Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Friday, 25 March 2011
You wouldn’t want to add further to the jobless figures would you?"
Thursday, 24 March 2011
There were more stags across the moor this morning than previously this year, mostly coming in overnight from surrounding areas to enjoy the shelter and early morning sun that Blacka offers. And we’re reminded again of the value of trees to wildlife. Relaxing in the cover while we were in the open they knew they could not be surprised.
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Hinds were much closer on the southern side of Blacka Hill.
Dear Sheffield City Council,
I would like to see details of the process by which decisions are
being taken to lease important areas of public land owned by
Sheffield City Council to private outside organisations and/or
charities such as RSPB and the National Trust. The land in question
includes Burbage Moor, Houndkirk Moor and the land referred to as
the Hathersage Moors. My request includes access to all records
held of minutes of meetings reports and correspondence since
January 2009 involving SCC directors, officers and elected members
plus officers of outsourced departments such as Kier Asset
Management and others including prospective lessees.
You can follow the progress of this on the WhatDoTheyKnow website, here.
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Another is the endlessly fascinating patterns created by dry decaying leaves and fallen twigs. Self hypnotic at times similar to seeing pictures in clouds.
Saturday, 19 March 2011
The story about the wildlife trust in Warwickshire that renovated a bridleway with urban waste including asbestos is appalling.
Friday, 18 March 2011
When it did, lying in the heather was more enjoyable.
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
I wonder where they got the money to do this - presumably from some grant provider - one that fails to monitor what happens to its money - or rather the public's money?
Monday, 14 March 2011
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Friday, 11 March 2011
Thursday, 10 March 2011
Sunday, 6 March 2011
As for prospects there’s some value in having none anyway (my position) which denies the said Potentates and CEOs one means of silencing criticism. In a comment under a recent post, one CEO, SWT’s Nigel, accused me of having a ‘relentlessly hostile attitude’ (Nigel’s words) on this blog. Is he not getting a bit touchy? what so gets up Nigel’s nose, is hardly that. He would obviously prefer something more deferential in my attitude as against the occasional bit of irony and a little taking the p*** at his expense. But I guess that what really peeves is that I insist on applying some moderately detailed scrutiny to what he and his people get up to on Blacka. If that troubles him I have to assume that he lives in a world where he thinks he has a right to only uncritical esteem and reverence. Maybe wildlife trusts don’t get enough examination and analysis from the media. Anyway, if I’ve been unable to resist certain temptations then he should remember it was he and his allies who were the first people to start making the dispute a personal one rather than a difference of policy and vision.
Readership of this blog would be astonished and surely disappointed if I suddenly resorted to slavish admiration of the sort he may crave for himself (and perhaps gets from devoted minions).
But a central plank of this blog has been opposition to most of what SWT represents. No apologies for that. I could write a long boring post explaining why but not now-if I’ve not already made that clear I will get round to it some time. I could also spend a lot of time discussing choice of words. Opposition is not always the same as hostility. The latter suggests personal animosity. At one time I certainly was tempted to feel that: In 2007 SWT’s response to opposition was to go in for high-handed institutional defamation. That’s more what I would call hostility than the pretty tame stuff I go in for. I wonder, by the way, if Nigel regrets the way he handled that. He could of course be too proud to admit it. My indignation then was justified. In fact I have thought since that my reaction should have been stronger. This had not been the first personal attack. But I was never fully sure how much was down to calculation and how much to inexperience or incompetence. Eventually a long time later, a kind of apology was wrung out of Nigel in public at a council meeting. By then it was too late.
But, at risk of doing what I said I wouldn't, I will mention one central objection I have to SWT and therefore to Nigel. I don’t call this hostility, simply determined opposition. I just don’t like the attitude SWT have to Blacka Moor. Observation tells me they just don’t care enough. I judge this by the SSCA test. This is my own measure of care and effectiveness in the local neighbourhood. It stands for Streetforce Standard and Criteria Assessment. Everyone in Sheffield has a personal story about Streetforce. Mine is about the long area of public grass verge along the pedestrian walkway near my house. Streetforce are supposed to maintain and care for it but my neighbour and I have to do it ourselves because we've noticed Streetforce can’t be bothered. Eventually after many phone calls you may get to talk to a manager and something gets done –the absolute minimum and just once before it reverts to normal. SWT score well on the SSCA. They show little if any sense of proprietorial responsibility, no evidence that they really care about Blacka. To them it’s just another job. This is a malady of the spirit, a deficiency rooted in a mindset that sees the place as providing a service to the organisation rather than the other way round. That’s been so evident over many years that I can’t see how it can be denied. I can imagine the kind of excuses that would get made to explain this but there are so many examples most but not all of them small. You can forgive one or two incidents but as with Streetforce eventually give up.
The reasons that this is more lamentable with SWT are:
1 that SWT has been given this land because they claimed they could make a much better job of it than the council, so we should be expecting more.
2 that I have always believed a charity would be run by people who go the extra mile, and not just ‘when time allows’.
3 the mismatch between SWT’s self promotional publicity telling us how wonderful the place is and the evidence suggesting they scarcely care at all.
Part of the mission of this blog has been to expose that mindset. Put simply, places like this need vision, care, respect and love and there’s no reason why you can’t give that just because it’s your job or career.
I now relent - for a while.
Friday, 4 March 2011
Were the staples put on benches as a concession to more puritan voices - intended to discourage those canoodlers from getting too comfortable in such a public place? Or indeed, going quite the other way, an encouragement for those who prefer this kind of tactile addition to their relaxation?
Thursday, 3 March 2011
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Aliens would have been more interesting.
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
A blanket speed restriction ruthlessly enforced would reduce the impact somewhat but the problem should really be dealt with at source - while there's something left of it: by agreeing what a national park is for before it's all transported along the motorway.