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.
Go ahead for sale of 15 percent of England's forest estate
Sales of 15 percent of England's public forests will go ahead within the next four years, Caroline Spelman said yesterday.
The Guardian - 31 March 2011 - 14
Britain's smallest songbird, the Goldcrest, has recovered from the 2009-2010 winter with double the sightings recorded from the previous year.
Daily Telegraph - 31 March 2011 - 14
Mansion tax ruin
A letter to the Editor says that the flaw in Nick Clegg’s “mansion tax” is that hundreds of people in Britain struggle to meet the cost of maintaining historic family homes "leading to the destruction of our national heritage on a scale not seen since the 1950s".
Daily Telegraph - 31 March 2011 - 23
Many forest sales will go ahead to raise £100m
Almost 100,000 acres of England's public forests will be sold regardless of the outcome of the independent review of the future of Forestry Commission land, Caroline Spelman indicated yesterday.
The Times - 31 March 2011 - 3
US farmers flourish as grain prices soar
States such as Iowa are reaping the benefit of a boom in commodities.
Financial Times - 31 March 2011 - 6
US government subsidies prove a rich harvest
US farmers, reaping record receipts for crops this year, are also harvesting $10.6billion in government payments made regardless of whether crops are planted or land is left fallow.
Financial Times - 31 March 2011 - 6
Yorkshire puts case in battle over fast train link
The battle for the planned high-speed rail link has intensified as business leaders, MPs and council chiefs in Yorkshire began a lobbying campaign amid fears it could be scuppered by the residents of villages along the proposed route in Buckinghamshire.
Financial Times - 31 March 2011 - 4
Activists' final plea to stop badger cull
The Badger Protection League is pleading with the Government to halt the plan for the badger cull with a petition to No. 10.
Daily Telegraph - 30 March 2011 - 30
Gardening prize for Castle Howard
Castle Howard near York has won the 2011 Garden of the Year award, sponsored by the Historic Houses Association and Christie's.
Daily Telegraph - 30 March 2011 - 14
A letter to the Editor says that ivy is a "blot on our landscape" and that it is "up to us gardeners, landowners and farmers to control the accursed vine as part of the Big Society".
Daily Telegraph - 30 March 2011 - 21
Country life makes for happier relationships
People living in the countryside enjoy longer lasting and happier relationships than city dwellers, a new survey has found.
Daily Telegraph - 28 March 2011 - 2
Dirty beaches flagged up on Facebook
Dirty beaches are to be highlighted on Facebook by the Environment Agency which has posted up to date profiles of 500 bathing areas in England and Wales.
Daily Telegraph - 28 March 2011 - 32
Dog DNA could crack hunting case
Five dogs are being DNA tested to determine whether they were used by three men suspected of of hunting on Lord Derby's Knowsley Hall Estate.
Daily Telegraph - 28 March 2011 - 2
Property levies to fund top tax rate cut
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has said that taxes will be raised on expensive houses, allowing the Government to fulfill it's longer- term promise to scrap the 50 pence income tax rate.
Financial Times - 28 March 2011 - 1
Start Up Britain
In a letter to The Times, several big business bosses write that larger businesses are able to help the UK's small businesses thrive and grow by supporting Start Up Britain to enable "enterprise-led recovery".
The Times - 28 March 2011 - 23
Housebuilders cautious over changes to planning rules
The construction industry is concerned at how the Chancellor's vision will meet the challenges of localism.
Financial Times - 25 March 2011 - 4
Save the oil beetle
The public are being asked to look out for Britain's last remaining oil beetles in an effort to save the insects from extinction.
Daily Telegraph - 25 March 2011 - 36
All the newspapers report on the outcome of the Budget 2011. Highlights include: fuel duty is cut by one pence per litre and relaxation of planning laws to encourage growth.
- 24 March 2011
Low rates and taxes in enterprise zones
The Budget announced plans to create 21 low tax enterprise zones with up to a 100 percent discount on business rates and access to super-fast broadband.
Financial Times - 24 March 2011 - 8
Planning regime to be relaxed to push growth
A broad relaxation of the planning regime to boost economic growth will include a presumption to approve any applications that promote sustainable development and more than 900,000 words of unwieldy national planning policies will be cut down in to a shorter, more focused national planning policy.
