Meet Ben who picks litter on the Titterstone Clee – he’s a border collie (with video)

I’m having a break with my family for a few days. We have been visiting our beautiful countryside. But everywhere we go, townscapes and landscapes are blighted by litter. We hate it. Everyone hates it.

We were up on the Titterstone Clee today. There we met Colin, Chris and Ben, three volunteer litter pickers. It was great to see them. Ben, who picks up the bottles and cans from difficult slopes, is a border collie. Watch him collect a plastic water bottle in this video.

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The green lane should be the fast lane but Shropshire Council limps slowly on EV charging

We are a naturally green county. That’s not just our verdant rolling hills. We have a huge green thinking community in Shropshire. That’s why it is frustrating that Shropshire Council is always in the slow lane when it comes to green technology.

I have already written about the council’s lack of interest in green verges. In an answer to another question on charging points for electric vehicles, the council says it is planning to install some. How many? Two. Roll out of extra charging points will depend on “evaluation”, “solving issues”, “clarity at a national level.” I don’t understand why roll out of EV is happening almost everywhere else but Shropshire.

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Desiccation and damage threaten wildlife at Shropshire Council’s Eco Park in Ludlow

I visit Ludlow’s Eco Park almost every day. It should be Ludlow’s flagship business area but I am growing angry about the lousy way that Shropshire Council manages the site for safety and for wildlife.

The main ecological problem right now is the drying out of the main flood water retention pond. Shropshire Council is making water retention worse by mowing around the pond as though it is in a suburban housing estate. The next problem may sound minor. It’s a hole in the fence surrounding the pond. But that allows dogs into the wildlife area.

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Shropshire Council shows it is not green when it comes to roadside verges – we must boost biodiversity

Highways chiefs at Shropshire Council have given a poor answer to a question I asked about cutting grass verges. Anyone driving around Shropshire will note that many verges are cut unnecessarily at the cost of wildflowers and biodiversity. There are areas where regular verge cutting is essential. The response to a question I have asked for next week’s council meeting shows that Shropshire Council has little awareness of how verges could make a major contribution to biodiversity.

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Philip Dunne’s intervention in the Commons on Mortimer Forest cabins could kill the scheme

The row over the proposed development of 68 holiday cabins in the Mortimer Forest shows no sign of going away. A planning application was expected in June but we have yet to see it.

I wasn’t planning to write on this again until that application was submitted. But the intervention yesterday of our MP, Philip Dunne, is worth sharing. In response a question, from Philip, Thérèse Coffey, minister for woods and trees, said the government wasn’t at all happy with the cosy commercial arrangement between commercial cabin builder Forest Holidays and the publicly owned Forestry Commission.

I doubt this will kill the scheme but I hope it will.

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