/ NEWS: Election 2019 - What Do Party Promises Mean for the Outdoors?

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
UKC/UKH News 03 Dec 2019
Whoever gets in, we can expect more tradeoffs between landscape amenity and renewable energy With a General Election in the offing, we trawl through the manifestos to look at what the main parties are offering from our niche perspective of the outdoors.

Read more
Report
john arran 03 Dec 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Is what I'm reading into this confirmation bias, or simply confirmation?

Report
Coel Hellier 03 Dec 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

> ... it's worth noting that Greenpeace have analysed the manifestos and other relevant commitments ...

Though one should not necessarily take Greenpeace's word for it -- they are very much a group with their own ideological agenda and biases.

Just one example is their opposition to Golden Rice (e.g. https://quillette.com/2019/12/01/gm-crops-like-golden-rice-will-save-the-lives-of-hundreds-of-thousands-of-children/ ).

Report
Stone Muppet 03 Dec 2019

The issue of criminalizing trespass is of additional concern to most of us who ride mountain bikes, given the outdated and unfit-for-purpose public right of way network. It could mean for example that if you ride on a footpath* by mistake, without causing any damage, and even comply with a landowner's request to leave if asked, you could still end up with a criminal record.

*in England. Hopefully Wales will legislate for riding on footpaths soon.

Post edited at 12:43
Report
sheelba 03 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

A bit of both. The Tories are probably the worse party on the environment in terms of their stated policies however the comments are presumably making no attempt at balance. For example the common agricultural policy has been a total disaster for farmland birds in this country and removing it and replacing it with something better could be hugely beneficial to our wildlife.     

I voted remain but I think that there is little question that Brexit gives us the opportunity (whether or not it will be taken is another matter) to improve our farming and fisheries policies to be much much more environmentally sustainable 

Post edited at 13:08
Report
Simon Caldwell 03 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Just one example is their opposition to Golden Rice

another is their opposition to nuclear power, even when the alternative is to increase the use of fossil fuels.

Report
In reply to sheelba:

That's a good point. We just genuinely didn't think of it - not an intentional omission to make anyone in particular look bad. I've amended the bit about the CAP

Report
Ewan Russell 03 Dec 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Just thought I would comment for those from Wales. I have written to my plaid AM about access on rivers and also for support for a disused railway to become a cycleway. On both counts he has taken the opposite opinion. I often find that plaid makes a lot of noise about being in favour of outdoor tourism but then takes the side of the landowner rather than those wanting access on most local issues.

Apparently one of the most proactive AMs for the water of Wales campagin was one from UKIP who I believe is now Brexit party. Not that I think their envrionmental promises looks that promising!

Report
Coel Hellier 03 Dec 2019
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

> another is their opposition to nuclear power,

Agreed.  If we were actually serious about climate change then we'd be building a batch of 30 new nuclear reactors on a timescale of 5 years. 

Report
john arran 03 Dec 2019
In reply to sheelba:

> I voted remain but I think that there is little question that Brexit gives us the opportunity (whether or not it will be taken is another matter) to improve our farming and fisheries policies to be much much more environmentally sustainable 

I hear what you're saying, but what got us into this whole mess in the first place was fantasy handwaving about how much better things could be, with the main protagonists very much aware that the ensuing reality inevitably would show few if any of the promised sunny uplands.

Does anybody here seriously think that a Johnson majority government will be beneficial to anyone or anything except Johnson and assorted cronies? The whole reason he's fighting such a negative, anti-Corbyn campaign is because the government's own analyses are for a post-Brexit financial wasteland and his party is spectacularly short on policies to cope with that.

Report
Frank R. 03 Dec 2019
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Just a small editing nitpick - the headline for SNP is unreadable with UKC in Night Mode (white text on bright yellow background) - while the party colours are nice, does not always work the best (and the last party would be better suited by an uglier colour, but that's a wholly different matter  )

Making the comments (or quotations) a slightly different shade would help readability a bit more as well.

Thanks!

