Links and references to articles by the leading UK news providers covering subjects that are of interest to those living and working in rural England and Wales.
Fear for wildlife after quarry levy scrapped
Conservationists fear key projects to protect wildlife will suffer after the Government ended a subsidy to restore habitat.
Daily Telegraph - 28 February 2011 - 34
Rail rebels are Nimbys, says minister
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond says that opposition to high-speed rail is driven by “Nibbys” peddling inaccurate scare stories.
The Times - 28 February 2011 - 3
Anglers wade in to halt hydro gentry
The Duke and Duchess of Northumberland face a planning battle with anglers over their plans to use hydropower on the River Aln.
Sunday Times - 27 February 2011 - 8
EU forced to end scandal of wasted fish
Europe is on the brink of ending the fishing industry's practice of throwing overboard a million tons of dead fish a year, after a campaign led by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Sunday Times - 27 February 2011 - 12
MPs farm subsidy payments
The family business of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Richard Benyon MP is said to have earned £2 million of farming subsidies through the CAP from 1999 to 2009, with Farming Minister Jim Paice earning several thousands of pounds of subsidies for his farm over the same period, according to a freedom of information campaign group.
Mail on Sunday - 27 February 2011 - 5
Second fire strikes Mackintosh estate
Sir Cameron Mackintosh has fallen victim to a suspected arson attack on his £30,000 pleasure boat after a bitter legal battle with a crofter on his Scottish estate.
Sunday Times - 27 February 2011 - 11
Smashing up a natural beauty at 250mph
Charles Clover writes that "Nimbys" opposing the high-speed rail line through the Chilterns should defend the principle that once an area is strictly protected in law as a national park or AONB, it sets a bad precendent to damage it unless there are overriding reasons of national interest.
Sunday Times - 27 February 2011 - 21
UN heritage body 'wastes' £12m UK aid
Britain is threatening to withdraw its support for the United nations agency responsible for designating world heritage sites after a government review found it unable to justify the millions it receives from British taxpayers.
Sunday Times - 27 February 2011 - 10
Water firms soak public for £1.7bn
Nearly five million water company customers have been overcharged for drainage services they do not use, a damning report compiled by former industry executives has revealed.
Sunday Times - 27 February 2011 - 6
Scottish survey to tell farmers about birds
RSPB Scotland is organising its annual bird survey so farmers can find out which species are living within their land.
Daily Telegraph - 25 February 2011 - 34
Disease takes hold in horse chesnut avenue
Twenty-three horse chesnut trees on a National Trust estate in Somerset have been felled after falling victim to bleeding canker.
The Times - 24 February 2011 - 20
Farms 'protect children from asthma'
Scientists have found that growing up on a farm protects children from asthma and hope the discovery may lead to the development of a vaccine.
Daily Telegraph - 24 February 2011 - 11
Support for rail link
Plans for the high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham have today received the backing of 69 prominent business people who in a letter to the Financial Times argue that the project will give a much-needed boost to the British economy.
Financial Times - 24 February 2011 - 2
YHA accused of 'selling off the family silver'
The Youth Hostels Association to close three Cumbrian lodges as critics say it is too corporate and in danger of losing its character.
The Guardian - 24 February 2011 - 17
Farmer's hay bales mistake led to death of friend
A farmer has been fined £20,000 after a friend who was helping him was killed by falling hay bales.
Daily Telegraph - 23 February 2011 - 11
High-speed rail noise affects '10 homes'
The Government is expected to claim next week that only 10 properties in England will suffer from high noise levels as the result of the new high-speed rail line.
Financial Times - 23 February 2011 - 2
Lessons from a bumper harvest
An interview with a small farm machinery exporter from Ireland with 60 percent of the UK and Irish market on how he has thrived by changing his business model and joining up with bigger rivals.
Financial Times - 23 February 2011 - 12
National Trust visitor increase
National Trust properties have earned an increase in visitors and taken on more staff due to films such as Alice in Wonderland using stately homes and gardens as shoot locations.
The Times - 23 February 2011 - 7
Starring film roles for the British landscape
The British countryside has had a starring role in some of last year's most popular films, with the National Trust recording its busiest year for providing stately homes, forests and parks for locations.
Daily Telegraph - 23 February 2011 - 32
Rare quadruplets on sheep farm
A sheep-farming family in Devon has welcomed the rare birth of quadruplets by one of its ewes.
