Protecting Nature

Some stuff about nature, with a sidelight on public transport. Links to several nature/ transport themed posts and many appropriately themed photos.

INTRODUCTION

This is the first of several posts I will be putting up today. Two of the links I shall be sharing are to posts that have already appeared on this site as reblogs, but which I consider so important, that I am going to link to them again. There is also among my links a piece relating to public transport for which I make no apology, as transport policy can have a big impact on nature, whether positively or negatively depending on the nature of the policy. As usual plenty of my own pictures will feature as well.

TAKING THE LOCAL AUTHORITY TO TASK

Two pieces in this section:

  1. Anna’s searching questions of her local authority as part of the ongoing campaign to save Trosa nature. For those who have not already seen the piece, please click on the magnificent infographic/ meme that Anna created based on a comment I made on one of her previous posts.
    Nature Meme
  2. A cabal of Tories seeking to force through the building of an expensive and environmentally damaging incinerator is all too familiar to a West Norfolk resident. This time the dodgy dealing is going on in Gloucestershire and again it is a Tory controlled County Council that seeks to force through the building of the incinerator. The Skwawkbox have picked up on the story, for which I am very grateful, and I urge everyone who reads this to visit this post by clicking on the image below.

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    Illustration of GCC’s planned Javelin Park incinerator

     

     

BADGER CULLS AND BIOSECURITY

This one appears on Chris Packham’s website, and consists of a brief introduction to a person by the name of Anna Dale, and then an essay by this same Anna Dale titled “Below-par biosecurity should mean no badger cull licence”. To read this detailed essay please click on the graphic below.

Badger

BUSES IN CRISIS

This comes to you courtesy of the Campaign for Better Transport. Contained within this worrying piece is a bit of good news – an infographic relating to the achievements of 2016. To read the full detail on the crisis with Britain’s buses please click on the shocking graph below.

Graph showing decreasing funding for buses since 2010
These figures do not speak so much as shout for themselves about Tory attitudes to public transport.

PHOTOGRAPHS 1: WORK

In this, the first of two sections of this post devoted to my photographs, I share some nature and transport related pictures from yesterday and Thursday at work. The first of these is of an item in the March auction, which I therefore use as a link to our online catalogue, while all the rest are from lots in our April auction.

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Part of lot 948 in our April auction
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Part of lot 950
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Part of lot 951
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Part of lot 953
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Part of lot 956
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Part if lot 961
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Part of lot 962
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Part of lot 963
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Part of lot 964
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This image and the next relate to lot 948

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Likewise this image and the next relate to lot 934

VRR

PHOTOGRAPHS 2: LEISURE

To end the post here some photos from in and around King’s Lynn…

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Several other species besides Cormorants enjoying “Cormorant Platform”

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Autism and Other Stuff

Some stuff about autism, some important links and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Although this post includes some links that are not specific to autism, and of course some photos, enough of it is autism related to warrant the first word of the title.

AN IMPORTANT EVENT ON MONDAY

This Monday an ‘autism positive’ event is taking place at the Theatre Royal in Norwich. I will be present in the dual capacity of autistic adult and branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk. As well as a display with full information about our branch we will be distributing leaflets about efforts to get some adult oriented events and activities going. Apart from the official NAS branding and header which  I copied and pasted from the website the leaflets are entirely my work…

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This is a screenshot of the whole document – two leaflets to the page.
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This is a close up of a single leaflet.

Advertising attended to, the second part of this section relates to:

AUTISM AND EMPLOYMENT

First of all, here is the grim truth about autistic people and employment in the UK:

  • 75% of us are unemployed.
  • Others are employed in low paid and/ or part time work, so that 85% of us are classed as underemployed.

So, what can be done about this? Well, recruitment practices need to change and here is for me the single most important thing that could be done:

Abolish standard interviews, which place one in a position that one will never be in when in the job, making skills testing mandatory instead. Many autistic people however mujch preparation they put in cannot do themselves justice in interviews, while if you have them do the kind of work that they would be doing in the job they will fare much better, and you will learn not whether they can say the right things but whether they can actually do the work.

