Documentation in relation to the decision to place cattle on the Firehills

Lydia Maher made this Freedom of Information request to Hastings Borough Council Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Hastings Borough Council,

Please provide under FOIA and EIR all information in any form (including documents, emails, and correspondence) regarding the placing of cattle on the Firehills. This includes any reports, equality impact assessments, safety assessments, consultations, emails, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related information.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you require further clarification on any aspect of my request.

Yours faithfully,

Lydia Maher

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information (Subject Access request) your
request will be dealt with according to the requirements of the General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the timescale for response may be
extended to 40 days.
 
You can find out more information about [1]Freedom of Information as well
as all of the services the council provides on [2]our website.
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[3]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my_council/f...
2. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/
3. file:///tmp/www.hastings.gov.uk

Dear Hastings Borough Council,

You have not answered my request under the FOIA and EIR for all documentation in relation to the decision to place cattle on the Firehills.

My request was made on 24 July 2023 and should have been answered by 21 August 2023, as required by law.

I therefore request an internal review of the handling of my FOI request by Hastings Borough Council.

Yours sincerely,

Lydia Maher

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information (Subject Access request) your
request will be dealt with according to the requirements of the General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the timescale for response may be
extended to 40 days.
 
You can find out more information about [1]Freedom of Information as well
as all of the services the council provides on [2]our website.
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[3]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my_council/f...
2. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/
3. file:///tmp/www.hastings.gov.uk

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Dear Ms Maher

Thank you for your email sent earlier today chasing for our response to your Freedom of Information request ref: FOIR-533885462. Subject: Documentation in relation to the decision to place cattle on the Firehills.

Please accept my apologies for not responding within the timeframe. A vast amount of information is held and I can confirm our response has been drafted and is now awaiting senior approval. I will respond with the requested information once your request has been approved.

Yours sincerely

Lisa Greathead
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
Muriel Matters House
Breeds Place
Hastings
TN34 3UY
01424 451722

show quoted sections

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

9 Attachments

Dear L Maher
 
I refer to your recent Freedom of Information request ref:
FOIR-533885462.  Please accept my apologies for the slight delay in
responding.
 
Please find attached our response.
 
 
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Lisa Greathead
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
Muriel Matters House
Breeds Place
Hastings
TN34 3UY
01424 451722
 
[1][IMG]
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/my.hastings.gov.uk

Dear Lisa Greathead,

Thank you for your response and your apologies for the delay.

The response is incomplete, so I therefore request an internal review of the handling of my FOI request by Hastings Borough Council. Please pass this on to the person who conducts the reviews.

There are also areas that I’d like further clarification.

My request was:
“Please provide under FOIA and EIR all information in any form (including documents, emails, and correspondence) regarding the placing of cattle on the Firehills. This includes any reports, equality impact assessments, safety assessments, consultations, emails, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related information.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you require further clarification on any aspect of my request.”

The purpose of my request is to understand how the decision was made to place cattle on the Firehills, a place I visit each morning.

Please can you clarify the following:
1. I asked for information on all consultations regarding the placing of cattle on the Firehills including emails, reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related information. Who was consulted about placing cattle in the public area of the Firehills? If no consultations were held, please state this clearly.

In the report to the 15/03/2022 Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve Management Forum, it’s stated that copies of the proposals were sent to the Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve, the Disability Forum and Fairlight Parish Council. Was there no other contact or consultations with them on this issue? Please provide all emails, reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related information.

What consultations took place with Natural England and other relevant bodies regarding conservation grazing in the Firehills, an area largely covered by gorse? Please provide emails, reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related information.

2. The section of the Stewardship 2013-2023 Legal Agreement you provided refers to several attachments. Please can you provide these as they’re not included.

3. You state that “Hastings Borough Council is currently developing a Risk Assessment in collaboration with other local authorities and organisations and will publish this prior to cattle grazing land at the Firehills”. Please confirm that no safety or risk assessment has been carried out prior to this in relation to the welfare of the cattle or the public.

