Pilots’ strike grounds Lufthansa

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 佛山桑拿论坛

Lufthansa pilots have begun the biggest strike in the airline’s history, grounding most of its flights for the next three days and leaving as many as 425,000 passengers without a connection.

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Lufthansa cancelled about 3800 flights on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as a result of the walkout by pilots who are demanding better pay and retirement conditions.

In addition to Lufthansa’s passenger services, the strike, which began at midnight and will last until 11.59pm on Friday, will also affect the airline’s Germanwings subsidiary and its freight carrier Lufthansa Cargo.

The walkout would cost Germany’s biggest carrier “tens of millions of euros”, it estimated.

“The economic consequences will be enormous,” Lufthansa’s head of operations Werner Knorr told a news conference.

And Knorr said there would be no talks between the two sides while the strikes were ongoing.

“I’m assuming that once the walkouts have ended, negotiations will resume,” he said.

In a bid to avert chaos, Lufthansa has been keeping passengers up to date about flight changes via text message or email, and offering to re-book them onto other airlines.

The situation at Frankfurt airport, the country’s largest, remained calm on Wednesday, with few queues evident at check-in terminals. And those flights that were operating were proceeding normally.

“The aim is that people don’t turn up at the airport for nothing,” Lufthansa spokeswoman Barbara Schaedler told AFP.

Around 60 flights were already cancelled on Tuesday so that passengers changing planes in Germany would not find themselves stranded.

Germanwings said Tuesday it planned to uphold around 600 connections over the three-day period by leasing capacity from other airlines.

Some of the disruptions would roll over into Saturday, “but our strategy is to resume our timetable as soon as possible,” Knorr said.

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Old Stooges songs to feature on new album

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The Stooges rocker James Williamson has resurrected a collection of songs he wrote with Iggy Pop four decades ago.

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The American punk band enjoyed a prolific creative period while they toured their 1973 album Raw Power, but the songs they wrote were never properly recorded and the group split in 1974 after being dropped by their record label.

Williamson has told Uncut magazine: “We did Raw Power, and we still had a record contract with CBS (the CBS Records label) for a second album.

“We were out touring the US like crazy, generating new material for what would have been a second album on CBS, but later on in the tour they decided not to pick up our option, so those songs just kind of laid there.”

The guitarist is preparing to release the lost album, titled Re-Licked, that was meant to have been Raw Power’s follow-up. Many of the songs have been heard only as rehearsal or live recordings.

Iggy Pop is not involved with the project, so Williamson has recruited collaborators including former Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist Mark Lanegan, punk musician Jello Biafra and blues singer Carolyn Wonderland to handle vocal duties.

“It’s been really encouraging how many singers have come forward and wanted to sing on it,” Williams said.

He added: “I discussed doing these with Iggy. We decided there was no way we could do them as The Stooges and not be compared to the old Stooges… So we opted to do a new record (2013’s Ready To Die).

“Why don’t I do it with Iggy now? I felt like this was my project, I didn’t feel like he was particularly thrilled about jumping back into the studio.

“Now I think he’s hearing that it sounds pretty damn good, so hey, if he wants to sing on one or two of them I’d be thrilled to death to have him do it. So it’s kind of open-ended but frankly I don’t think he will.”

Re-Licked is scheduled for release towards the end of 2014. The tracks Open Up And Bleed and Gimme Some Skin, both featuring Wonderland, will be released as singles for Record Store Day in April.

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Brazil learn to play with their heads and feet

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Between now and the final on July 13, the subject of how Brazil will handle the pressure, debated by media and public alike, is going to be as common a theme as their inability to finish stadiums on time or provide the promised infrastructure legacy.

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Brazil go into the competition as hot favourites following their triumph in last year’s Confederations Cup, when they demolished world champions Spain 3-0 in the final. The triumph was one of their 13 wins in their last 14 games.

However, a number of psychological hurdles lie ahead.

Brazil are still scarred by the nightmare of losing the final game of the 1950 World Cup – the only other time when they hosted the tournament – and no team has won the most famous football trophy the year after lifting the Confederations Cup.

Their notoriously fickle fans could still turn on the team if all does not go to plan.

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has repeatedly stressed the importance of the home supporters and encouraged fans to get behind their team, especially if and when the going gets tough.

“Be with us during the World Cup: participate, jump up and down, get into the spirit,” he told an audience of legal professionals in Brasilia last month.

“We want you to help us, particularly when we are in trouble, because that is when you can make the difference.”

FATHER FIGURE

Scolari is a wily technician who is famous for his motivational skills. The fatherly role he assumed in guiding the squad to the 2002 World Cup became famous as ‘The Scolari Family.’