Daily Telegraph - 24 March 2011 - 6
Spring has sprung too soon for daffodils
Daffodils have peaked too early this year as a result of a "disastrous" combination of a freezing winter and sudden warm weather with growers in Cornwall expecting to have few flowers left by Easter.
Daily Telegraph - 24 March 2011 - 13
Budding signs of spring's early arrival
Spring has arrived much earlier than last year, according to sightings of nature recorded by the public for the Woodland Trust.
Daily Telegraph - 23 March 2011 - 6
Osborne eyes tax breaks
George Osborne is expected to put tax breaks for companies and hard-pressed families at the heart of today's Budget, but his scope for any giveaways is constrained by a sombre backdrop of rising inflation and weakening tax revenues.
Financial Times - 23 March 2011 - 1
Risk of dogs carrying disease is growing
A breed of bloodsucking tick normally found on dogs in continental Europe has been discovered in the UK for the first time. Gun dogs, terriers and pastoral dog breeds are most susceptible.
Daily Telegraph - 23 March 2011 - 6
Assist developers, councils are told
Councils have been urged by the Government to scrap planning agreements signed with developers before the credit crunch which minsters now believe may be standing in the way of economic growth.
Financial Times - 18 March 2011 - 12
Bishop to lead review of policy on forests
The Bishop of Liverpool is to lead a panel of experts including representatives from the forestry industry, conservation bodies and landowners on deciding the future of England's publicly owned forests.
Daily Telegraph - 18 March 2011 - 34
Cable to give smallest firms relief from red tape
Businesses that employ fewer than 10 people will be exempt from any new government regulations over the next three years, Vince Cable is to announce today.
The Times - 18 March 2011 - 43
Cumberland sausage set to run rings round imitators
The coiled Cumberland sausage is to have its name protected throughout Europe after winning special food status.
The Times - 18 March 2011 - 20
First save the bacon, then crack the egg problem
Pig farming is in crisis and ministers are also talking tough on eggs, yesterday in Parliament they tried to figure out what to do but farming minister Jim Paice seemed to think prices would "recover at some stage".
The Times - 18 March 2011 - 17
Judge to rule on prize animal's TB test
A judge has attacked the "strident manner" in which Government officials and lawyers are calling for a prize-winning bull to be destroyed after it tested positive for bovine TB.
Daily Telegraph - 18 March 2011 - 12
Planning laws eased
A shake-up of Britain's planning laws will be announced next week to increase the supply of land for housing and business but Vince Cables denies it will lead to mass development of popular open spaces.
Financial Times - 18 March 2011 - 11
A cut-out-and-keep guide to cutting red tape includes planning law reform,village green applications, green belt restrictions and the groceries code adjudicator among others.
The Times - 17 March 2011 - 17
Facebook to help pinpoint otters
A new survey of otters on Britain's rivers is being carried out by Anglia Water and Rivercare via Facebook where volunteers can post sightings on a special group page.
Daily Telegraph - 17 March 2011 - 34
Getting Britain building again
A blueprint to kick-start a housebuilding programme across Britain by liberalising planning laws will be announced by George Osborne in the Budget next week.
The Times - 17 March 2011 - 16
Osborne urged to sacrifice green belt
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has said the Government should allow building on the green belt to prevent house price bubbles and crashes.
The Times - 17 March 2011 - 35
Shadow flicker turbines
A report by the Department for Energy and Climate Change has found that the frequency of flickering caused by wind turbine rotation is such that it should not cause a significant risk to health but found in the long term it could cause “significant nuisance”.
Daily Telegraph - 17 March 2011 - 9
"Burning this quango is an eco-disaster"
Charles Clover writes about the axing of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.
Sunday Times - 14 March 2011 - 27
'Land auctions' plan to stimulate growth
George Osborne is set to announce pilots for new "land auctions" in the Budget in an attempt to drive down the price of land for development, stimulating economic growth and providing incentives to councils to offer more planning approvals.
Financial Times - 14 March 2011 - 2
Britain's leading broadband providers have signed a code to ensure greater transparency over traffic management, which has slowed some internet connections.
The Times - 14 March 2011 - 37
Gala is apple of nation's eye
New figures have indicated that the British grown Gala apple is now the most popular variety with 22,000 tons sold in the past six months.
Daily Telegraph - 14 March 2011 - 14
Ruddy duck invaders culled to just 120
A cull of more then 7,000 ruddy ducks in Britain has cut their numbers to just 120 at a cost of £3.3 million.