Daily Telegraph - 22 February 2011 - 32
Cuts leave national parks with an uphill challenge
Hundreds of footpaths will become unusable under the national park authorities' plans to cut maintenance after losing almost a third of their budgets.
The Times - 21 February 2011 - 17
For peat's sake: green groups seek compost tax to save bogs
Britain's leading gardening charity has clashed with powerful conservation groups over a campaign for a punitive tax on bags of peat bought by millions of gardeners.
The Times - 21 February 2011 - 17
Gun owners braced for higher licence fees
People who shoot will have to pay four times as much to keep up their hobby under plans by police to increase the licensing fee for keeping guns, according to BASC.
Daily Telegraph - 21 February 2011 - 32
One small U-turn, one giant leap for forests
Jonathan Poritt writes that while he is delighted by the Government's U-turn on the public forestry sell-off, he is not "spooked" by private ownership of forests.
The Times - 21 February 2011 - 20
Shadow cast on extra daylight plan
Plans to permanently shift Britain's clocks forward an extra hour to create lighter evenings could be scuppered by opposition in Scotland.
Daily Telegraph - 21 February 2011 - 2
Tourism may win the argument for brighter evenings
Proposals to move Britain to "double summertime" by putting clocks forward an extra hour will be published this week under a "tourism strategy".
The Times - 21 February 2011 - 13
CBI calls for clarity in Budget
The CBI has said the Chancellor must set out a clear strategy for energy investment and tackle business finance and regulation and growth in his Budget.
Sunday Telegraph - 20 February 2011 - 3
Charles Clover on forests and woodland
Charles Clover writes that now the sell-off is scrapped our forests really are in jeopardy.
Sunday Times - 20 February 2011 - 21
EU farming subsidies for Royals must stay secret
Ministers have ordered an information blackout on the farming subsidies paid to the Queen, Prince Charles and other large landowners according to The Mail on Sunday.
Mail on Sunday - 20 February 2011 - 11
Insurers axe flood cover on homes
Insurers are refusing to renew buildings insurance for some flood victims because of a lack of spending on defences.
Sunday Times - 20 February 2011 - 7
Minister not out of the woods yet
Caroline Spelman faces fresh political pressure after it emerged that Defra could have to make new cuts on top of those already agreed.
Sunday Telegraph - 20 February 2011 - 4
Mittal's £30m eco-pile
Britain's richest man, Lakshmi Mittal, is planning to build a £30 million estate in the Surrey green belt claimed to have a "zero-carbon" footprint once it is completed.
Sunday Times - 20 February 2011 - 5
Time for lighter summer evenings
A new tourism strategy to be published by the Coalition within days is expected to contain plans to move the UK to "double summertime" to make nights lighter, but mornings darker.
Sunday Telegraph - 20 February 2011 - 1
Cameron reshapes top team after failing to see the wood for the trees
David Cameron is to reshape his top team at Number 10 to counter policy mishaps but despite dropping the plan to sell the entire public forest, the Government still intends to sell 100,000 acres, or 15 percent of the estate.
The Times - 18 February 2011 - 21
G20 squares up to commodity traders
Commodity traders will come under fire at today's G20 gathering of finance ministers in Paris as food prices continue to soar after bad harvests.
Daily Telegraph Business - 18 February 2011 - 2
Pressure mounts on Cable as MPs say he is failing business
Vince Cable's Business Department has been accused by MPs of empty rhetoric and failing the produce a coherent strategy for growth.
The Times - 18 February 2011 - 41
Record fuel prices in UK as cost falls in Europe
The price of petrol and diesel at the pumps has reached record levels in Britain but the price is falling in the Europe, the AA has said.
Daily Telegraph - 18 February 2011 - 10
Trusts unite to save ancient woodland
Debden Estate Woodland, an ancient woodland in Essex, has been safeguarded thanks to a partnership between Land Trust and the Woodland Trust.
Daily Telegraph - 18 February 2011 - 34
Yew-turn over forest sell-off
A letter to the Editor says that Caroline Spelman's insistence on the principle that the state should not own land, even heritage landscapes, struck deep into a national consciousness that has never really come to terms with the loss of common land.
The Guardian - 18 February 2011 - 37
Cameron bows to pressure over the sale of forests
David Cameron has abandoned the Government's plans to sell-off forests and criticised the way ministers have handled the issue in Prime Minister's Questions.
The Times - 17 February 2011 - 3
Cameron in U-turn over sale of state forests
David Cameron executed a sharp U-turn over plans to sell much of the state-owned woodland in England, telling the House of Commons he did not approve of his government's own policy.