As a segue into the next section of the post, here is a link to a petition created by an autistic adult (Chris Packham), which calls on the Government to:

Introduce a moratorium on the hunting
of critically declining wading birds

LINKS

My first link in this section comes courtesy of the consumer group Which? who have managed to get the Consumer Rights Act to cover all travel sectors. Please read the full piece here.

My second link, courtesy of Richard Murphy at Tax Research UK is to a piece that demonstrates that Jeremy Corbyn’s investment program will cost less than the Tories current QE program.

I give the last word before the photographs to DPAC, who have prepared some online action to coincide with the Tory conference for the benefit of those who cannot make it to Birmingham but want to be part of the protest. Please click the link below to see how you can be part of…

ONLINE SHENANIGANS FOR THE TORY PARTY CONFERENCE

PHOTOGRAPHS

All the photographs below were taken yesterday…

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Having seen an abundance of cormorants where the Nar joins the Great Ouse it was a fine bonus to see these swans enjoying the Nar.

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To be able to capture this creature on camera was a huge bonus.

 

Chris Packham and the Foxhunters

An account with links to the three source pieces of the vile abuse of Chris Packham by the pro-hunting lobby and his dignified response to it.

INTRODUCTION

I live with Asperger’s Syndrome, have previously had mental health issues including depression and am a nature lover. Chris Packham presents nature programs on TV, has Asperger’s Syndrome and has had mental health problems. Mr Packham has recently gone public about his Asperger’s and depression, and this is where the story starts…

A TWEET AND RETWEET

Yesterday morning Hunting Solutions put out the following tweet, quoted in his own piece immediately after it had happened by Miles King on anewnatureblog:

hunting solutions

This tweet was retweeted by Nicholas Soames, a politician whose own party leader has spoken of the need to end the stigma attached to mental health. As Miles King points out, given the hysterical reaction to Naz Shah having liked an offensive facebook post before she became an MP, you might think that this could cause more trouble for the party concerned. When Miles King challenged Soames about the retweet, rather than attempting to defend himself Soames blocked King. Please follow the link I provided near the top of this section and read that post in full before proceeding.

PACKHAM’S OWN RESPONSE

Chris Packham provided what was in the circumstances a remarkably restrained response in the form of an interview that was published on Huffington Post, which I urge you to read in full.

THE FOLLOW UP THIS MORNING

Miles King on anewnatureblog returned to the fray this morning because Hunting Solutions had provided a response of sorts. As this image, taken from the Miles King piece, which I urge to read in full shows it was exactly what we might expect from these people:

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This is classic victim blaming of the sort that Tories specialize in. I will conclude this section with my own comments on Miles King’s posts which I once more urge you to read in full:

As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome and who has experience of depression I am in no doubt that the both the original tweet and Soames’ retweet were bang out of order, and in the continuing absence of an apology there is no doubt to give these people the benefit of. The use of the word “nutjob” in the context Mr Packham having recently gone public about his Asperger’s and depression is reminiscent of the the prolonged series of smears that functioned (thankfully and deservedly very badly) as Zac Goldsmith’s London Mayoral campaign.

And Miles’ response to that comment:

thanks Thomas – a good analogy. The hunting community, feeling threatened, are resorting to a smear campaign against high profile people like Chris Packham.

My comment on the second post:

Excellent follow up piece. I would take your reasoning re the comments about foxhunting being psychopathic a small step further and say that for true equivalence between the remarks Packham would have to labelled not just foxhunters as a group (which as you point out he did not) but an individual named foxhunter as a psychopath. As for the ‘if he hadn’t criticised us we would not have said it’ “defense”, that is simply another example of a favourite tactic of these kind of people – victim blaming.

I conclude this post with some photos…

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An eight-legged friend

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Gibraltar £1
I noticed something about this £1 coin that caused me to examine it closely – just as well I did, as it is Gibraltarian and would probably not have been accepted by the bus driver!
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Close up of the reverse
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Close up of the obverse

 

 

Railwayana and Evolution

An account of imaging at James and Sons with a focus on Railwayana, some links to pieces posted on whyevolutionistrue and a few general links.

INTRODUCTION

The mesalliance of subjects indicated by my title is brought about by the fact that I only have time for a very quick blog post, and the two things I most want to share are pictures of some interestinfg railwayana that will be in our next auction and a number of superb pieces that whyevolutionistrue have produced recently.

