The end of the Natural England website

Way back in 1995, when Naturenet began  – yes fact fans, that was nearly twenty years ago – there were very few official government websites about anything – certainly not conservation and countryside. Naturenet blazed a trail that made it one of the biggest and most popular conservation websites in the UK. This wasn’t actually […]

Isle of Wight Natural Area profile: what it is and why you should read it

The government’s advisor on the natural environment, Natural England, has just published the long-awaited Natural Character Area profile for the Isle of Wight.Sounds dull? It isn’t. NCA profiles are being compiled for the whole of England, and each one is an in-depth analysis of the landscape, wildlife and human activity within one of England’s 159 […]

Should we pay £375,000 to poke buzzards out of their nests?

Something’s gone badly wrong at the Greenest Government Ever. To say I’ve been profoundly disappointed at the environmental performance of the Coalition – in comparison to its glowing promises – is only the start of it. But at least, up until now, it has only been the traditional environmentalist’s bogeyman the Chancellor of the Exchequer who has been the boo-hiss […]

Government websites: Natural England disputes DEFRA’s announcement

In a previous post (Government pro-chips website batters National Parks, Naturenet 30 June 2010) I pointed out the list of government websites controlled by DEFRA which are to close, which was announced via a parliamentary question from Tom Watson MP. Now it appears that there’s some internal government dispute about this, with somebody from within […]

Natural England: former EN website was hacked

Naturenet reported on 7 April about the problems with the former English Nature website. A fortnight later and it’s still broken – so what’s the story? Chris Moos, Natural England’s Online Communications Manager spoke exclusively to The Virtual Ranger about the problem. Chris explained: The reason that the site has been taken down is that […]

Natural England website spurns former English Nature data

Oh dear – a bit of a cock-up on the technical front over at Natural England. All former English Nature web pages now look like this Their predecessor authority, English Nature, had such a formidable array of data on its website that NE have yet to get around to assimilating it all onto their own. […]

Coastal right of access – what’s all this about ‘spreading room’?

It’s been a couple of months now since Natural England announced the proposals to create a new right of access to the coast of England, similar to that which already exists in Scotland. Secretary of State for the Environment, David Miliband has waded in and made it very clear indeed what he wants to happen. […]

Natural England to recommend right of access to England’s coast… and pay for it?

It seems remarkable, but just a short while after the end of the seemingly interminable hurly-burly of creating the open access land facilitated by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, Natural England are sticking their heads well and truly above the parapet and recommending that the government …provide Natural England with the powers […]

Natural England… reading the runes

Today The Ranger attended a seminar across the water in Winchester, to talk about the biodiversity of Hampshire. Of particular interest were some of the obiter remarks by Merrick Denton-Thompson, former Hampshire County Council countryside planning supremo and a recently-appointed member of the Natural England board. Mmm, nice logo Merrick prudently prefaced his presentation with […]