It snowed over night on Tuesday into Wednesday morning and with plunging temperature the Pig (that's a woodstove to the rest of the world!) was fired up for the first time this autumn / winter since then he's been munching logs at a a steady rate and keeping the office warm. Although Wednesday being the first burn required a fierce hot fire to re-temper the metal and the aroma of hot dust permeated the building. Part of Wednesday and most of Thursday was taken up with Comprehensive Spending Review - trying to work out exactly what it means and we still don't seem have any definitive answers, lots of theories, fears, crackpot ideas and sensible suggestions but nothing really concrete (not really appropriate for the countryside I appreciate) as yet. What we do know is that DEFRA is losing 29% of their budget so the cuts are probably going to be deep and The Independent went so far as to suggest that all NNRs managed by Natural England could be privatised - maybe not such a bad idea.
In the mean time in the midst of this uncertainty job numbers are low, this week's edition of CJS weekly has 29 new paid posts of which 22 came direct to CJS. There are also significant changes to the numbers and types of volunteer post with many more which look like a 'real' job actually only being voluntary (some with expenses, some without). It's across the board too, not just the countryside sector; for example we always read TES and at this time of year there are usually several parts to job section, this week there was only one and it was under 30 sides.
Anyway, the Weekly all six pages of it is now available online and will shortly be prepared for posting. We're considering changes to the digital edition, one of which is to email those who request it a link direct to the edition each week; you'll still have a sign in details but I know I prefer to receive an email and I guess you would too. If you've any preference let us know.