RAILWAYANA

I have had a particularly busy time imaging autcuion lots over the last few days, because the other person who regualrly does imaging was involved in a car accident (the car accident stats for Norfolk make grim reading because the lack of a proper public transport infrastructure and the prevalence of poverty mean that people start driving at the first available opportunity and are often using cars that are not really road worthy) is consequently off sick. Thankfully, albeit with a rejigging of work days for next week, we are on track for completing the catalogue by the end of Tuesday, which means that by the back end of next week printed copies should be available, and an online listing should be ready to view.

The two lots that especially caught my eye in and amongst the vast quanrtity of stuff I have been imaging were numbers 51 and 52, and I conclude this section with full photo galleries for both lots…

Lot 51 is this antique railway map
Lot 51 is this antique railway map
The remaining seven images including this one are of lot 52
The remaining seven images including this one are of lot 52

52a 52b 52c 52d 52e 52f

A FANTASTIC FIVE FROM WHYEVOLUTIONISTRUE

This blog, the title of which comes from a marvellous book by Jerry A Coyne has been in tremendous form just lately, with the pieces I am sahring merely the cream of a spectacular crop…

A FEW FINAL LINKS

Just a few final links:

Enjoying Nature

A post created in support of Chris Packham, and therefore featuring nature. I also have some important links and a great infographic for you.

INTRODUCTION

I am producing this post to offer public support for Chris Packham, who has been targeted by group of hunters/shooters/fishers who call themselves the Countryside Alliance. I hope that you will all enjoy it and that you will share it.

NATURE

It will not be news to followers of this blog that I take a great interest in nature. One of the reasons why living where I do works for me is that as well as having the amenities of a town centre on my doorstep I have open green space within comfortable walking distance and a river with all its associations even closer at hand. The combination of the fact that I do not drive and the scandalous state of public transport provision for out of town areas mean that I have to live in a town centre.

Most days I get out for a walk, and I usually get some good pictures (there is only one kind of shooting that I am interested in, and my weapon of choice is a Nikon Coolpix P530). Here are a few highlights from today…

The first four pictures are from yesterday.
The first four pictures are from yesterday.

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This snail, on the path through Hardings Pits, has a very interesting coloured shell.
This snail, on the path through Hardings Pits, has a very interesting coloured shell.

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An unusual drake, with a white front and a black bill.
An unusual drake, with a white front and a black bill.

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Just in case any of you are not already familiar with him Chris Packham is a naturalist and nature photographer who sometimes presents stuff on the BBC. I included a link to his official website in my introduction, and repeat that here.

The claim made by the Countryside Alliance is that he has violated BBC neutrality. Frankly I would regard being targeted by this group as something to be proud of, and I am adamant in saying that the BBC should stand by him. I finish this section by including the full link to a petition to tell the BBC not to sack Chris Packham:

https://www.change.org/p/bbc-don-t-sack-chris-packham

Please sign the petition and share this link!!

UPCOMING EVENTS AND LINKS

I wish to draw our attention to two things coming up in the near future:

  1. Heritage Open Day, which is this Sunday, and no fewer than 57 sites in King’s Lynn will be opening their doors for the occasion.
  2. November the 4th marks the 125 anniversary of the opening of the City and South London Railway, the oldest deep level tube railway in the world. Those familiar with this blog can probably work out what aspiblog will be doing to mark the occasion!

I have a few other links I wish to share, starting with two that should both make unpleasant reading for the…

INHUMANE DESPICABLE SOCIOPATH

My remaining links are all connected with…

AUTISM

I will start with a link to the website of the West Norfolk branch of the National Autistic Society. Their most recent newsletter includes this quote: “a member has pointed us towards www.autcraft.com the online version of minecraft for people with autism”. As the member who provided the information I am delighted, but I must also assign credit where it is really due – I only happened to know about Autcraft because Autism Mom has written about it in a number of blog posts, such as this one.

Although various social media organizations have verified Kevin Healey, twitter have still yet to do so, and Kevin’s petition about the issue is still running.

My last link is the twitter account through whose good offices I located an infographic in the “Never mind gold, that’s platinum” class with which I shall end this post. They are called identifor and the infographic is this:

TG