Report
Frank R. 03 Dec 2019
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

As for the Greenpeace and nuclear, well, people can read their scoring methodology online in more detail, and make up their minds themselves.

https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/climate-debate-party-manifestos-climate-change-nature-2/ ("methodology" at the end)

From my quick perusal, it does not seem that so much weight was given to nuclear. Green party got 10/10 in Energy, Homes and Transport, Labour (the only one with nuclear mentioned in their manifesto) scored 7/10. Out of 40 total in all four areas. Does not seem much skewed by Greenpeace's stance on nuclear power to me - it seems only around -1 point (or even less) was "awarded" for pro-nuclear stance.

To me, "nuclear or not" is for a different debate, not just to dismiss a generalised scoring of parties by their manifestos outright (especially on a point that everybody knows about Greenpeace and since their table is only mentioned in the UKC article as a 3rd party graphic and not used in the text) - the rest of their points are interesting as well. In the end, any such scoring is going to be somewhat subjective, at least you can read their reasoning in more detail on their website. The comments in the UKC article are somewhat subjective as well - although from a PoV I heartily endorse!

Post edited at 18:23
Report
Le Sapeur 03 Dec 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Are any of the parties offering to control or reduce the number of mountain tracks/roads that have been dug into the hills in Scotland recently? 

Report
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Andy Wightman and the Greens have been vocal in trying to bring tracks under planning control. I believe Labour and the Lib Dems voted with them too when this last came up in Holyrood.

SNP and Conservative MSPs didn't support the idea, and they carried the day

Report
pasbury 03 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Agreed.  If we were actually serious about climate change then we'd be building a batch of 30 new nuclear reactors on a timescale of 5 years. 

Hard to convey sarcasm isn’t it?

Report
pasbury 03 Dec 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Land reform really goes to the heart of it; https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/04/tackle-inequality-land-ownership-laws

Yes it’s Monbiot for the haters (one of the authors of the report which is linked to in the article - read it, it’s really inspiring) but this is a defining issue for our old fashioned country.

Post edited at 23:46
Report
tom_in_edinburgh 04 Dec 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

"Are these Tory trees new trees, or existing ones that would otherwise have left the profession?"

Best line yet in a UKC article.

Report
Offwidth 04 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

It's quite sad to see a Physics Prof so stuck in the past. The next generation of nuclear power stations likely to be commissioned in the UK look less viable from an economics viewpoint by the year, let alone all their other potential problems (and the dubious costings attached ... especially with what to do with the waste). I'm pro nuclear in general but not for the current proposed new UK solutions and their price level. One or two new stations provide green base capacity at high cost but 30 times very expensive becomes plain stupid. In contrast, the price of other green energy, in particular in terms of wind and solar, keep dropping and with the sort of applications demonstrated on Orkney (catalytic hydrogen production from spare grid capacity), maybe the greens were more sensible than some thought.

Report
Coel Hellier 04 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Hard to convey sarcasm isn’t it?

It was not sarcasm.  The rate at which we (globally) are adding CO2 to the atmosphere is the highest it has ever been.   There is no way of stopping us hitting "tipping points" without drastic action, and with current technology that means a massive investment in new nuclear power stations as part of the solution. 

Of course you can kid yourself it's just a matter of taxing a few billionaires if it makes you feel happier. 

Report
Coel Hellier 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> It's quite sad to see a Physics Prof so stuck in the past.

Why don't you put your name to your insults Steve?  It's a bit cowardly not to, isn't it?

Report
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

It concerns me when they talk about planting trees without stating where they plan to plant them. I am all in favour of planting mixed woodland but I read far too many reports and see far too many tweets talking about planting them on grouse moors that form part of our blanket peat bog. In order for mixed woodland to grow in such places will result in drainage of the bog and destruction of the peat which would be an ecological disaster on par with the destruction of the rain forests. I am not a lover of grouse shooting but these areas need to be managed as upland bog. I would be in favour of turning these spaces into nature reserves such as Whitelee Moor National Nature Reserve but not for planting trees. In addition we need to continue our upland meadow projects too. The other issue is that planting trees and building houses on arable land will increase our food miles. However, there will be areas where planting trees would be a very good thing, not just planting new mixed woodland forests but also planting trees along roadsides, field boundaries, and in urban areas.  

