Tag Archives: agri-environment schemes

Awful government response to our e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting

To Rory Stewart, Defra   Dear Minister The government response to the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting is simply awful. It is partial and inaccurate.  I have previously asked Defra whether responses of this sort are seen and signed off by ministers and have never received a response. Did you sign off this response? […]


Inglorious: conflict in the uplands will be available for Hen Harrier Day (9 August), the Inglorious 12th and thereafter. Published by Bloomsbury in late July – but you can order it now on World Book Day.     Likes(84)Dislikes(2)

Wet, wet, wet

If you are keeping water on a wetland for the benefit of wetland wildlife then it occupies some of the volume that could otherwise have been used for flood storage. This can give rise to the claim that the schemes that benefit wetland wildlife that have exacerbated flood impacts. To some extent this is bound […]

Hope continues to rise

Every picture tells a story – and this one tells a big story. This graph shows the farmland bird index at the RSPB’s Hope Farm and in England as a whole. It shows a slow, steady decline in England altogether (blue line)  but a massive overall rise (red line) at Hope Farm. Read more about […]


I did, kind of, tell you so… In The Times, once a dull but reliable newspaper, a few days ago there was a headline thus ‘Farmers praised as Skylarks soar again’ (click here but you need a subscription). The piece by Ben Webster was a write-up of the GWCT ‘survey’ of farmland birds by farmers […]

Wuthering Moors 43

This is the fourth blog today on the subject of burning of blanket bog (see here, here, and here).  These were sparked (!) by the RSPB releasing data on the scale of the issue and calling for an end to the burning of blanket bog.  There has been a little media coverage of this – […]

Wuthering Moors 42

The scale of burning of English blanket bogs revealed by the latest RSPB work is scary. There are 127 separate consents (mostly through HLS agreements – ie we taxpayers are paying for it too) for burning on blanket bogs. These affect these seven  Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)(Border Mires, Kielder-Butterburn; Ingleborough Complex; Moor House – […]

Wuthering Moors 41

Following my blog ‘first’ thing this morning here is some more information on the damage that burning does to blanket bogs. Martin Harper’s blog today expands on the RSPB’s thinking about burning of blanket bog. More details of the RSPB’s complaint to the EU over the management (they clearly regard it as mis-management, as did […]

Arise Sir John

The recently knighted Sir John Randall MP is a birder.  Having stepped down from being Deputy Chief Whip he is now enjoying the freedom of the backbenches and the freedom to speak up for nature (note this speech he made in the Christmas  adjournment debate from 1:40pm onwards where he touches on various subjects including […]

That was a heck of an e-action

Well done to the RSPB, and the Wildlife Trusts, for launching an impressive e-action over the weekend to persuade the Prime Minister to back his Secretary of State and go ahead with a 15% transfer of funds from one part of the CAP (the rather useless part) to another part of the CAP (the rather […]