4. You state that “Hastings Borough Council does not hold an Equality Impact Assessment for cattle on the Firehills”. The wording is unclear, I assume you mean there has been no Equality Impact Assessment (in relation to the Public Sector Equality Duty) for the placing of cattle on the Firehills, is this correct?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available online at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Lydia Maher

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information (Subject Access request) your
request will be dealt with according to the requirements of the General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the timescale for response may be
extended to 40 days.
 
You can find out more information about [1]Freedom of Information as well
as all of the services the council provides on [2]our website.
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[3]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my_council/f...
2. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/
3. file:///tmp/www.hastings.gov.uk

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Dear Ms Maher

Thank you for your email dated 27 August 2023 requesting an internal review which I will process and also respond to your questions that require clarification.

You claim that the request is incomplete, please can you kindly inform me why you believe this to be the case?

Yours sincerely

Lisa Greathead
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
Muriel Matters House
Breeds Place
Hastings
TN34 3UY
01424 451722

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Greathead,

Re: FOI request FOIR-533885462.

In answer to your query, while the supplied documents are informative, I’m still not clear about HOW the decision was made to place five Belted Galloway cattle on the Firehills.

The public area of the Firehills where it’s proposed cattle will graze is relatively small and narrow (and largely covered in gorse). It’s also flat and easily accessible which is why two ‘Accessible to All’ paths were placed there (these fall into the area where the cattle will be placed) plus other amenities such as disabled parking and toilets, the accessible information centre and café.

The area of the Firehills is a unique part of the HCPNR. As the 2014 Heathland Management Plan acknowledges ‘Firehills has very high levels of public access which may cause issues with grazing livestock’ (p.3). There wasn’t a public consultation, safety/risk assessment, or equality impact assessment. So, what did inform the initial decision?

These are the areas I’d like more information about:

1. How was the fact that the area is relatively small with a high public footfall reconciled with placing cattle there? Who was consulted about this (e.g. places where cattle have been placed in similar circumstances)? What did they say? What research informed the decision? Please provide all emails, reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related information.

2. The 2022 report ‘Conservation grazing and heathland restoration’ to the HCPNR Management Forum states that one of the stakeholder organisations sent proposals for the erection of fencing and gates was the Disability Forum. What was the response? Were they also consulted about the placing of cattle where the ‘Access for All’ paths are? Were any other disability organisations consulted? If so, what was the response(s)? Please provide all emails, reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related information.

3. A large part of the Firehills is covered in gorse, much of which is now mechanically cut. Historical records suggest it has been there for at least a hundred years. Aerial photographs from 1946 show the area covered in gorse blocks. What evidence informed the decision that placing a herd of five Belted Galloway cattle there for 2-3 months each year would keep the gorse down without the need for mechanical mowing? Were other methods considered? If so, what were they? Who was consulted about the efficacy of this? What did they say/recommend? Please provide all emails, reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related information.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you require further clarification.

Yours sincerely,

Lydia Maher

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information (Subject Access request) your
request will be dealt with according to the requirements of the General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the timescale for response may be
extended to 40 days.
 
You can find out more information about [1]Freedom of Information as well
as all of the services the council provides on [2]our website.
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[3]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my_council/f...
2. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/
3. file:///tmp/www.hastings.gov.uk

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

9 Attachments

Dear Ms Maher
 
I refer to your email dated 27 August 2023 requesting an Internal Review
following our response to a recent Freedom of Information request ref:
FOIR-533885462 Subject: Documentation in relation to the decision to place
cattle on the Firehills.
 
I have been asked, as a senior officer of the council who has not been
involved in your case to look into how we handled your request.
 
Hastings Borough Council received the following request on 24 July 2023
 
Please provide under FOIA and EIR all information in any form (including
documents, emails, and correspondence) regarding the placing of cattle on
the Firehills. This includes any reports, equality impact assessments,
safety assessments, consultations, emails, correspondence, minutes of
meetings, and any other related information.
 
Hastings Borough Council received an email from you dated 22 August 2023
 
You have not answered my request under the FOIA and EIR for all
documentation in relation to the decision to place cattle on the
Firehills.
 
My request was made on 24 July 2023 and should have been answered by 21
August 2023, as required by law.
 
I therefore request an internal review of the handling of my FOI request
by Hastings Borough Council.
 