Financial Times - 17 February 2011 - 4
Lapwings fare better on grouse moors
Lapwings are able to breed more successfully on managed grouse moors, according to a study by the RSPB.
Daily Telegraph - 17 February 2011 - 32
Writing's on wall for stone thieves
Police are using an invisible security paint to protect against thieves who are carting off sections of dry stone walling in rural Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
Daily Telegraph - 17 February 2011 - 3
A late spring but a glorious show
Spring will arrive a little later this year but when it does the results will be brighter and more spectacular than usual.
Daily Telegraph - 16 February 2011 - 10
Governor signals interest rate rises as inflation hits four percent
In an open letter to the Chancellor, the Governor of the Bank of England has signalled that interest rates may begin to rise as soon as this spring after inflation surged to four percent last month.
The Times - 16 February 2011 - 6
Broadband vital to save hill farms
The way of life of Britain's hill farmers could vanish if super-fast broadband is not introduced across rural areas, MPs have warned in a report into upland farming by the Commons environment committee.
Daily Telegraph - 15 February 2011 - 12
Cash 'bribe' for villagers to put up wind turbines
Local communities are to be offered cash incentives to allow wind farms to be built near their homes under an agreement to be published this week by the wind industry.
The Times - 15 February 2011 - 13
No 'quick fix' for Big Society
Sir Ronald Cohen, the Labour donor called in by David Cameron to help rescue the Big Society project, has warned that the £300 million bank he is setting up to fund charities is no a quick fix from the cuts.
The Times - 15 February 2011 - 9
TB 'cheaper than killing killing badgers'
Killing badgers to help stop the spread of bovine TB could prove more costly for farmers than an outbreak of the disease, according to the RSPCA.
Daily Telegraph - 15 February 2011 - 32
Big Society's £100m bank fund kick-start
Charities and social enterprises are to be given easier access to millions of pounds from savers and investors, as David Cameron attempts to breathe new life into the Big Society project.
The Times - 14 February 2011 - 16
Cameron comes out fighting to put 'Big Society' back on agenda
David Cameron is to attempt to relaunch his flagship "Big Society" project by stressing that the programme has a moral purpose that runs through his entire Government.
Sunday Telegraph - 13 February 2011 - 2
Inflation to hit 4 percent as prices surge
The Bank of England's growth forecast will be cut and interest rates are expected to go up as early as May.
Sunday Times Business - 13 February 2011 - 1
No egg cholesterol risk
US scientists have found that the cholesterol content of eggs has gone down and the amount of vitamins risen by so much that they are no longer the health risk they were once thought to be.
Sunday Times - 13 February 2011 - 7
Outsiders 'outgun' locals
A "food hero" butcher from a small market town in East Sussex has quit his shop amidst a row with the rich City investor who according to residents "seek the good life in the country but outgun the locals."
Sunday Times - 13 February 2011 - 9
Squirrel Nutkin threatened by forest sell-off
Thousands of acres of England's national parks that are among the last refuges of the red squirrel would be transferred into private ownership under the Government's plans to break up the Forestry Commission, it has emerged from an audit of the estate carried out by a civil service team on the orders of Caroline Spelman.
Sunday Times - 13 February 2011 - 11
20th century castle in danger of defeat by the weather
The National Trust has warned that the last 20th century castle in Britain will fall into ruin unless £11 million repairs are made to protect it from the wind and rain.
Daily Telegraph - 11 February 2011 - 16
Coalition throws procurement lifeline to SMEs
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude is streamlining procurement rules across Whitehall in an attempt to double the share of the Government's annual £191 billion procurement budget won by small and medium-sized companies.
Financial Times - 11 February 2011 - 2
Doubts over wind plan
A new subsidy (the feed-in tariff) will pay communities for the green electricity generated from small-scale renewables but a review will look into whether projects by large developers generating more than 50KW should receive the payments.
Daily Telegraph - 11 February 2011 - 4
Nighthawk crime wave
Heritage and archeological sites are being targeted by a growing band of thieves with metal detectors, known as nighthawkers.
Financial Times - 11 February 2011 - 2
A flap in Cameron's Big Society marquee
In a Commons sketch, Andrew Gimson suggests that increasingly MPs are asking what the so-called Big Society is all about.
Daily Telegraph - 10 February 2011 - 4
Allure of great outdoors to be given 1,000-mile boost
One thousand miles of footpaths will be created on National Trust land in the biggest increase in signposted public access in the countryside for more than a century.
