A protest worth making if you care about our landscape

When governments speak warm words about consulting the public it is sensible to be wary. The word “choice” will not be far away and, as the Thatcher years proved, the apparently harmless idea of offering consumer choice can be the magic key that opens the door to deregulation and a financial free-for-all. It is big […]

Renewable hope: 10 lessons after a planning committee considers wind turbines

It was a long and often rough road which led to a special meeting of the South Norfolk Planning Committee on Wednesday 8th December to decide whether three wind turbines should be erected on the land between the villages of Dickleburgh, Rushall, Pulham St Mary and Pulham Market. Three and a half years ago, an […]

Parish councils and a quiet revolution

The dawning of this new age of happy liberation from the state (or should that be “miserable betrayal by the state”?) has provided few greater surprises than the suggestion that the parish council, that whiskery old joke beloved of sitcoms like The Vicar of Dibley, will play an important part in the great revolution to […]

Hedges, wool, dead dogs – an everyday story of country folk

Oddly, because I was born on a farm and take an interest in rural matters, I have a troubled relationship with farmers. Every few days, while enjoying looking at the birds and the trees on a country lane, I get harangued by the local farmer or his gamekeeper. For me, walking down a lane enjoying […]

Detritus fit for a society of hypocrites

Anyone looking for a handy all-purposemetaphor for the mood of Britain in the early 21st century has only to look around them. It will be there in the plastic sandwich-container on a train seat, in the swirl of fast-food wrapping and discarded newspapers on the pavement, in the empty beer cans and plastic bags that […]