Daily Telegraph - 14 March 2011 - 34
UK food exports hit record £10bn
Britain exported more than £10 billion worth of food products in 2010 with figures showing that Asia is developing a taste for British sausages, ice cream and haggis flavoured biscuits, according to the Food and Drink Federation.
Daily Telegraph Business - 14 March 2011 - 2
High-speed rail waste
A reader writes a letter to the Editor about HS2 going straight through her 300-acre field and asks if the £17 billion cost of the development will go towards hers and her tenant farmers' loss of income, soliciters fees to renegotiate the tenant's lease, provision of access and loss of crops.
Sunday Telegraph - 13 March 2011 - 27
Rates revamp will lift small business
In an effort to encourage councils to attract more private sector investment, George Osborne will announce next week that dozens of local authorities will be allowed to retain millions of pounds in business rates incentivising them to do more to attract businesses.
Sunday Times Business - 13 March 2011 - 2
Deadly caterpillar fight stopped
The Forestry Commission is abandoning its policy of attempting to eradicate the oak processionary moth which can cause lethal asthma attacks and vomiting in humans.
Daily Telegraph - 11 March 2011 - 12
Ta rise 'will fuel crime and kill business'
The Chancellor is being urged to scrap a planned fuel tax increase because it would overwhelm small businesses.
The Times - 11 March 2011 - 9
Wetland heroes recognised
The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is searching for unsung heroes who are creating or looking after wetlands to win a £1,000 prize.
Daily Telegraph - 11 March 2011 - 32
Badger cull will go ahead in Wales
A badger cull in parts of Wales is to go ahead, the Welsh Assembly has announced.
Daily Telegraph - 10 March 2011 - 2
Forgetful bees can't find their food
A mixture of chemicals found in modern pesticides may be killing bee colonies by causing loss of memory and sense of direction, according to a United Nations report.
The Times - 10 March 2011 - 21
RSPCA hits out at Welsh badger cull
More than 2,000 badgers will be killed in North Pembrokeshire by the Welsh Government to protect cattle from bovine TB but the RSPCA has condemned the move saying they are more effective ways of reducing the spread of the disease.
The Times - 10 March 2011 - 21
Simpler tax urged for small businesses
Radical changes to the tax regime are needed to reduce the complexity and uncertainty facing small businesses, according to a report to the Treasury by the Office of Tax Simplification.
Financial Times - 10 March 2011 - 2
Wildlife on the brink, say campaigners
The RSPB has called on the Government to "make the right choices" to help save wildlife from extinction due to falling numbers of farmland birds and wildflower species.
Daily Telegraph - 10 March 2011 - 32
Firms respond to fears on recycled food packaging
Food safety watchdog has insisted that there was no safety risk from the recycled cardboard boxes used for foods such as breakfast cereals, even though manufacturers are reviewing their safety.
The Guardian - 9 March 2011 - 13
Gamekeepers ‘being persecuted by RSPB’
Gamekeepers are being “persecuted” by the RSPB, according to the Countryside Alliance which says the RSPB has claimed that hen harrier numbers have fallen by 20 percent because shooting estates were poisoning the birds.
Daily Telegraph - 9 March 2011 - 32
PM undertakes Downing Street overhaul after more bad press
The Prime Minister is to rebuild his Downing Street operations to get a tighter grip on his government and improve the way it gets its message across.
Financial Times - 9 March 2011 - 3
‘A-team’ joins Downing Street machine as Cameron asserts control over ministers
David Cameron has appointed nine new policy advisers as he scraps his hands-off approach to Whitehall and seeks to assert his grip over Cabinet ministers. The new team, made up of six Civil Service high-flyers and three experts from the private sector, will “man-mark” government departments and try to head off policy chaos before it hits the headlines.
The Times - 9 March 2011 - 3
"Accept that HS2 is necessary"
A letter to the Editor from Tony Berkeley, Chairman of the House of Lords Rail Freight Group, argues that the residents of the Chilterns "have no locus to argue that HS2 is not necessary; they should concentrate on environmental mitigation and see the excellent work done on HS1 to reduce the impact of a new line".
Financial Times - 8 March 2011 - 14
BT lifts internet download limit
BT is to liberate its heaviest internet users from download limits because its investment in fibreoptic networks has alleviated the need to slow down frequent broadband users during peak times.
