Battle to ban 4x4s from the idyllic Lake District spot bequeathed by Beatrix Potter, eagle fights octopus and the ‘snail’s pace’ climate talks

This morning we look at Little Langdale's fight for peace, reflect on the climate change talks in Madrid and discover the soundtrack for Brexit.

Legal battle to block 4x4s from the stretch of the Lake District bequeathed by Beatrix Potter

The Lake District National Park Authority is set to face a legal challenge to its October decision to allow 4x4s and trail bikes to driver across tracks near Little Langdale, north of Coniston Water, according to The Times.

The paper reports that, ‘The International Council on Monuments and Sites, which advises Unesco on protecting world heritage sites said that the huge increase in the vehicles was damaging the “aesthetic and historic qualities” of the landscape, which was declared a world heritage site in 2017.’

The reason this earns prominent billing in the news? That’s in large part thanks to Beatrix Potter, who bequeathed the land to the National Trust; they are also opposed to 4x4s using the land, saying in October that it’s ‘at odds with what people want from their national parks in the 21st century.’

Full story (The Times)

‘We wanted it to kiss the horizon’

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Malverleys, a lyrical name that echoes the rolling Hampshire landscape, looks especially magical in midwinter, when low light manages to define every curve and contour of the land. An eye-catching feature is a magnificent, 20ft-high bronze horse’s head. Head gardener Mat Reese, who arrived just over nine years ago after training at Great Dixter in East Sussex, had the task of carefully positioning it, with its sculptor Nic Fiddian-Green, so that it picked up the light. ‘We wanted it to kiss the horizon,’ he remembers. ‘At this time of year, it can emerge from a swirling mist, or turn jet black in frost or snow.’ Find this and more inside the Christmas double issue, out now. · · · ? by Clive Nichols @clivenichols #christmasdouble #countrylifechristmasdoubleissue #countrylifechristmas #malverleys #christmasgarden #wintergarden #gardendesign #gardenphotography

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‘The UN climate talks are over for another year – was anything achieved?’

That’s the headline from The Guardian’s look back at the Madrid summit, which has been taking place for the last couple of weeks.

Their analysis, depressingly, uses phrases such as ‘snail’s pace’ and ‘low ambition’ — and despite the fact that delegates acknowledged ‘carbon-cutting targets are too weak’ to meet the targets set in Paris three years ago there are ‘few concrete plans to strengthen them.’

The next set of talks will take place in Glasgow next November.

Full story (The Guardian)

Carrie Symonds ‘named in legal papers’ over badger cull block

Credit: Andy Ballard via

A group of farmers seeking to overturn the denial of a badger culling licence in Derbyshire have launched a High Court challenge. In it, they cite a meeting at Downing Street between Boris Johnson’s partner Carrrie Symonds and Dominic Dyer, chief executive of the Badger Trust.

‘Three weeks after the talks in the prime minster’s private residence the government ordered Natural England not to issue a culling licence to farmers in Derbyshire,’ The Times reports

‘The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) is concerned that these discussions may have influenced the decision to deny a licence to cull in Derbyshire,’ the report continues.

Full story (The Times)

Eagle v octopus: who will win?

The age old question, settled at last.

And finally…

This will make some of you laugh, and some of you cry. Perhaps a bit of both.