 
Hastings Borough Council responded the same day
 
Thank you for your email sent earlier today chasing for our response to
your Freedom of Information request ref: FOIR-533885462. Subject:
Documentation in relation to the decision to place cattle on the
Firehills.
 
Please accept my apologies for not responding within the timeframe.  A
vast amount of information is held and I can confirm our response has been
drafted and is now awaiting senior approval.  I will respond with the
requested information once your request has been approved.
 
Hastings Borough Council responded on the 25 August 2023
 
 
Please see below and attached information held in relation the placing of
cattle on the Firehills.
 
The main public document that mentions grazing on the cliff tops is the
Management Plan. This is an adopted Hastings Borough Council document and
is available via the following link:
[1]https://www.hastings.gov.uk/content/park...
2030.pdf
 
Please find attached 2 documents of the Hastings Country Park Nature
Reserve Management Forum held on the 24 November 2016 (exert below) and 15
March 2022 (report - attachment No 1).
 
Stewardship - Firehills Grazing Project – 24^th November 2016
 
1. Management Forum has previously discussed grazing on the Firehills.
This is now a strategic project that officers wish to actively pursue.
 
2. Over the previous three years the council has reduced the amount of
even age gorse blocks on the Firehills and spread heather seed from
Ashdown forest to promote a more characteristic grassland and heather
cliff top habitat. Early indications are that the heather spreading has
been successful with extensive areas of young heather being identified on
land not previously colonised.
 
3. These areas will however quickly revert to gorse scrub again if not
managed. We are currently cutting the Firehills mechanically and removing
the arisings. This, however, is not financially or practically sustainable
in the long term.
 
4. The thrust of the Firehills Grazing Project is to lay what is known as
‘invisible fencing’ on potential grazing blocks on the Firehills. This
works by setting up a battery powered induction loop underground. The
cattle wear special collars which make a sound when they get close the
loop. Getting too close gives the animal an alarm. Training allows them to
respond to the sounds and therefore avoid getting the alarm. The cattle
learn to avoid the line where the loop is and therefore remain inside the
area to be grazed. Only the 5 Belted Galloway cows would be used in this
project.
 
5. No other animals are affected by the underground fencing. Dogs and
people can pass over the loop without any knowledge it is there. An
informative video on invisible fencing at Epping Forest can be seen on
YouTube at [2]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuI-1N-w...
 
6. Officers feel this is now a priority project for the nature reserve to
help manage the newly developing habitats sustainably. All costs would be
paid for through our Stewardship grants at no cost to the council. Grant
aid would also be sought.
 
7. As this is a major change in the way people use the Firehills an
extensive public information programme will be required, especially with
our neighbours at Fairlight.
 
8. It is recommended Management Forum request the Environment and Natural
Resources Manager to progress the Firehills grazing project for an
anticipated implementation during 2017.
 
Hastings Borough Council does not hold an Equality Impact Assessment for
cattle on the Firehills.
 
Hastings Borough Council is currently developing a Risk Assessment in
collaboration with other local authorities and organisations and will
publish this prior to cattle grazing land at the Firehills.
 
Please find attached position statement between Natural England and
Hastings Borough Council issued in 2015 following complaints about the
management of the Firehills (attachment No 2)
 
Part 3 of the Higher level Stewardship 2013-2023 legal agreement states:
 
Graze with cattle and/or ponies (and/or hardy sheep, but only if sheep
grazing is recommended in the grazing plan) suitable for the conditions,
to control scrub and grasses, increase plant species diversity and
establish a structural mosaic in dwarf shrub stands. Adjust stocking
density to ensure that vegetation does not suppress heather seedlings or
plants, but avoids stock damage to them. Where livestock are not
available, manage the sward in accordance with the management plans by
cutting, collecting and removing arisings. Heather and shrubs should have
a range of age classes as described in the indicators of success.
 
The agreement requires a heathland plan to be produced in the first year.
The Heathland Management Plan 2014 is attached. That plan sets out the
need for and case for cattle grazing of the Firehills in line with our
Legal agreement (attachment No 3).
 
The attached Cabinet report agreed the current 2013-2023 Higher Level
Stewardship agreement. It does not go into the detail of the agreement..
However by agreeing to the legal agreement the council agreed to implement
the prescriptions, which include grazing the Firehills habitats
(attachment No 4).
 
