Archive for the 'Moth trap' Category

07
Aug
17

Kelling Heath and the Chalk Reef

If you have visited North Norfolk to bird watch or you live locally you need to be aware of something. DONG Energy (a Danish Company) have given planning notice of an offshore windfarm development called the Hornsea Project Three.
 
In a nutshell the offshore 342 wind turbines, 19 or so offshore platforms,12 transformer substations and up to 3 accommodation platforms will be located 121km northeast of the Norfolk coast and 160km east of the Yorkshire coast. They will be connected to the shore by up to six undersea cables running in a south-westerly direction from the windfarm to the proposed landfall at Weybourne in North Norfolk via a possible booster station based out at sea. From here it is proposed the cables will be buried in up to 6 trenches, running in a south/south-westerly direction for approximately 55 km and will connect to the national grid between Swardeston and Stoke Holy Cross in South Norfolk. the development area will be up to 200m wide along it’s length.
 
The construction of booster stations along the route may also be required.
There will be construction of temporary haul roads and temporary access tracks, both alongside and separate from the cable route used for the purpose of enabling the underground works
Notice has been given of the required temporary stopping up, alteration or diversion of any street and the permanent and/or temporary compulsory acquisition of land.
A couple of maps are available here Hornsea Project Three_Onshore_Statutory_Consultation_Plan_July 2017 Hornsea Project Three_Project Overview_Phase 2_Statutory_Consultation_Pl.._ showing the seabed route which importantly bisects the offshore chalk reef and also the proposed alternative route across Kelling Heath.
 
Birds such as Dartford Warbler and Woodlark will probably be effected. Adders and butterflies such as Silver studded blue may also be effected. It’s up to you, me and the rest of us to object if we find these plans unacceptable. You have until 20th September to make representation to DONG Energy, by email to HornseaProjectThree@dongenergy.co.uk or by post to Hornsea Project Three offshore wind farm, DONG Energy, 5 Howick Place, London, SW1P 1WG.
I have been sent details in my capacity as an interested party using the county for wildlife tours for my comments.
 
My thoughts: The government has stated that by 2040 there will be a major move away from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric cars and are investing heavily in battery technology to make this happen. This is good. We have to move away from the use of fossil fuels to countermand global warming effects. Power supplies must be developed to enable this change. We have several choices; wind and wave electricity production are two of those choices. So love them or hate them windfarms are part of the resolution. However North Norfolk does not feel like the place development of this kind should take place. I feel we could use the area around Paston to land the cables thereby keeping the heavy industry within Norfolk contained in one place and make the transport of energy to the grid without cutting across an internationally important chalk reef and a nationally important heathland area.
30
Dec
16

That time of year again

The end of another year is almost upon us. Goodbye 2016 and hello 2017. Thinking back through the last twelve months there’s been so many good sightings; so many good times. It really has been a good year.

The Geese and Goosanders on the Solway Tour performed for us as did all the specialities on the April Scotland Tour. The Mull tour was spectacular; eagles, whales and more. Canada leaves Humpbacks breaching through my memories for many years to come. Scilly was a classic. Orchids, butterflies and Nightjars all played a part during the year. So many sightings, so many places.

If I was to choose one moment; one sighting above all others, it would have to be seeing Cuvier’s Beaked Whales in the bay of Biscay. Beautiful, enigmatic, specialised life forms that we can only peek at through tiny keyholes in time before they descend once more to the depths.

Happy New Year… have a good one.

cuviers-beaked-whale

 

24
Mar
16

A slug of chemical

Friend Bob and I were musing over the identity of a crop. We do this from time to time when we can’t identify what’s being grown. We show an interest in land use. It may not be our land but it’s our environment.

Bob asked the farmhand on the tractor. He was told it was a mulching crop. It was grown prior to the planting of Sugar Beet, spayed off to kill it and then the Sugar Beet was planted through it. This then apparently negated the need for the use of slug pellets! … WHAT?

I didn’t know slug pellets were used on an industrial scale… did you? I investigated and they sure are. I stopped using these things in the garden in the 1970’s when their threat to wildlife was highlighted.

It’s easy to subjectively attribute blame and say no bloody wonder the Hedgehog population has declined by 40% in the last 10 years and there has been a 70% decline on farmland of Song Thrushes between 1970 and 1995… but it does make you think … doesn’t it?

Problems do come from pumping chemicals into the environment; anyone that lived through the DDT era will know that. Even today I read that in the USA, in California the government are spraying Silver Iodide into the atmosphere to seed cloud formation and induce rain. Much needed rain within a drought stricken area; but at what cost?