The Times - 8 March 2011 - 43
Testing the nation on its flood defences
A £1.8 million project called Exercise Watermark will test responses to flash flooding, a reservoir threatening to burst and a North Sea tidal surge as part of a Government preparation to deal with the impact of a major flood alert.
Daily Telegraph - 8 March 2011 - 36
Clegg presses for brake on fuel duty cut
Nick Clegg has told George Osborne that the Liberal Democrats’ top priority for the Budget is to signal a further rise in the income tax threshold for low earners, not funding big giveaways for motorists.
Financial Times - 7 March 2011 - 2
Payouts for ‘green heat’ homes
Homes are to be fitted with meters measuring how much heat they produce from sustainable fuels under plans expected to be announced by ministers this week.
Daily Telegraph - 7 March 2011 - 8
Cash-strapped councils sell off woods and parks
Local authorities are to auction swathes of open land including woodlands, playing fields, parks and farmland to raise funds in the face of government cuts.
Sunday Times - 6 March 2011 - 14
Homes get green heating subsidy
Homeowners and businesses who switch to sustainable fuels to heat properties will be able to reclaim part of the cost from the taxpayer under a £4.5 billion government scheme, the Renewable Heat Incentive, to be launched this week.
Sunday Times - 6 March 2011 - 7
Osborne hints at fuel duty rethink
George Osborne has hinted strongly that he will scrap a one pence fuel duty rise due next month during a speech at the Conservative spring conference in Cardiff.
Sunday Times - 6 March 2011 - 4
Bisley unveils new shooting show
A new shooting event will be held at The National Shooting Centre at Bisley in Surrey this summer.
Daily Telegraph - 4 March 2011 - 36
Cable vows to cut red tape for business
Vince Cable has pledged to relax planning laws and cut red tape for small enterprises as part of a drive to stimulate the economy.
Financial Times - 4 March 2011 - 3
Food prices at record high and set to keep rising, warns UN
Food prices are likely to continue rising all year in Britain, according to figures from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation indicating that global food prices have hit a new record.
Daily Telegraph - 4 March 2011 - 12
Prince's lobbying behind the scenes to be made public
Against the wishes of the Royal Household, ministers have been ordered to say whether they have been lobbied by the Prince of Wales over issues involving planning, the countryside and genetically modified foods due to a loophole in freedom of infomation laws exposed by The Times.
The Times - 4 March 2011 - 12
Time running out for Carbon Trust loans
Companies have until the end of the month to apply for interest-free loans from the Carbon Trust before its publicly funded green investment scheme is closed.
Daily Telegraph Business - 4 March 2011 - 8
Council pays for broadband
Hampshire county council is planning to spend £200,00 on a two-year project to improve broadband speeds to help rural businesses and allow locals faster access to online public services, shopping and learning.
Daily Telegraph - 3 March 2011 - 15
Rare eagle drifts south on to a farm
The endangered white-tailed sea eagle, usually seen only in the far north-west of Scotland has been observed on a farm in Hampshire.
Daily Telegraph - 3 March 2011 - 32
Treasury urged to streamline tax relief
Out of a total of 1,042 reliefs, 47 could be abolished and 17 simplified or made more generous as part of an independent review for the Treasury. The Office of Tax Simplification has said that farmers should keep their ability to smooth profits over two years to reflect their volatile income and tax liabilities due to the vagaries of the weather.
Daily Telegraph Business - 3 March 2011 - 2
High-speed rail and the environment
A letter to the Editor ask if we can afford to give up land to accommodate the high-speed rail link that will soon be urgently needed for food production, while another suggests that biodiversity may be enhanced by a corridor scrubby embankments.
The Times - 2 March 2011 - 23
Ministers pull back from move to assume quango powers
Ministers have backed down over plans that would have given the Government sweeping "Henry VIII" powers to abolish, merge or modify quangos without the need for primary legislation.
Financial Times - 2 March 2011 - 4
Nothing to grouse about
Black grouse numbers in the Scottish Borders have been significantly increased by 25 percent from last year.
The Times - 2 March 2011 - 15
Watchdog wants truth broadband speeds
The average broadband speeds remains less than half that advertised with Ofcom pushing for new rules to ensure consumers are not misled.
Daily Telegraph - 2 March 2011 - 10