UK policy with regards all land management and landscape issues is readily digested abroad. For many years the UK has the led the way with progressive research combined with historic policy allowing for ‘on the ground’ case studies of good practice.
This has of course changed rapidly under the current coalition government and most now look to the UK and England in particular for bad case study and the results of poor policy making led by poor media and lobbying by vested interests with far too much power.
The larger NGOs have successfully established themselves as the voice of the public in the minds of the policy and law makers. This in turn has meant that any progression in ensuring ‘All Landscapes Matter’ is non existent – it is only their landscapes that matter.
There are key elements in our landscapes, historic and culturally rich, which provide a benchmark for the landscape to continue. These elements do not or rather should not halt development or the evolution of a landscape – but help towards good design. Hedgerows, ancient trees, neolithic sites, dry stone walls etc., and in the urban landscape Allotments.
Allotments are now under massive threat after this ‘landmark allotment court defeat’
Together with urban tree deaths usually the result of human activity and a lack of attention to the complex technosols of our cities, a rise in felling to pre-empt planning permission, policies such as biodiversity offsetting which allow for a relaxation of sustainable development measures during construction – it is clear that when the importance of urban green space is mentioned by policy makers it is nothing more than spurious rhetoric.
Those who care, of whom there are many, are not enough, not loud enough or rich enough to compete with the larger NGOs or fight against the huge development companies. Their one tenuous hope being a celebrity to speak up for them.
Will the above judgement, which defers back to enclosure legislation, prove to be the edge of the cliff needed to kick start a change, a huge new campaign that fights for 21st Century legislation to protet and enhance all green spaces in all of England’s rapidly growing urban landscape?