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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saving our Landscape ?

This week has seen a few interesting developments...
On Monday, Bill Bryson became the new president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
He gave a speech which was reported in the Guardian and can now be read on the CPRE's website.
Bill Bryson's speech

This had a lot of useful Geography in it: particularly the idea about the UK landscape and the threats that it faces.

Later in the week, there was an interesting letter from Peter Dunn published in the Guardian which gave an alternative view of CPRE's policies, referring to Prunella Scales, who starred in a series of Tesco ads, but was also a former president.
A good section in the middle of the letter would make a great discussion starter:

"I've never met a farmer who doesn't loathe supermarkets for what they are doing to the farming community, yet the CPRE saw no conflict of interests in her appointment. Likewise it remains coy about the annexation of rural housing by wealthy townsfolk whose infrequent visits to their tax-break cottages have reduced hundreds of villages to ghost communities. Most of these visitors have CPRE stickers in their 4x4s. Bryson could have confronted such issues in his presidential address."

This idea was also mentioned in this ECOLOGIST article.

The idea of affordable housing was also mentioned this week, and the fact that most of the flats and houses locally are bought by buy-to-let speculators who can afford to act quickly and have the cash ready, rather than the local people for whom the houses are supposedly meant.

And finally on Wednesday there was a full page report on a group of organisations who have established a new campaign.

The campaign is supported by:
Woodland Trust
The National Trust
Enough is Enough
The Ramblers
NEF (one of my favourite organisations...)
The Grasslands Trust
Council for National Parks
Restore UK
UK Wildlife Trusts

And THIS IS WORTH WATCHING too. (YouTube video...)

Oh and I might as well add this link as well as it's a useful little video and worth watching.

Just been watching the final 2 episodes of Michael Palin's HIMALAYA series as research for a project I'm a bit behind with... Mention of Gross National Happiness in Bhutan.
Great stuff !

Some interesting stories in the papers this week about the various curriculum changes. Less mapwork and more climate change eh ?

Also reading Leo Hickman's "The Final Call" - a very useful tourism resource.

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