Report
In reply to sheelba:

The EU pay for upland wildlife projects such as the upland meadow project. They also pay farmers to set land aside for wildlife. In addition wetland areas that are used for birds are also sponsored by the EU.

Report
summo 16:48 Sun
In reply to Northern Wayfarer:

Ecological disaster ending grouse moors? They are a near monoculture burnt every few years in rotation. Drainage, the owners are the ones currently causing the drainage. A forested hill side slows the water down, which will be a bonus for all those living in the valley bottom currently prone to flooding. 

Can you link anything credible to show any ecological diversity that you claim would be ruined? I'd expect in even a moderately diverse area at least a 1000 species per grid square. 

Report
In reply to summo:

A peat bog slows water down more efficiently than a forested hill and stores more carbon.

Can you show me anywhere in the UK that has 1,000 species per grid square?   A lot of it depends on which grouse moor. The ones in the north pennines AONB have a diverse range of grasses and mosses, heather (obviously), bilberries, and cloud berries. A wide variety of insect life, small mammals, and a variety of ground nesting birds - more than just grouse. On the edges of the moors are a variety of trees, wild raspberries, meadow flowers, and red squirrels.  https://www.northpennines.org.uk/ 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rMYmOq513c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwSFka9Pc8Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeMvMl1FoYw (this one is during that long drought we had)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-p4cKJPYwc

Not to mention that we are talking about the bog land here... I am not defending grouse shooting, I am defending the need to protect the heathland, the need to protect peat bogs. We need more nature reserves like these:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXuWoRlIO7Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QU3vJCyirE

http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/80014
https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate-change/why-peat-good-climate-and-nature-guide

Report
summo 18:32 Sun
In reply to Northern Wayfarer:

> A peat bog slows water down more efficiently than a forested hill and stores more carbon.

Stores more carbon than trees, really? Plus if you plant you aren't removing the peat, the carbon is still trapped. 

> Can you show me anywhere in the UK that has 1,000 species per grid square? 

There are thousands of them. 

Edit. I suspect many people's back garden would have a higher species count than many moors. 

>  A lot of it depends on which grouse moor. The ones in the north pennines AONB have a diverse range of grasses and mosses, heather (obviously), bilberries, and cloud berries. A wide variety of insect life, small mammals, and a variety of ground nesting birds - more than just grouse. On the edges of the moors are a variety of trees, wild raspberries, meadow flowers, and red squirrels.

There is nothing unique, especially diverse or threatened in that list. 

Being designated an aonb isn't an indicator that it's good for the environment, only that folk who don't know better think it's some how a natural and attractive environment. If you think bleak and barren attractive then I guess it fits the bill. 

> Not to mention that we are talking about the bog land here... I am not defending grouse shooting, I am defending the need to protect the heathland, the need to protect peat bogs. 

They are only peat bogs in the first place because all the trees were cut down and it's been over grazed ever since.

Peat is a carbon trap, that's it's only saving grace, but the environment itself of rotationally burnt moors are ecological disaster zones. Trees will trap more carbon, provide a far better diverse habitat and more future employment. There is no negative side. 

Post edited at 18:36
Report
mrphilipoldham 19:49 Sun
In reply to Stone Muppet:

How do you mistakenly ride on a footpath? Surely like all good mountain goers, you should be carrying a map? Tongue is slightly in cheek here, however whilst living in Cumbria on a rural small holding I had a run in with some MTB'ers who came down our private, mostly tarmacced road which also happened to be dedicated a footpath. Sent them packing back up it after showing them on my map that there was no way out of there as only footpaths left the property. They were still adamant that they wanted to ride on the barely walkable paths... 

Report
mrphilipoldham 19:50 Sun
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Planet Earth needs to be building the equivalent of one nuclear power station (circa 1500 wind turbines) a day for the next 11,000 to meet the 2030 carbon zero deadline. That's without hooking up the poorest billion folk, or considering mass take up of electric vehicles, in which case it's double that. 