One of the key members of that close-knit group was sports psychologist Regina Brandao and Scolari has asked her to work with the players again.

That assistance will be vital, especially for the younger players, said Jose Anibal Marques, a sports psychologist who works with Botafogo, two-time Brazilian champions where the great Garrincha played for 12 years of his dazzling career.

“Playing in the World Cup finals means you’ve reached the height of your profession and with that comes a huge responsibility to perform,” Marques told Reuters.

“Players from every country will face pressure. But there is an extra responsibility for Brazilians because culturally football is the maximum expression of what it means to be Brazilian.”

Few people know that better than Mauro Silva. The combative midfielder played at the highest level in Spain for 13 years and was ever present in the Brazil team that won the World Cup in 1994.

BIGGEST PRIZE

Before that competition, Brazil had gone 24 years without winning football’s biggest prize and the clamour for success was overwhelming.

“We hadn’t won the World Cup since 1970 and that caused a tremendous anxiety,” Silva recalled in a telephone interview.

“The atmosphere was not at all relaxed, we couldn’t train properly and our work was made easier when we went to the United States. It was good to be outside Brazil.”

This time round Brazil will not be able to escape that pressure cooker environment.

At home, every tactical change, personality clash, and injury will be magnified by an insatiable media.

Silva said one of Scolari’s main tasks is preparing his players for that psychological challenge.

Brazil’s team is young – star player Neymar is just 22 – and several first choice players have not played in a World Cup before.

Marques said players can be trained to deal with the pressure. By having them focus and talk through potentially adverse situations, players will be better prepared to deal with them.

“The Confederations Cup win was important not just because it showed the players they can beat the best, but because it showed the fans,” Marques said.

“Part of the preparation is discussing how the fans can be with you or against you.

“You can emphasise the positive aspects of playing at home and potentialise performance by stressing those positive aspects.

“The win over Spain helped the players’ self-esteem and the fans were able to identify with the team.”

COLLECTIVE SUPPORT

Other players who know him said Scolari’s insistence on picking team players who support each other was an important psychological factor.

“It’s a young team but it appears strong and united,” said Juninho Paulista, one of the few Brazilians to cope with the pressure of playing in England where he had three spells with Middlesbrough.

He also learnt the pressures of playing in Spain and Scotland and had a spell in Australia at the end of his career which peaked with a World Cup winners medal under Scolari in 2002.

“They encourage each other and there’s no vanity or egos. Even Neymar, he’s the star but he demands more of the others and they demand more of him and it’s all done in the same spirit of the 2002 team,” Juninho added.

“If there is a concern, it’s their age. There are a lot of players, who even though they have experience at the highest level in Europe, have never played a World Cup before.

“It’s different. There’s much more pressure. Representing your country is more important.”

Lurking in the background is the spectre of the failure of 1950, when Brazil lost 2-1 in the final match of the tournament to Uruguay when they were the overwhelming favourites to win.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo told Reuters: “I am not exaggerating when I tell you that that was a national tragedy.

“It took us eight years to get over it until we won the World Cup in 1958, and while it has always been in the background, it has come right back in front of our eyes again.

“We must not let that happen again.”

Pressure? What pressure?

(Editing by Mike Collett and Pritha Sarkar)

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Cannon: White album is a compliment

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Nick Cannon insists the title of his new album was meant as a “compliment” to white people.

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The 33-year-old musician has sparked debates by naming his record White People Party Music. His decision to change the colour of his skin while promoting his work was also received badly by the public.

But Cannon insists these moves were made in good nature and jest, and he isn’t surprised by the attention surrounding him.

“It was meant as a compliment. Because white people know how to have fun more than anybody. When you in the club with white people they turn all the way up.

“But obviously it’s satire [and] I’m just having fun. I don’t take myself seriously,” he explained to Vibe.

“I always tell people I could have named this album Purple People Party Music but it would have been the same album. I knew the title would strike controversy and get people talking. [So] we just want everybody to embrace their inner-white person and have fun with it.”

Despite receiving negative comments, Cannon – who is married to singing sensation Mariah Carey – is pleased about the discussion it is provoking among people.

“To the people who are offended and sensitive about it – those aren’t the people I’m trying to reach anyway and everybody else who understands my sense of humour sees that there is no malice intent involved,” he added.

“There is a huge difference between humour and hatred. I love the fact that people are having this conversation though because we do have differences.”

The rapper continued to address the issue of racism in America. He believes his success in the music industry has broken boundaries for black musicians.