The problem is when the environment is disrupted; when natures balance is affected, when things are done on an industrial scale for industrial sized human populations the solving of one problem quite often leads to another. We must try hard to work with nature and not against her.

Song Thrush

12
Mar
16

The Norfolk Wing – 2015/16

The latest edition of Norfolk Wing has now been published here

I hope you enjoy it.

The Norfolk Wing

 

 

10
Mar
16

New Website

Well! That was a bit of a week that was. Talk about getting to grips with software and messing about on the laptop. If the next time you see me I’ve got oblong eyes and look like Brains out of Thunderbirds you know why!

I think … he said cautiously … it’s now all done and dusted. The website is live. Just needs someone to have a gander at the spelling, but yes … Elvis has left the building!

Please take a look and tell me what you think.

www.wildlifetoursandeducation.co.uk

 

30
Dec
15

2016 here we come …

So I guess we will stumble into the new year tomorrow night and we’ll all be reflecting where we are and what we’ve achieved.

For me there have been several moments I would like to forget but there have been many more that I will remember. The tours to Solway, Scotland, Mull, Northumberland, Wales and the Scillies as well as the days here in Norfolk and trips to France and Spain were all good. Full of good birds and sightings of special wildlife. One single day however stands out above all others. Saturday 18th July 2015.

I was with Sharon being shaken like a cocktail in a Zodiac crossing some rough seas off the Azorean archipelago. Amid the eye stinging spray and the clenching grip that held us steady her stare met mine and mine met hers … ‘what the hell are we doing here’… was written on both our faces. It soon became apparent what took us there when a pod of Northern Bottlenose Whales broke the surface some 100 yards in front of us. They like us were fighting the boiling sea, but with much more ease. What an animal. The moment was so far from watching one on TV stranding in the Thames nine and a half years earlier. These whales were free, unbridled and in their element… and so were we. After all the planning and anticipation seeing these animals meant so much. I will never forget the moment.

So what of 2016. Lots planned. Already the diary is bulging with tours. Another journey across Biscay is on the cards as is a trip to Grand Manan Island off Canada – Northern Atlantic Right Whales are on the agenda. Roll on 2016.

Northern Bottlenose Whales

14
Dec
15

A growing fear

Sometimes I feel lost … helpless … inadequate. As though I’m faced with a blinding inevitability.

The Word Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is advertising on TV at the moment. Underneath their strap line of ‘What we need is you’ it states that 50% of the world’s wildlife has been lost since 1970.

READ THAT LINE AGAIN.

Their website adverts state one in six species is at threat of extinction due to climate change. One in six for Christ’s sake.

The Butterfly Conservation (BC) states that on UK farmland butterflies have decreased by 58% over the last decade. Pesticides appear to be the problem; specifically, neonicotinoids are being pointed at!

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) UK breeding bird survey shows a decrease of 46% over the last 20 years. Some areas of the UK show a larger percentage. European numbers of Curlew have declined by 20% in the last 15 years.

There’s a small porpoise in the sea of Cortez off Mexico called a Vaquita. Due to them being caught in fishermen’s nets as they compete for fish there are now less than 100 left.

The extinction date of the Polar Bear varies depending on who you listen to. Many set a date at 2055 as they run out of summer hunting grounds on melting sea ice,

Do you want me to go on? … because I can … endlessly.

If you have young children or grandchildren chances are they won’t see a Vaquita, a Polar Bear or maybe even a Curlew.

For F***s sake what else do we all need to know and how many times do the people that matter need to be told? These things are the canaries in the mine … WAKE UP … and smell the gas! The planets dying and we’re not immune. We will die with it.

Unbridled human populations, the rape of the earth’s natural resources, synthetics compound production, the burning of fossil fuels, the use of insecticides but above all the oblivious blind nature of us all, is leading us like the fool before the abyss. It appears that who wins Strictly Come Dancing is ‘more important’ than the well-being of the planet. And those of us that do care are led into thinking that our tiny little energy saving bulbs and separating our rubbish into two or three different coloured bins will save us. The things we are currently doing make little difference. It’s like pissing in the sea and saying it’s deeper.

Even world governments cant agree on anything sensible when they get together to talk about climate change. The political will to make meaningful change is just not there. It never will be, because we vote the decision makers in and ‘we’ would never vote for the draconian changes that are now required. We are a selfish species.

God help the earth and all that lives on her. God help us.

I think I need cheering up!

… sorry for the bad language, but I feel passionately that governments should be listening and doing something. Frustration creeping in.

Curlew

 




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