Congratulations to the re-elected NFU President, Peter Kendall, whose speech at the NFU Conference was described as ‘shocking and regressive‘ by one of his own members on this site on Wednesday. That farmer said he voted for the NFU in the Nature of Harming ‘award’ and writes rather harshly that ‘Peter Kendall is a PR disaster for the true farming community and seems intent on destroying any vestige of respect for us in the public eye‘. Having seen the email address of the alleged farmer who wrote that comment I cannot be sure that he really is a farmer but it certainly looks as though he probably is.
And congratulations to the RSPB for linking up with TESCO, although around the time when this news appeared in Birds magazine a few weeks ago the TESCO share price fell alarmingly. I was invited to the launch of this new partnership but had to earn a living instead. It’s a pity, I would have liked to have heard more about the details. I may come back to this subject – maybe quite soon. See coverage in Guardian, here , here, here and here.
Also on the same day, I was invited to a CLA press lauch of their new report on rights of way. I would have liked to have attended this too. But I will read the report and maybe come back to that too.
Yesterday I attended part of the Oxfordshire Recording and Conservation Day and gave a little talk. This was a fun event and I learned lots about bio-blitzes from John Tweddle’s talk, lots about wetland creation from Curt Lamberth’s and lots about commons from Rachel Sanderson’s. Thanks to the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre and the Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Forum for the invitation.
Thank you to @Ianwellesz on Twitter for pointing out to me an interesting article on farmers written under the name of ‘New Bio-Waste Spreader’ in Private Eye (aficionados of PE will get the reference). It draws attention to the decline of farmland birds, suggests that few farmers are interested in non-shootable biodiversity and suggests that the idea that farmers are wildlife friendly is ‘nonsense put out by farner organisations‘ – the only farmer organisation mentioned is the NFU. And, in case you are wondering, I didn’t write it, although I do wonder whether the author ever glances at this blog.
Thank you again to Gary Burgess for his Guest Blog from a pigeon fancier’s point of view – there are now over 100 comments on it and they were still being added yesterday.
My MP, Louise Mensch, wrote to Caroline Spelman on my behalf on 15 December asking about compliance with the EU Birds Directive. Ms Mensch seems to be being ignored by Defra – over two months and no reply is a poor show. I will expect a finely crafted and comprehensive reply after all this time and effort. I’ll keep you informed on this one.