Biodiversity is key to the survival of life on Earth.
Bournemouth University studies have shown that of four future scenarios, ranging from high investment in nature recovery to high agricultural intensification, the highest economic returns are found by investing in nature.
Its loss deprives future generations of irreplaceable genetic information and compromises sustainability. The recent National Ecosystem Assessment also shows just how much nature provides for us in this country. For example, the enormous value of the countryside to water quality, the value of pollination to agriculture, the health benefits of experiencing nature and, not least, how nature and wildlife enrich all our lives.
Reduction in people’s emotional connection to nature
Covering 151 acres and fencing off 188 acres depletes ‘nature’ would create an “utilitarian form of landscape”1. Nature depletion is also making it harder for people to connect with nature. Forming an emotional connection with nature and retaining memories of the enjoyment of nature are important factors in maintaining mental health. It is also an important determinant in forming pro-environmental behaviour, essential for the wellbeing of future generations.
Good quality natural landscapes, which have a high ecological value, have also been shown to reduce stress and sadness, lift poor mood, and make us feel better, with the relationship being strongest for anxiety disorder and depression.
In terms of physical health, our use of our natural world, particularly greenspace, is associated with lower rates of disease, reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. People who frequently visit high quality green space are more likely to be physically active and less likely to be overweight or obese. The health benefits of green spaces have been known across the world for time immemorial.
The Hazelbury Bryan Neighbourhood Plan recognises that it cannot sort out every issue facing the community BUT, it can influence where “industrial style developments”2 are constructed, and “it can help safeguard some of the things the community value the most” including the “enjoyment of our beautiful countryside”.”
In section 3.2. of the Plan (Location and Environment) it’s noted that the “features particularly valued by the local community include the: “narrow country roads and lanes and with open fields between them; the many rights of way and opportunities to enjoy the surrounding countryside, the general peace and quiet” and “the surrounding hills and views out across the rolling countryside of Thomas Hardy’s Wessex.”
Offshore by 2030
The CPRE report (30the June 2019) by D E Peacock (Bsc (Eng) ARSM AMIME CIC PhD showed that North Dorset had exceeded its 2020 renewable energy target
So, for Dorset to generate 100% of its own energy demand we would need around 4GW of solar (around 19,000 acres) or 2GW of offshore wind turbines). The latest Government commitments mean that this capacity will be sited offshore and all homes will supplied with low carbon energy by 2030. Productive agricultural land and our ‘health giving’ countryside can remain just that – not industrialised as British Solar Renewables propose.
The largest wind turbines currently operating in the North Sea have an output of around six megawatts. The turbines of the future will be far bigger. We are looking to wind turbine structures capable of output of the order of 10 megawatts.
“No one, other than the most dedicated lobbyists, believes that solar power will make a substantial contribution to the UK’s future energy” said Professor Gordon Hughes 2012, Global Warming Policy Foundation. Dr Hughes was a Professor of economics at the University of Edinburgh where he taught courses in the economics of natural Resources and Public economics.
1.Appeal Ref: APP/D1265/W/19/3241953 – Paragraph 23. Neil Pope BA (Hons) MRT – PIanning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State
2.Application No: 2/2019/0470/FUL – NextPower – Higher Farm Limited – Case Officer: Mr Richard Temple. Ref ‘listed buildings’