Land, Ecology & Development

The latest land, ecology and development news, analysis, best practice, data and insight, covering planning and land use, biodiversity, contaminated land, environmental assessment, protected areas and transport

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Biodiversity / conservation

Will Natural England’s new wildlife licensing scheme work with other animals?

Will Natural England’s new wildlife licensing  scheme work with other animals?

Natural England plans to roll out its district licensing scheme for great crested newts to other species such as bats, but not everyone believes it can it work. James Fair reports

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Renewable energy

34-turbine offshore wind farm blocked over risk to marine navigation

Plans for a 34-turbine extension to a wind farm off the Kent coast have been refused planning permission by business secretary Alok Sharma, who concluded that developer Vattenfall’s proposals would pose an unacceptable risk to marine navigation


Covid-19 guidance tracker: live table

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Land, Ecology & Development

Natural England names four new board members

A financier, a media executive, a natural capital consultant and a former DEFRA director-general have been appointed to join Natural England’s board of directors, the nature regulator announced yesterday

Land, Ecology & Development

DEFRA: Farmers ‘embrace’ payments by results pilot

A government trial in which landowners receive money for boosting wildlife has been 'embraced' by farmers, according to DEFRA

Renewable energy

Two offshore wind farms remain stuck in planning limbo

Planning decisions on two huge offshore wind farms off the coast of England remain on hold after the government announced a further one-month extension to the deadline for the secretary of state to make decisions on the projects


Land, Ecology & Development

Why Natural England’s net gain calculator may struggle to accurately value nature

Why Natural England’s net gain calculator may struggle to accurately value nature

The flaws in the biodiversity net gain calculator have all been corrected, says Natural England, but will its official launch later this year satisfy everyone? James Agyepong-Parsons reports

Biodiversity / conservation

Map: The great Covid-19 animal takeover

UPDATED: As Covid-19 lockdown measures have forced people to retreat from streets across the globe, animals have moved into the void, with images of brawling monkeys, marauding alligators and aggressive wild boars shared widely on social media. Our interactive map charts the phenomenon

Land, Ecology & Development

Covid-19: The 5 key questions to ask when considering ecology survey work

COMMENT: There’s no magic formula to deciding whether field-based activities should take place during the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead consultancies must take tough decisions about what outdoor work should continue without putting their own staff and others at risk, says Ben Kite

Biodiversity / conservation

Covid-19: The pandemic's threat to environmental progress

‘Malicious’ wildlife crime is on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic as green groups’ incomes crash and regulators stay at home, leaving nature vulnerable and huge numbers of environmental programmes undelivered. Rachel Salvidge reports

Land, Ecology & Development

How coronavirus is affecting the environmental consultancy market

Accreditation and permit work is steady but some sector-based work is drying up and consultancies are having to devise digital workarounds to undertake compliance checks. Adam Branson talks to consultants about operations under lockdown

Water quality

Pump and dump: Could the Covid-19 pandemic create more pollution?

A glut of milk caused by the closure of cafes and restaurants during lockdown is forcing farmers to find ways to discard it. But being 350 times more damaging to rivers than human sewage, is it being disposed of carefully? James Fair reports

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