“There is a double standard because our community is still a disenfranchised community. I’ll trade you, give us 98 per cent of the wealth of the nation, and you can dress up in any colour you wanna dress up in,” he laughed,

“That’s just real talk. You sit back and analyse it, I’m a black dude making white people party music. That shows we’ve come a long way. Now, if you want to hold us back and accuse us of being racist, that’s your opinion and that’s the beauty of being an American. If you don’t like it, don’t follow me on Instagram, and don’t follow me on Twitter.”

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Lost 1920s British film found in Amsterdam

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One of Britain’s “most-wanted” lost films from the 1920s has turned up in a collection of old canisters rescued from a rural Dutch cinema, Amsterdam’s EYE Film Institute says.

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“The long-lost British masterpiece called Love, Life and Laughter (1923) featuring actress Betty Balfour was discovered in the EYE’s collection last Friday,” spokesman Marnix van Wijk said.

Shot by famed director George Pearson, the film was listed as “missing” by the British Film Institute and featured on a list of 75 movies the BFI said “was not in our vaults” but “which we would love to find”.

The silent classic features a youthful Balfour, by far the most popular British screen actress of the time, playing the role of “Tip-Toes”, who dreams of dance-hall fame and befriends a young aspiring writer played by Harry Jonas.

The pair agree to meet each other in two years to see if their dreams came true.

This particular copy was shown in a cinema in Hattem near the central Dutch city of Zwolle between 1929-32, the EYE said.

The cinema closed down and the canisters were in storage at a local television station.

In 2012, a Dutch journalist brought them to the EYE in the Dutch capital.

“It took a while for us to open the canisters to see what’s inside,” Van Wijk told AFP.

“One of our people on Friday got to it, watched the film and saw the title. He went online and then realised ‘Hey, this is a really exceptional discovery’,” he said.

Bryony Dixon, silent movie curator at the BFI’s National Archive, described it as a “very important find”.

“Not only does Betty Balfour, the biggest female star of the silent movie period play the lead role, but also it’s directed by George Pearson, one of Britain’s most talented movie-makers at the time,” she said.

At its release the British press hailed it “as a triumph”, a “classic” and a “masterpiece”, the EYE added.

It premiered for the first time in the Netherlands in Amsterdam’s Tuschinski theatre on October 12, 1923.

“We are in consultation with the BFI over how it will be restored and when the public will be able to enjoy the movie once again,” Van Wijk said.

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Minor tsunami hits Japan after Chile quake

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Small tsunami waves have hit northern Japan following a powerful 8.

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2-magnitude earthquake thousands of kilometres away across the Pacific Ocean in Chile, officials say.

However Indonesia has not seen any waves and New Zealand and Australia say there is no tsunami threat to their shores.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said waves of 20 centimetres were monitored in Kuji, Iwate prefecture, early on Thursday.

Minor tsunamis were also monitored in several other areas of northern Japan, the agency said, adding that higher waves may hit Japan later.

Earlier in the day, Japan issued a tsunami advisory, saying waves of up to one metre above normal sea levels may hit eastern Pacific coast regions, but were unlikely to cause damage.

Large areas of the coastline covered by the advisory were also hit by the 2011 quake and tsunami, which killed more than 18,000 people and triggered a nuclear accident in Fukushima.

The agency warned people to leave the coast but said it did not expect damage from the waves.

“Get out of the water and leave the coast immediately,” it said.

But it added: “Though there may be slight sea-level change in coastal regions, no tsunami damage is expected.”

Local authorities issued evacuation advisories to more than 22,000 people living near the coastline in Iwate prefecture, northern Japan, public broadcaster NHK said.

Television footage showed local residents fleeing to nearby shelter in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, where more than 1000 people were killed in the 2011 tsunami.

In 1960, a 9.5-magnitude earthquake in Chile sent a tsunami across the Pacific that killed more than 140 people in Japan.

Indonesia also said it could be hit by a small tsunami from the quake off Chile, which killed at least six people and caused nearly a million to evacuate their homes along the coast.

Waves of up to half a metre had been expected to hit the eastern region of Papua shortly after 0900 AEDT but officials said nothing had been detected so far.

“Until now there are no signs of even a small tsunami. We are monitoring closely,” said Frangky Ulus from the Indonesia Tsunami Early Warning System in Jayapura, Papua.

Authorities in 19 provinces of Indonesia were alerted earlier as a precaution and people were urged to stay away from beaches.

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Syrian economy devastated by conflict: UN

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Businesses across Syria have been devastated by the destruction inflicted by the traumatic three-year civil war, and the economy could take 30 years to recover to its pre-conflict level, a United Nations survey warns.