Please find attached various posters that went up on site over the years
to inform the public of our proposals (attachment No 5, 6 & 7).
 
Please note that names/addresses/telephone numbers and e mail addresses
have been redacted as these fall under Section 40 (2) of the Freedom of
Information Act: Personal data. This is an absolute exemption and will not
be provided.
 
 
 
 
You requested an internal review on the 27 August 2023
 
 
Thank you for your response and your apologies for the delay.
 
The response is incomplete, so I therefore request an internal review of
the handling of my FOI request by Hastings Borough Council. Please pass
this on to the person who conducts the reviews.
 
There are also areas that I’d like further clarification.
 
My request was:
“Please provide under FOIA and EIR all information in any form (including
documents, emails, and correspondence) regarding the placing of cattle on
the Firehills. This includes any reports, equality impact assessments,
safety assessments, consultations, emails, correspondence, minutes of
meetings, and any other related information.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you require further clarification
on any aspect of my request.”
 
The purpose of my request is to understand how the decision was made to
place cattle on the Firehills, a place I visit each morning.
 
Please can you clarify the following:
1.      I asked for information on all consultations regarding the placing
of cattle on the Firehills including emails, reports, correspondence,
minutes of meetings, and any other related information. Who was consulted
about placing cattle in the public area of the Firehills? If no
consultations were held, please state this clearly.
 
In the report to the 15/03/2022 Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve
Management Forum, it’s stated that copies of the proposals were sent to
the Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve, the Disability Forum
and Fairlight Parish Council. Was there no other contact or consultations
with them on this issue? Please provide all emails, reports,
correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related information.
 
What consultations took place with Natural England and other relevant
bodies regarding conservation grazing in the Firehills, an area largely
covered by gorse? Please provide emails, reports, correspondence, minutes
of meetings, and any other related information.
 
2.      The section of the Stewardship 2013-2023 Legal Agreement you
provided refers to several attachments. Please can you provide these as
they’re not included.
 
3.      You state that “Hastings Borough Council is currently developing a
Risk Assessment in collaboration with other local authorities and
organisations and will publish this prior to cattle grazing land at the
Firehills”. Please confirm that no safety or risk assessment has been
carried out prior to this in relation to the welfare of the cattle or the
public.
 
4.      You state that “Hastings Borough Council does not hold an Equality
Impact Assessment for cattle on the Firehills”. The wording is unclear, I
assume you mean there has been no Equality Impact Assessment (in relation
to the Public Sector Equality Duty) for the placing of cattle on the
Firehills, is this correct?
 
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available
online at this address:
[3]https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=ht...
 
Thank you.
 
Hastings Borough Council responded on the 31 August 2023
 
Thank you for your email dated 27 August 2023 requesting an internal
review which I will process and also respond to your questions that
require clarification.
 
You claim that the request is incomplete, please can you kindly inform me
why you believe this to be the case?
 
You responded on the 8 September 2023
 
In answer to your query, while the supplied documents are informative, I’m
still not clear about HOW the decision was made to place five Belted
Galloway cattle on the Firehills.
 
The public area of the Firehills where it’s proposed cattle will graze is
relatively small and narrow (and largely covered in gorse). It’s also flat
and easily accessible which is why two ‘Accessible to All’ paths were
placed there (these fall into the area where the cattle will be placed)
plus other amenities such as disabled parking and toilets, the accessible
information centre and café.
 
The area of the Firehills is a unique part of the HCPNR. As the 2014
Heathland Management Plan acknowledges ‘Firehills has very high levels of
public access which may cause issues with grazing livestock’ (p.3). There
wasn’t a public consultation, safety/risk assessment, or equality impact
assessment. So, what did inform the initial decision?
 
These are the areas I’d like more information about:
 
1.      How was the fact that the area is relatively small with a high
public footfall reconciled with placing cattle there? Who was consulted
about this (e.g. places where cattle have been placed in similar
circumstances)? What did they say? What research informed the decision?
Please provide all emails, reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings,
and any other related information.
 
