September 2004

Richard Norton-Taylor

Saturday September 25, 2004

The Guardian,12780,1312489,00.html

Newspaper editors and television producers are to be asked to avoid referring to such visible installations as sewage works and power stations on the grounds they are potential targets for terrorists.

The request has been prompted by growing anxiety in parts of Whitehall, notably the Home Office, concerned not least by a spate of drama documentaries about terrorist attacks.

After intense argument about whether the media should disclose the whereabouts of conspicuous locations – and their vulnerability – new media guidelines are being drawn up by the defence, press and broadcasting advisory committee which operates a system of voluntary self-censorship.

The committee will soon extend the reach of D notice number 4 which now concentrates on nuclear weapons and intelligence facilities, according to emergency planning officers.

It will be amended to cover a much wider range of “sensitive sites”, including what Whitehall calls Britain’s “critical national infrastructure”, or CNI. It covers telecommunications, energy, transport and water.

Two years ago MI5 drew up a list of more than 300 possible terrorist targets, including oil refineries, the country’s 15 nuclear power stations, the main National Grid sites, petrochemical facilities, and the atomic weapons establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire as well as such obvious high-profile targets as the House of Commons.

This summer MI5 warned businesses that terrorists were increasingly looking at “soft” targets such as social and retail venues, tourist sites and transport networks.

It offered sensible practical advice about precautions that public authorities and private companies should take in light of an increased terrorist threat.

Telling the media what to report – or rather not report – about buildings and locations whose functions are visible to the naked eye or described on maps is quite another matter, some senior officials concede.

One issue raised behind the scenes in Whitehall was whether the media should be dissuaded, not only from describing the locations of sensitive sites but from reporting any vulnerability in their defences.

The Home Office suggested that the media should not be allowed to report security lapses as a series of programmes and articles have recently done.

The argument appears to be that this would only help terrorists. The contrary argu ment is that such stories alert the authorities to gaps in security precisely so that they can make locations less vulnerable.

Those in the latter camp seem to have won the battle, on the grounds that if the media are going to pay any attention to D notice guidelines, then they may as well be as reasonable as possible.

It begs the question whether the D notice system is viable in the first place.

Few would want to put lives at risk, whether or not this was the subject of one of the committee’s guidelines.

However, even the existing D notice No 4 refers to the need to seek official advice before disclosing, for example, “sites associated with the nuclear weapons programme”, or “high security MoD and military sites associated with intelligence and other sensitive activities”.

Such sites are well known and many have been photographed, frequently.

Recently the D notice committee – which consists of senior Whitehall figures and media representatives – agreed that the government would say more about the activities of Britain’s special forces. The agreement has been ignored by the MoD.,12780,1312489,00.html

* * * * * *

For more background on what a D notice is all about, check out the pages at:

DA-Notice Home Page – The official site of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee

I was here last week, but ran out of daylight, before I got to this area.

Again, starting out from Upper Booth Farm, only this time, heading west, then north along the beginning of the Pennine Way. With a great deal of puff, climbed up the established route of Jacobs Ladder. This got me to the top of the Kinder Scout plateau. Then, all is at about the same height. There is a trig point on the western edge though, cemented on top of a fairly random rock. [included in these piccys].

The reason I’m back here again though, is to navigate to the ‘woolpacks’. This is an area of huge weathered rocks, millions of years of wind an rain, making some very unusual forms. So many of them, remind me of Henry Moore sculptures. { I wonder if he ever came up here, a plagerised some of God’s work 🙂 }

More piccys from this set of Kinder Scout at:

Piccys from last week of Kinder Scout

Map of the area:,386500&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=639

More piccys at:

Map of the area:,383500&st=4&ar=Y&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=639

Oh, at last!! Whatever you think of the present Labour Government, Mr Meacher and department have done this. I can now walk on a mountain, BY RIGHT, NOT PERMISSION. I think this important. and I say thank you to them. This is all effective in this area of the country from yesterday the 19th.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 gives a new right to walk over areas of open countryside and registered common land. Walkers have been campaigning for decades for the opportunity to roam across wide-open spaces.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 will give people a new right to walk, responsibly and subject to some common sense restrictions, over areas of open countryside and registered common land in England and Wales.

The Government is introducing these new access rights on a regional basis in England, starting with the South East and Lower North West on the 19 September 2004. In Wales , access becomes a reality in the summer of 2005.

It has not been easy to get this access from the land-owning classes. I attendended the 70th anniversary celebrations of the ‘Kinder Scout Mass Trespass’. In 1932, many were beaten and locked up for walking on mountain and moor, at Kinder Scout. There was a public outcry at the treatment of these young working class lads from Sheffield and Manchester, that eventually, Parliament ‘bought up the rear’ and in 1951, passed an act that created The Peak District’, the first National Park in England.

These guys were heros of mine. Direct Action in 1932, to make my life better now. Thanks guys!

Here are some more piccys I took of the day to celebrate this.

Years later, I can now walk on a mountain, BY RIGHT, NOT PERMISSION. I think this important.

Countryside Agency

Countryside Access

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

Peak and Northern Footpaths Society

Starting out from Upper Booth heading north up Crowden Clough, and after a great deal of ‘puff’ end up on to Kinder Scout plataeu. This is the highest point [well area really,] of the Peak District. Splendid views in all directions, reviewing the Vale of Edale.

I started out quite late, so again ran out of daylight before descent. Otherwise, I would have dithered a bit, to photograph the fantastic ‘stone sculptures’ that the wind has cut out of the millions of years there. Will go back again stortly to do these, before the autumn mists mean i can’t find them again ….,387500&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=634

More piccys at:

More piccys at:

Weather has been splendid up to yesterday. Today, being Wales, it’s started to rain, lots.

Still, rain and low cloud does makes for some atmospheric shots.,355120&st=4&ar=Y&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=633

More Piccys at:

Next Page »