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The fighting “saw the economy lose a total of $84.4 billion over the first two years of the conflict… Even if the conflict ceased now and GDP (gross domestic product) grew at an average rate of five per cent each year, it is estimated that it would take the Syrian economy 30 years to return to the economic level of 2010,” it said in the study published on Wednesday.

During the war, Syria has experienced “massive de-industrialisation, dilapidation and degradation,” the study said.

Businesses have closed or gone bankrupt, and those that haven’t have been looted or destroyed by war, the study said. Capital flight – people getting their money out of the country – has been massive.

“This is the first study of its kind and provides hard statistical evidence of the tragic and widespread impact the conflict is having on lives and livelihoods across Syria,” said Chris Gunness, spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which undertook the survey as part of its responsibilities for assisting Palestinian refugees.

The survey polled clients of the agency’s micro-finance loan program in Syria and found that nearly three-quarters had been displaced from their homes. In the Yarmouk district of Damascus, a heavily Palestinian area that once held 160,000 residents, 89 per cent of residents had fled, the survey found.

Nearly 56 per cent of those surveyed said their homes had been damaged and 14 per cent said their homes had been destroyed.

The report based its survey on a random sample taken from among 8000 business people, both Palestinians and Syrians, participated in the micro-finance program. Of those, 840 were selected to take part in the current survey; 541 fully completed the poll.

UN economists estimated that since the outbreak of violence more than three years ago, 2.3 million jobs had been lost, “with the welfare of almost 10 million dependents jeopardised.”

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U.S. lawmaker wants Russia World Cup red card despite FIFA snub

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“FIFA suggests that outrageous misbehaviour by member states does not matter because such decisions are irrelevant to football,” U.

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S. Senator Dan Coats said.

In a letter to Coats and another Republican senator, Mark Kirk, FIFA said World Cup participation is based on sporting merit, and that only a violation of FIFA statutes and regulations could lead to suspension or expulsion from a competition.

Coats noted that Yugoslavia was banned from international competition in 1992 and 1994 because of its behaviour during the Balkan wars, a matter unconnected to the playing field.

“I continue to call upon FIFA leadership to impose the same punishment on Russia,” Coats said.

Coats and Kirk wrote to FIFA on March 7 asking it to convene an emergency session to consider suspending Russia’s membership, strip it of its right to host the World Cup in four years, and deny the Russian national team the right to play in Brazil.

Two Russian lawmakers shot back a few days later, calling on Blatter to expel the United States from the World Cup finals [nL3N0M8457].

Among other things, the deputies from the Russian State Duma, Aleksandr Sidyakin and Mikhail Markelov, cited aggressive American actions against Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya, as well as attempts to encroach on Libya.

This year’s World Cup will be staged in Brazil from June 12 to July 13. The United States could meet Russia in the knockout round of the competition if they both advance from their groups.

The United States are in Group G with Ghana, Portugal and Germany, while Russia will play in Group H with Belgium, South Korea and Algeria.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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Binskin set to be next defence chief

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Vice-chief of the defence force Air Marshal Mark Binskin is expected to succeed General David Hurley as Australia’s next defence force boss.

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In other changes set to be announced in Canberra on Friday, navy chief Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs is expected to become defence force vice-chief and current navy fleet commander Rear Admiral Tim Barrett to become chief of navy.

RAAF chief Air Marshal Geoff Brown and army chief Lieutenant General David Morrison are expected to have their terms extended, allowing them to oversee important ongoing changes including acquisition of the new F-35 joint strike fighter.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Defence Minister David Johnston will be in Canberra on Friday for the anticipated announcement of the new defence force leaders.

Air Marshal Binskin, 54, will return the top defence job to the air force, although he started out in the navy.

This has led some defence insiders to jokingly refer to him as the navy’s Manchurian candidate.

He joined the navy in 1978, flying Skyhawk jets. When the navy disbanded its fixed wing aviation arm, he transferred to the RAAF in 1984, flying Mirage and F/A-18 Hornet jets.

He has flown more than 3500 hours in single-seat fighter aircraft.

He rose to command the air force in 2008 and was appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Force on July 4, 2011, the same day as General Hurley.

These announcements follow another important change: Rear Admiral David Johnston will succeed Lieutenant General Ash Power as the chief of Joint Operations Command, responsible for conduct of all defence operations such as in Afghanistan.

In the past, defence chiefs have been appointed for three year terms but it’s understood that will now be extended to four years, allowing those at the top more time to implement significant changes.