2.      The 2022 report ‘Conservation grazing and heathland restoration’
to the HCPNR Management Forum states that one of the stakeholder
organisations sent proposals for the erection of fencing and gates was the
Disability Forum. What was the response? Were they also consulted about
the placing of cattle where the ‘Access for All’ paths are? Were any other
disability organisations consulted? If so, what was the response(s)?
Please provide all emails, reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings,
and any other related information.
 
3.      A large part of the Firehills is covered in gorse, much of which
is now mechanically cut. Historical records suggest it has been there for
at least a hundred years. Aerial photographs from 1946 show the area
covered in gorse blocks. What evidence informed the decision that placing
a herd of five Belted Galloway cattle there for 2-3 months each year would
keep the gorse down without the need for mechanical mowing? Were other
methods considered? If so, what were they? Who was consulted about the
efficacy of this? What did they say/recommend? Please provide all emails,
reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related
information.
 
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you require further clarification.
 
Review
 
I have now had the opportunity to review your request and can advise as
follows:
 
The Information Officer advised you that The Freedom of Information Act is
based on recorded information held by a local authority.  It is not a tool
to ask questions, seek opinions or create information to respond to a
request.
 
With this in mind, a vast amount of your communication is asking questions
which falls outside the remit of the Freedom of Information Act.
 
Although we do not hold information, it is my intention to be helpful as
part of my review.
 
1.      I asked for information on all consultations regarding the placing
of cattle on the Firehills including emails, reports, correspondence,
minutes of meetings, and any other related information. Who was consulted
about placing cattle in the public area of the Firehills? If no
consultations were held, please state this clearly.
 
Hastings Borough Council has not or has no plans to undertake a public
consultation on operational matters pertaining to the management of
Hastings County Park Nature Reserve
 
In the report to the 15/03/2022 Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve
Management Forum, it’s stated that copies of the proposals were sent to
the Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve, the Disability Forum
and Fairlight Parish Council. Was there no other contact or consultations
with them on this issue? Please provide all emails, reports,
correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related information.
 
 
 
Information not held - There was no additional information sent to those
groups other than the proposals indicated and no further correspondence
was entered into.
 
What consultations took place with Natural England and other relevant
bodies regarding conservation grazing in the Firehills, an area largely
covered by gorse? Please provide emails, reports, correspondence, minutes
of meetings, and any other related information.
 
Information not held - There is no correspondence with Natural England
(NE) over this matter.  They stipulated grazing as a management mechanism
in the Higher Level Stewardship Agreement 2013-2023.  No consultation with
NE was undertaken.
 
 
2.      The section of the Stewardship 2013-2023 Legal Agreement you
provided refers to several attachments. Please can you provide these as
they’re not included. 
 
Part 3 of the Higher level Stewardship 2013-2023 legal agreement states:
 
Graze with cattle and/or ponies (and/or hardy sheep, but only if sheep
grazing is recommended in the grazing plan) suitable for the conditions,
to control scrub and grasses, increase plant species diversity and
establish a structural mosaic in dwarf shrub stands. Adjust stocking
density to ensure that vegetation does not suppress heather seedlings or
plants, but avoids stock damage to them. Where livestock are not
available, manage the sward in accordance with the management plans by
cutting, collecting and removing arisings. Heather and shrubs should have
a range of age classes as described in the indicators of success.
 
The agreement requires a heathland plan to be produced in the first year.
The Heathland Management Plan 2014 is attached. That plan sets out the
need for and case for cattle grazing of the Firehills in line with our
Legal agreement (attachment No 3)
 
Attachment No 3 was included as part of our original response.
 
 
 
3.      You state that “Hastings Borough Council is currently developing a
Risk Assessment in collaboration with other local authorities and
organisations and will publish this prior to cattle grazing land at the
Firehills”. Please confirm that no safety or risk assessment has been
carried out prior to this in relation to the welfare of the cattle or the
public. 
 
Information not held - Risk assessments evolve over time as our
understanding grows. As they evolve, they change and are deleted as they
are superseded.
 
4.      You state that “Hastings Borough Council does not hold an Equality
Impact Assessment for cattle on the Firehills”. The wording is unclear, I
assume you mean there has been no Equality Impact Assessment (in relation
to the Public Sector Equality Duty) for the placing of cattle on the
Firehills, is this correct?
 