Post edited at 19:51
Report
In reply to summo:

So you obviously didn't read any of the links (not the videos showing peat bog on grouse moors). So why ask for links if you choose to ignore them. 

Peatlands cover just 3% of the world's surface but hold nearly 30% of the soil carbon.  The UK has 13% of the world's blanket bog. There are only a small handful of tree species that can grow in a peat bog and they can contribute to the destruction of the bog. In order to plant a variety of trees on peat bogs you would have to drain the bog and remove the acidity from the soil which destroys the peat. Peat is the biggest store of carbon in the UK. 70% of UK drinking water comes from upland areas dominated by peatlands.

Peatlands are home to rare birds such as the curlew and hen harrier, rare small mammals such as the water vole, adders, frogs and toads, rare insects such as the Hawarth's Minor moth, and rare plants. See section 2 of this document: https://www.iucn-uk-peatlandprogramme.org/sites/default/files/Review%20Peatland%20Biodiversity%2C%20June%202011%20Final_1.pdf

Many peat bogs were formed after the ice age... many began as hollows in the ground that have filled over time... such as the summit of Cheviot was once a hollow volcano. The north pennines AONB isn't just AONB status... much of it is all SSSI status too.

We are not talking about protecting grouse shooting... we are talking about protecting upland bogs from people like yourself who would see them destroyed to plant trees. Poorly educated people who think that trees trap more carbon than peat and who think that trees absorb more rain water than a peat bog. Do yourself a favour and read some of the links I put in. You don't have to watch the videos... they are just there to prove that there is bog land on grouse moors. As I said, this isn't about protecting grouse shooting, I would gladly see the grouse moors turned over to nature reserves and for blanket and raised bog restoration projects. I might grumble a bit when crossing a bog, but in all honesty, I do enjoy it. There is so much to see if you bother to open your eyes and pay attention to your surroundings.

Report
In reply to summo:

Impact of planting trees on bogs

•The bog surface is drained to lower the water table, drying out the surrounding peat.

•As conifers become established, the dense canopy closes and shades out bog plants.

•The roots penetrate the peat, which gradually dries out,shrinks and oxidises.

•This leads to a significant loss of carbon to the atmosphere and water courses, which threatens the massive carbon store in the remaining peat.

•Carbon losses have a negative impact on water quality and national efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

•The drainage system increases the speed of flow to streams and causes increased flood peaks.

•Planting trees close to neighbouring bogs dries them out too.

•Birds like golden plovers, dunlins and red grouse seriously decline within at least 800 metres of forest edges.

Source: RSPB

Report
summo 05:52 Mon
In reply to Northern Wayfarer:

Many uplands are acidic already(Dartmoor for example), decaying granite and ryholite causes it. Vegetation is irrelevant, although the branches of harvested spruce will cause it, but the solution is obviously plant something else. 

Where did I say plant conifers and I didn't say how densely to plant trees either. It's a question of the right species at the right place, considering clearing, water courses, margins, wind blown prone aspects and so on. 

I give up. You've been brainwashed into thinking blank moorland is precious because two or three species. 

Report
In reply to summo:

It is precious because of a number of rare endangered species, it is precious because it is the country's largest carbon sink and globally they cover just 3% of the world's surface but hold nearly 30% of the soil carbon. They trap water that helps prevent flooding and they provide 70% of the country's drinking water.

I am glad you are giving up because you are tiring my patience.

Report
summo 09:08 Mon
In reply to Northern Wayfarer:

> It is precious because of a number of rare endangered species

Listed those that are highest up the endangered list.

> , it is precious because it is the country's largest carbon sink

Is that because there are no trees?

> they provide 70% of the country's drinking water.

I think that comes as rain. They don't produce it.

I think in part you are merging together bogs that are almost pond like (relatively small in area) with open moorland that is vast swathes of all UK uplands. 

If the land you are talking about traps so much moisture it would be impossible for it catch fire nearly ever year. 

Report
sheelba 19:45 Mon
In reply to Northern Wayfarer:

No doubt. I don’t know the budget for these projects but I doubt it runs into the thousands of millions of Euros spent on the CAP. 

Report

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.