This blog has learned that the new Chair of Natural England, Andrew Sells, has been taking a strong line on the consultation over the General Licence. He doesn’t seem terribly keen on the consultation at all – or is it the views of the public in response to the consultation that he dislikes? Or is it Owen Paterson who is putting the pressure on NE through their Chair?
The ‘shoo before you shoot’ issue is being questioned hard, as is anything to do with regulating the use of traps, we hear. At the moment the NE Board seem keen(-ish) to stand up to this pressure but there will be a change in personnel in September.
Also on Andrew Sells’s agenda is the appointment of a Chief Executive for Natural England. We hear that there are two, slightly wet, candidates in the running. One is quite salty wet with an interest in sailing, mountain biking and hiking whereas the other is a fresher wet fellow who once had a boss with a keen interest in caravans. Both are likely to be fairly shooting-friendly.
So we have a shooting Prime Minister who wanted to appoint a Secretary of State with fieldsports credentials but the confused wishes of the electorate intervened and he had to find a home in the cabinet for Caroline Spelman, but when she had to go then the pro-shooting Owen Paterson was brought in, who appointed a kindred spirit on biodiversity off-setting and other matters Andrew Sells, who is now looking for another kindred spirit. That’s how it works – under all governments to some extent – who says politics doesn’t make any difference?