The Times - 10 February 2011 - 23
Farmers pushed to leave land fallow
The Campaign for the Farmed Environment press statement is used, with Farming Minister Jim Paice urging farmers to back the Campaign or face compulsory regulation.
Daily Telegraph - 10 February 2011 - 36
Gun law: Let us cull the starling menace, say farmers
Farmers are demanding to be allowed to shoot flocks of starlings that have flown in mainland Europe.
Daily Telegraph - 10 February 2011 - 6
Lib Dems turn on Coalition over cuts
The grassroots of the Liberal Democrats have declared open revolt over the scale and pace of cuts to frontline local services.
The Times - 10 February 2011 - 1
Field birds return
Corn buntings are making a comeback thanks to farmers planting wild flowers and leaving fields unploughed over winter, according to new figures from the RSPB.
Daily Telegraph - 9 February 2011 - 11
Fuel price rises in UK but falls in Europe
Petrol retailers were accused of profiteering yesterday as new figures showed that the price of petrol in Britain had hit a new high while it had fallen substantially across the rest of Europe.
Daily Telegraph - 9 February 2011 - 12
Thousands at risk as flood defence is cancelled
Flood defences for thousands of homes and businesses will be cancelled today, only 24 hours after the Government's engineering advisers said that the risk of serious floods was rising.
The Times - 9 February 2011 - 18
Wasting nature's capital means financial ruin
The Prince of Wales writes that economic and environmental resilience are interdependent and that a low-carbon future is essential.
The Times - 9 February 2011 - 22
Deadline 'too tight' for charities to buy woods
A clause in the Government's sales criteria for Forestry Commission land states that bidders from the voluntary sector will have to prove they have sufficient funding in place and have only 28 days to raise the full market value.
The Times - 8 February 2011 - 7
Developers cash in on solar energy scheme
The Government will take action to potentially block a rush of solar panel farms being proposed in the West Country and elsewhere after it emerged that green energy developers were eating up subsidies meant for householders and small businesses.
The Times - 8 February 2011 - 37
Going with the flow
Homes and businesses in flood zones will have to accept "periodically sacrificial ground floors" and should no longer have their insurance costs subsidised by the wider population, according to a report commissioned by the Government.
The Times - 8 February 2011 - 11
Huhne accused of green energy confusion
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has announced a "comprehensive review" of the Feed-in Tariff, sparking accusations that he is creating more "uncertainty" for the large-scale commercial renewables sector.
Financial Times - 8 February 2011 - 4
Mobilising a new volunteer army
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude argues that the Big Society is already taking root.
The Times - 8 February 2011 - 18
Speed and depth of cuts condemn Big Society to failure, say charities
David Cameron must intervene to rescue his Big Society project from being swamped by spending cuts, heads of charities have warned.
The Times - 8 February 2011 - 6
Cable promises 100,000 new apprenticeships
Vince Cable will today announce the creation of 100,000 new apprenticeship places by increasing annual funding.
Daily Telegraph - 7 February 2011 - 8
Cancer and heat risk of wood stoves
Wood-burning stoves produce particles that can cause heart disease and cancer, according to new research from scientists.
Daily Telegraph - 7 February 2011 - 7
Minister gets ready for a climbdown over forest sell-off
Caroline Spelman yesterday invited critics to rewrite the forestry sell-off policy, raising the prospect that no forest would be sold if potential leaseholders failed to give necessary guarantees on public access and biodiversity.
The Times - 7 February 2011 - 7
Osborne's regional jobs plan flops
George Osborne's flagship plan to boost jobs outside of the South East of England - a national insurance holiday for new small companies - has so far proved a "flop" with early applications falling far short of official expectations.
Financial Times - 7 February 2011 - 2
Solar farms threaten subsidies for homes
Industrial-scale solar farms are threatening the Government's feed-in tariff (FIT) that pays homeowners for installing solar panels, The Guardian has learned.
The Guardian - 7 February 2011 - 5
'Down go the foret sale disaster myths'
Charles Clover writes that 82 percent of woodland is already privately owned and that "it is unclear how the proposal to raise that percentage would damage irreplaceable national assets such as the New Forest".
Sunday Times - 6 February 2011 - 23
Anger as woodlands sold without warning
The Forestry Commission has quietly rushed through the sale of thousands of acres of woodland without any safeguards for public access after the Government ordered it to raise more revenue, according to The Sunday Times.
