the planting of new trees and hedges.
This is music to my ears. Having failed to date, to persuade the officers of the SDNP how essential it is that we defend land and amenities which border the A23 from light and noise pollution from vehicles, as well as the contamination of the land from the run off from the thousands of vehicles which travel past every day, it would appear they have at last realised the vital role farmers play in protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink and the noise levels we are forced to tolerate.
So far our applications have fallen on deaf ears, but this Local Plan is a game changer. The intention is to protect the local environment, wildlife, growing crops, residents, and occupiers of the business park, and improve the experience of the public who travel along the bridle path.
We will create a beautiful wildlife bank planted with native trees and wild flowers, mirroring the gentle curves of the Downs, alongside the A23. It will replace the grubby and sparse black thorn thicket sitting in stagnant and polluted water, and will do all of the above, but has so far been turned down but is now encompassed by the SDNP’s adopted Plan.
Having been frustrated by the negativity shown towards our proposal to enhance the landscape, I am now encouraged to see that progress can be made. I look forward to getting on with the job with the full support of the Park authorities.
There is a distinct lack of outrage from the public, and deafening silence from animal rights and vegan activists in particular, regarding the unlawful and barbaric slaughter and butchering of sheep as they graze peacefully in open fields, being committed by brutal thugs and criminals across the countryside.
The latest case in Northamptonshire where Phil Neal who owns Park End Farming with his partner Katie Payne, discovered the gruesome remains including heads and skins, of fifteen of their best Texel sheep, strewn across the field.
Clearly incidents like these are well organised by people who know exactly what they are doing; the sheep are obviously slaughtered to order.
Why is there not outrage from vegans, and animal rights activists who continuously target legitimate and licensed slaughter houses where livestock are treated humanely?
They should turn their attention to these incidents, along with the misplaced legal, but barbaric slaughter of sheep without stunning for religious reasons, taking place in both abattoir’s, and back gardens in our inner cities. They should do something useful for a change.