By appointing some new chiefs and extending the term of others, the government ends the current situation where all terms concluded on the same day – a situation that had the potential for turbulence as defence’s top leadership all departed at once.

Unlike predecessor Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who headed defence for six years (2005-11), General Hurley’s term has run for three years – like that of now Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.

It’s understood General Hurley was invited to extend but opted to retire to give his successor a clear role in drafting and implementing the new Defence White Paper which will be released next year.

He plans to retire to a property on the NSW mid-north coast.

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Taliban suicide blast kills six in Kabul

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A Taliban suicide bomber has blown himself up at the Afghan interior ministry in Kabul, killing six police officers just three days before the country’s presidential election.

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The attack came as the three leading candidates to succeed President Hamid Karzai made a final push for votes with rallies on the last day of campaigning.

Kabul has been rocked by a string of high-profile attacks in the run-up to Saturday’s election, which will be the first democratic handover of power in Afghanistan’s turbulent history.

“The suicide attacker, wearing a military uniform, detonated himself near the gate of the ministry killing six policemen,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told AFP.

He said that the blast occurred in an annex to the ministry, which is one of the most closely-guarded buildings in the Afghan capital.

“The explosion shook my shop. I saw a column of smoke coming out of the ministry,” shopkeeper Rahim Gul told AFP.

“Around 10 minutes later an ambulance rushed in and came out quickly from the ministry.”

A diplomat in the Indian embassy, which is next door to the ministry, told AFP he heard a huge bang and that he and his colleagues were ordered to shelter in reinforced safe rooms.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack through one of their recognised Twitter accounts.

The election is seen as a benchmark of progress since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 and the militants have urged their fighters to target polling staff, voters and security forces.

On Wednesday the bodies of nine people, including a provincial council candidate, were found in the northern province of Sari Pul.

Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah, runner-up in 2009, and former foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul are the leading contenders in the eight-man race.

A repeat of the bloodshed and fraud that marred the 2009 election would damage claims by international donors that the multi-billion-dollar, 13-year intervention in Afghanistan has made progress in establishing a functioning state system.

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‘Catastrophic’ fall in England grasslands

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England’s wildlife-rich grasslands are suffering a “catastrophic decline”, conservationists have warned.

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The Wildlife Trusts said remaining sites ranging from ancient meadows to roadside verges were vital habitat for bees and other wildlife, and also helped to make soils secure, manage water, prevent flooding and store carbon.

But research gathered from around England shows many locally-important grassland sites are vanishing under pressure from development, agricultural practices or neglect.

More must be done to protect the natural resource and the heritage that has inspired writers and artists for generations, the Wildlife Trusts urged.

The Trusts are calling for greater protection of grasslands under existing rules, and for more species-rich sites to get statutory protection.

They also want farmers to be rewarded for managing important areas, and for stronger requirements to protect grasslands under the system for paying agricultural subsidies.

There needs to be a national inventory of important grasslands, with monitoring of sites, and for more work to restore wildlife-rich grasslands, the Trusts urged.

Stephen Trotter, The Wildlife Trusts’ director, England, said: “Wildlife-rich grasslands have been in trouble for decades, but our newly collated information shows that the remaining hay meadows and flower-rich pastures are still at risk.

“We’re seeing an insidious yet catastrophic decline. The pressures are enormous: from development and changes in agricultural practices, to neglect.

“If we don’t act fast we’ll lose the natural heritage that has inspired writers and artists through generations – from Shakespeare to Hockney.

“If we don’t act now we’ll lose an important natural resource that benefits farming, wildlife and people.

“The shocking examples of our best sites in decline should be a wake-up call for Government to start working now with farmers, local authorities and nature organisations to halt the loss.”

The Trusts said information gathered from around the country showed many examples of grasslands being lost or no longer meeting the criteria for selection as Local Wildlife Sites because the habitats and species that made them special have vanished.

Local Wildlife Sites are only protected via the planning system, as their designation is not statutory, but they are an important wildlife resource in many parts of the country, the Trusts said.

In Worcestershire, renowned for its traditional lowland hay meadows, almost a quarter of grassland Local Wildlife Sites – 48 in total – have been lost or damaged since 2005.

In Nottinghamshire, 99 sites containing neutral grassland have been de-selected as Local Wildlife Sites since 2005, because they no longer meet the criteria.

And in Cumbria, surveys of upland hay meadow Local Wildlife Sites between 2008-2011 led to the deselection of 35 out of 128 sites. At 15 of the sites surveyed, the traditional hay meadows which had previously been present had completely disappeared.

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