Woodland Trust fails to mince words…
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has just approved a planning application for a controversial quarry extension into ancient Oaken Wood near Maidstone. This is the first real test of whether the Government’s recent planning reforms would offer sufficient protection to ancient woodland and by extension, heritage sites. It’s looking like a “no” then.

Woodland Trust Chief Executive, Sue Holden, said: “This is a landmark decision, but for all the wrong reasons. This so-called ‘greenest Government ever’ stated that the new National Planning Policy Framework1 would give sufficient protection to irreplaceable habitats such as ancient woodland. It clearly does not. We are extremely concerned now that this outcome could define the level of protection given to ancient woods in all future planning decisions across England”. http://www.woodlandtrust.presscentre.co … s-ed1.aspx

Heritage Crime – Expand the definition!
“Last week the (Welwyn and Hatfield) borough council, with a number of other authorities, signed a memorandum to help protect listed buildings. This comes as part of the national Alliance to Reduce Crime against Heritage (ARCH). Councillor Mandy Perkins, executive member for business and planning, said:

“Heritage crime, by which I mean things like lead theft from church roofs and damage caused to listed buildings, is a serious problem nationwide. Heritage assets are not only irreplaceable but places like Hatfield House promote tourism and jobs in the borough.”

Yes, but it’s not just church lead and listed buildings, is it? Welwyn has a large concentration of Roman and Iron Age sites. What about those?

EVENT: Prehistoric and ritual cave engravings
South West | Somerset Sat 13th Jul 2013 – Sun 21st Jul 2013. Suitable for the relatively faint-hearted. Underground exploratory guiding by Chris Binding, co-author of Ritual Protection Marks in Goatchurch Cavern (2004) and Ritual Protection Marks in Wookey Hole & Caves in the Cheddar Gorge (2010), University of Bristol Spelaeological Society. Strong footwear must be worn and bring your own refreshment/drink. A degree of personal fitness needed to negotiate uneven rocky chambers and uphill walk. Price includes specialist caving equipment. Numbers limited. This event will take place on: Saturday 13 July, 10:30, 12:30, 14.30 Sunday 21 July, 10:30, 12:30, 14.30. Full details: http://www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk/events/57
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EVENT: Discover Pentre Ifan
This ancient monument to the dead has intrigued people for centuries. Learn about its secrets and how it fits into the wider landscape. Details: http://www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk/events/381
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6,000 year old carving and modern claptrap found in Wales
The unearthing of the early neolithic or mesolithic carved wood on a Welsh hillside is truly exciting. A pity then that the wind farm developer tried to spin it… “It’s very exciting that this discovery has proved to be of such international significance and fully justifies our company policy of protecting sites of historic interest.” But it’s not his company’s policy. It’s a legal and moral obligation.
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