Mark Easton gets bogged down
Last night's main news bulletins on BBC One (News at Six and News at Ten) featured a report by Mark Easton, the BBC's home editor:
Newsreader: Now, do you feel like your part of the UK is a green and pleasant land or a concrete jungle? It obviously depends on where you live, and what you see around you. But how many of us have an accurate picture of how much of the UK is actually developed? Using the most detailed satellite and mapping data, the BBC has produced a land-use map for every local authority - and the results may surprise you. Here's our Home Editor, Mark Easton.
Mark Easton: The concrete jungle. Roads, buildings, stone and tarmac with barely a blade of grass. In geography jargon, this is called 'continuous urban fabric', where more than 80% of the ground is covered by artificial surfaces. So how much of the UK do you think is classified as continuous urban fabric? Have a guess. The answer is on the other side of this card. I'll reveal all in a minute. Using high-definition satellite images and detailed local maps, the land use of every corner of the UK is revealed. The City of London, for example, is 98% continuous urban fabric, and perhaps that comes as no surprise.
Prof. Alasdair Rae, Sheffield University: Nearly all the land around here is covered in roads and buildings, but this is actually quite unusual in the UK, and I think people might be surprised just how little of the land in the country is actually covered with buildings and roads.
Mark Easton: So, the official answer to the question "How much of the UK is continuous urban fabric?" is... 0.1%. Looking at the whole of the country, more than half is farmland, most of it pastures. Forests, woodland and natural landscape account for a third of all the land. Urban green space - parks and gardens - make up 2.5%, with the area actually built on - roads, buildings, ports and airports - accounting for just 5.9%. Take a council like Bradford in west Yorkshire. Your mental picture is probably of a bustling urban centre, but the aerial mapping reveals that continuous urban fabric accounts for just 0.3% of the local authority. Overall, just a quarter of the land surface is artificial. Indeed 10% is this. I'm standing in a peat bog. Surprisingly perhaps, about 10% of the UK landscape is covered in ground like this. In fact there is almost twice as much peat bog in the UK as the land that we've;built on. The top area for peat bog is the Outer Hebrides, where it covers 61% of the land. Number one for pastures is Armagh City in Northern Ireland, covering 85% of the local authority. The area with the highest proportion of natural grasslands is Blaenau Gwent, in industrial South Wales. So, how much space is given over to buildings, offices, factories and homes?
Prof. Alasdair Rae: We've been crunching the numbers and our best estimate for the whole of the UK is that 1.4% of the country is covered in buildings. That equates to about 2% for England, just less than 1% for Wales, and less than half of 1% for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Mark Easton: A tiny proportion of the UK is the concrete jungle of our imagination. Indeed, the entire area covered by buildings is smaller than the land revealed when the tide goes out. Most of us, it seems, have a very confused idea of what our country actually looks like. Mark Easton, BBC News.
Now, you may feel that the BBC has designs on you here - that it's softening us up for our green and pleasant land to be concreted over in order to try and help us cope with the adverse consequences of the largely-immigration-led huge surge in population - but Mark is very careful not to explicitly reveal his motives here. He doesn't even mention immigration. It could merely be purely disinterested reporting on some fascinating data.
However, if you go onto his Twitter feed you find that it's not disinterested after all (just as you rightly suspected). He's a lot less cautious about revealing the 'hidden purpose' behind his report there:
The phrase "the UK is full up" is, of course, a commonly-used one, and it's used by people who are concerned about mass immigration and think their country is already over-crowded.
We learn from this short tweet that the design behind Mark Easton's report is to put them right on that with "the truth".
There's no doubt what the BBC were up to with this report.ReplyDelete
However, the statistic that particularly leapt out at me was the quite shocking proportion of land in England that is now classed as 'natural' - just 14.5%:
I find this an appallingly low figure even as it stands alone, but under even slightly closer scrutiny, it becomes quite staggering.
Natural comprises 'moors, forests, lakes, grasslands et cetera' we are told. We are also told that peat bog (admittedly across the whole of the UK, and not just England) stands at 9.4% of the total. Now I'm sure that much of this is in Scotland, but the report itself mentions that 11% of what is classed as the city of Bradford is peat bog, and most of us I would hope are familiar with areas such as the fens.
So with the BBC well on side with the environmentalists who baulk at further deforestation (and fair enough too in most cases), then taking into account lakes (try building on those), moors (who is going to develop on those?) and much of the grasslands (including peat bogs), almost certainly unavailable, just how much of England does remain that can be developed without compromising farming or green urban areas?
Not a question the BBC even bothered to ask, never mind dared to try to answer. One imagines the whole purpose of Mark Easton's report would have been utterly defeated had they done so.