Information not held - Hastings Borough Council does not have an Equality
Impact Assessment for cattle on the Firehills.
 
In answer to your query, while the supplied documents are informative, I’m
still not clear about HOW the decision was made to place five Belted
Galloway cattle on the Firehills.
 
The public area of the Firehills where it’s proposed cattle will graze is
relatively small and narrow (and largely covered in gorse). It’s also flat
and easily accessible which is why two ‘Accessible to All’ paths were
placed there (these fall into the area where the cattle will be placed)
plus other amenities such as disabled parking and toilets, the accessible
information centre and café.
 
The area of the Firehills is a unique part of the HCPNR. As the 2014
Heathland Management Plan acknowledges ‘Firehills has very high levels of
public access which may cause issues with grazing livestock’ (p.3). There
wasn’t a public consultation, safety/risk assessment, or equality impact
assessment. So, what did inform the initial decision?
 
These are the areas I’d like more information about:
 
1.      How was the fact that the area is relatively small with a high
public footfall reconciled with placing cattle there?
 
This is not a request for recorded information.
 
Who was consulted about this (e.g. places where cattle have been placed in
similar circumstances)?
 
Hastings Borough Council did not undertake a consultation exercise.  We
did inform groups of our intention.  This is an operational management
decision by Hastings Borough Council as required by our stewardship grant,
and as such does not require consultation.  We shared the proposals with
Fairlight Parish Council, Friends of the Country Park and Fairlight Parish
Council. 
 
What did they say?
 
Information not held – we hold no information dating back to the original
proposals, which was back in 2015.
 
What research informed the decision?
 
As above.
 
Please provide all emails, reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings,
and any other related information. 
 
2.      The 2022 report ‘Conservation grazing and heathland restoration’
to the HCPNR Management Forum states that one of the stakeholder
organisations sent proposals for the erection of fencing and gates was the
Disability Forum. What was the response?
 
Please see email correspondence attached.  Please note that names, email
addresses etc have been redacted as this is exempt under Section 40(2) of
the Freedom of Information Act.
 
 
Were they also consulted about the placing of cattle where the ‘Access for
All’ paths are? Were any other disability organisations consulted? If so,
what was the response(s)? Please provide all emails, reports,
correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related information.
 
No other information is held.
 
 
3.      A large part of the Firehills is covered in gorse, much of which
is now mechanically cut. Historical records suggest it has been there for
at least a hundred years. Aerial photographs from 1946 show the area
covered in gorse blocks. What evidence informed the decision that placing
a herd of five Belted Galloway cattle there for 2-3 months each year would
keep the gorse down without the need for mechanical mowing? Were other
methods considered? If so, what were they? Who was consulted about the
efficacy of this? What did they say/recommend? Please provide all emails,
reports, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and any other related
information. 
 
Hastings Borough Council does not undertake consultation over the efficacy
of operational management techniques.  Research is undertaken as to the
most appropriate management techniques to apply for habitat management.  
Techniques other than grazing are deployed and their results monitored. 
Mechanical mowing results in a uniform layer of dense short gorse, which
does not provide the habitat outcomes required for the site.  Grazing
results in a complex variety of habitat outcomes which is required for the
site.  The site may require a combination of management inputs to realise
the best habitat outcomes over time.      
 
If you remain dissatisfied then you may complain to the Information
Commissioners Office (ICO) who will decide whether the Council has handled
your request correctly.
 
Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
 
Tel: 08456 30 60 60
[4]www.ico.org.uk 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Katrina Silverson
Electoral Services Manager
 
[5][IMG]
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/content/park...
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuI-1N-w...
3. https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=ht...
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/
5. file:///tmp/my.hastings.gov.uk

Dear Ms Silverson,

Thank you for undertaking the review.

The extra information you managed to find is helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Lydia Maher

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information (Subject Access request) your
request will be dealt with according to the requirements of the General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the timescale for response may be
extended to 40 days.
 
You can find out more information about [1]Freedom of Information as well
as all of the services the council provides on [2]our website.
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[3]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my_council/f...
2. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/
3. file:///tmp/www.hastings.gov.uk