Sunday Times - 6 February 2011 - 6
Cameron on forests
In his first major interview of 2011, David Cameron tell The Sunday Telegraph that “Forestry Commission forests are often the ones with the highest car parking charges, and some of them don’t have public access...would some heritage forests be better run by local community charities...these are perfectly reasonable questions to ask."
Sunday Telegraph - 6 February 2011 - 4
Several letters to the Editor write about the forestry sell-off with one forester saying that although the Forestry Commission is not perfect and there is a cost to maintaining it, compared with the costs of rural jobs, skills and incomes, the cost is paltry.
Sunday Telegraph - 6 February 2011 - 23
Shooters draw fire with bid to save songbirds
The Sunday Times leads an investigation into the plan by Songbird Survival to cull magpies and crows unveiling the charity as a "coalition of rich landowners, farmers and owners of shooting estates whose representative organisations have previously demanded a cull of predatory birds for commercial reasons".
Sunday Times - 6 February 2011 - 6
U-turn on sale of nature reserves
The Government has scrapped plans to sell many nature reserves in its first big U-turn on the environment.
Sunday Times - 6 February 2011 - 1
Giant wind farms can alter weather
Large wind farms could change wind and rainfall on a regional scale, according to scientists.
Sunday Times - 5 February 2011 - 6
Beware of 'hysteria' over forest sell-off
In a letter to the Editor, a past President of the Institute of Chartered Foresters writes that previous Forestry Commission disposals have not resulted in "a rash of unwelcome development or mass tree fellings, nor have there been any significant losses of public access" and that there has been "a noticeable improvement in the management of most of the woods sold."
The Times - 4 February 2011 - 28
Dissent grows as forestry sell-off plans run into difficulty
The plan for the Forestry Commission sell-off has run into political turbulence amid growing anger from Liberal Democrats and Tory backbenchers who fear ministers are pushing through the controversial proposals too fast.
Financial Times - 4 February 2011 - 4
Food prices at 20-year high and climbing
The march of global food prices shows no sign of relenting with catastrophic weather potentially heaping yet more pressure on prices, the Food and Agriculture Organisation has warned.
The Times - 4 February 2011 - 47
Green and pleasant, but this land is worth less
Land values across Britain fell in the last quarter of 2010, with only prime London holdings bucking the trend, according to Knight Frank.
The Times - 4 February 2011 - 40
Lib Dems call for forest sale rethink
Tim Farron, president of the Liberal Democrats, has signed a parliamentary motion critising plans to privatise forests.
Daily Telegraph - 4 February 2011 - 12
Prince of Wales leads fight to save the dying oaks
Prince Charles convened a meeting of forestry experts this week to discuss the issue of acute oak decline.
Daily Telegraph - 4 February 2011 - 12
Record fuel prices
The world's biggest oil producers told drivers to blame the coalition Government for record fuel prices , saying that the TReasury takes more in profit from the industry than Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Daily Telegraph - 4 February 2011 - 1
Sky lantern ban
In a letter to the Editor, the President of the Women's Food and Farming Union writes that she is campaigning to have sky lanterns banned.
Daily Telegraph - 4 February 2011 - 23
'The future of our forests must never be put at risk again'
Dame Fiona Reynolds, director general of the National Trust writes about the woodland sell-off saying, "managing woodland is often more a cost than a goldmine."
The Times - 3 February 2011 - 26
Business backs rethink on regional centres
Business Secretary Vince Cable is to reinstate six regional government "BIS" offices and is pushing for further deregulation in the planning system to bolster growth.
Financial Times - 3 February 2011 - 2
Food prices at new high
Agricultural commodities prices have soared to fresh highs, with sugar hitting a 30-year peak yesterday.
Financial Times - 3 February 2011 - 1
Forest sell-off 'raises risk of calamity'
Millions of trees will be threatened by disease, deer and other wildlife will be neglected and charging could be introduced for many recreational facilities, according to an internal document leaked to The Times about the Government's plan to privatise Forestry Commission land.
The Times - 3 February 2011 - 3
PM says he'll hear forest sale protests
David Cameron has said he is prepared to listen to opponents of plans to sell off England's woodland.
Daily Telegraph - 3 February 2011 - 6
Songbirds, habitats and predators
In a letter to the Editor, RSPB Conservation Director Mark Avery writes about songbird survival and predators.
The Times - 1 February 2011 - 25
Trust and RSPB work together on moors
The National Trust and the RSPB are to co-manage a piece of land for the first time, the Eastern Moors on the outskirts of Sheffield.
Daily Telegraph - 1 February 2011 - 34