Excellent analysis. The BBC never asks questions it doesn't want answered unless it knows they won't be answered.Delete
The truth is that the population pressure is really in London and the South, where there is the least amoung of "bog". The transport infrastructure in London is creaking. It is now very difficult to squeeze any more people on the underground of a morning...you can't increase the number of trains or magic up new stations and lines. Every acre of farmland lost is another £200 or negative on our balance of payments as we have to import the food. Our best agricultural land is in the south. It's madness to destroy our economy in this way just so Mark Easton can virtue signal at dinner parties with his Guardian mates. Also, if you build new towns, you have to connect them up to the grid, to the motorway network, to telecoms, to the gas network etc. The cost is huge.
"We learn from this short tweet that the design behind Mark Easton's report is to put them right on that with "the truth""ReplyDelete
The simple truth is everyone has their own opinion on how 'full' their village/town/city/country feels.
Much the same as for the EU referendum when 'Remain' banged on about economics whilst the electorate chose their own criteria.
The BBC is so transparent.ReplyDelete
Like a child trying to lie to you.Delete
I would be quite happy for Mark Easton and his mass immigrants to go and live on a peat bog!ReplyDelete
Hence the phrase: bog off.Delete
I like to think of Mark Easton as Chief Ideologue of the BBC. When he pronounces on a subject you can take it that it is the "correct line" (as they used to say in certain circles}. I expect there is probably some dreadful senior interdepartmental management committee at the BBC with a title like "Social Policy and Social Change" chaired by Easton which sends down directives on all manner of things. He has a clear view that the UK has to be turned into a different sought of country - completely multicultural, no borders, open to migration from everywhere with no questions asked, non-nationalist, classless, politically correct, extreme feminist, trasngenderist, English as a second language, and the ethnic majority turned into an ethnic minority.ReplyDelete
Only then will his lust for change be assuaged, at least in part, though he probably feels Pol Pot was a bit unambitious.
Incidentally I noticed on the ITV Exposure programme (which ended up being something of an unintended promo for Anne Marie Waters) that "nationalist" was used as a "dirty word" alongside the well established "far right", "Brexit" and "populist" dirty words. I wonder if they've told the SNP, Plaid or Gerry Adams that nationalist is now a dirty word?
Sorry - "sought" = "sort" of course!Delete
I wasn't aware that BBC website uses certain four-letter words (although known to have been uttered inadvertently...cough...on Radio 4 Today programme) until I clicked on an item about an abusive comment in a tweet. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-41945723ReplyDelete
It does seem to have been blanked out in the tweet so perhaps the inclusion in the news item is another example of unfortunate error.
It's not just the land space. There was a report last summer during the heatwave from research from the WWF talking about how England's rivers may be drying up. They make suggestions about how each household can limit their water use. Fair enough, I don't disagree with that, but where is the mention of the fact that there are simply too many houses in England, each using a basic amount of water. More water needed, more electricity, more consumption, more litter, all caused by too many people... Also many of our wildlife populations are under threat due to destruction of their natural habitats by over-development.ReplyDelete
That's the main thing that gets me about the left - their sheer hypocrisy by pretending to care about the environment but welcoming the unsustainable population growth that comes with mass migration.
We've got a major share in the world's chalk soil rivers (well, in the south of England) and they are very vulnerable to water extraction. Pouring more and more people into the south of England is degrading the environment. Every acre of green England that goes to housing is an acre less to support wildlife and a healthy ecosystem. Even modern farmland has a lot of hedgerow, trees, ditches and so on that support wildlife. As soon as you give it over to housing and the like, the ecosystems die. The BBC wants ecosystems to be destroyed - that is the truth of the matter, whereas sensible people who oppose mass immigration wants to preserve them.Delete
The most amazing think is that the Green Party of all parties is probably the most enthusiastic cheerleader for unrestricted mass immigration. I can remember when the Green Party was called the Ecology Party and actually opposed, quite rightly, mass immigration. Modern Greens don't care about the environment, accept in as much as it environmental protection can disrupt capitalism. We see this sort of dissonance in other parties. Plaid Cymru has a leader who can't speak Welsh despite trying! lol And UKIP is now led by an ex Lib Dem who was once in favour of increased integration into the EU! double lol.
Apologies again for spelling! "think" = "thing" and "accept" = "except" of course.Delete
Modern Greens are basically SJW's with all the destructiveness that implies.Delete
They don't seem to recognise the fragility of ecosystems. Around major roads and urban areas you have dead zones where light and noise pollution have forced the majority of wildlife out. Yes, it's "green" on a map but it is hugely degraded compared to the countryside of 60 years ago. Fewer species of birds, insects, mammals etc. Particularly a problem in the southeast of England.ReplyDelete