Defra – what are you for? 2

Defra, do you have a solution to the problems in the uplands documented by the Leeds University EMBER report?

Remember? The report that established that the management of the uplands for driven grouse shooting leads to polluted water courses, probably increased flood risk downstream, loss of aquatic biodiversity and increased greenhouse gas emissions?

This was the report that strengthened the case, with further evidence, that managing the uplands for private profit (grouse shooting) imposed costs on the rest of society.  Those costs are in the form of higher insurance costs (to pay for the impacts of flooding), higher water bills (because water has to be treated before it reaches the consumer), lower fish stocks (because of the impacts on river life) and higher impacts through a changing climate.

One solution to these ecological disservices delivered by driven grouse shooting would be to ban the practice entirely and there is, luckily enough, a very popular e-petition which has allowed over 20,000 of the public to express their support for just that.

Defra – you’ve just about run out of time to make any sort of positive impact on the environment before the official opening of the ‘open season’ on politicians, otherwise known as the general election campaign. Your record is dire – dire, egregious, failing, risible and adrift (as I wrote three years ago and you haven’t rescued the situation in the time that has followed).


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2 Replies to “Defra – what are you for? 2”

  1. Well said Mark. Having checked in my dictionary on one or two epithets that you apply to Defra's performance concerning the problems in our uplands, I fully agree with all you say!!!.
    Government should be providing leadership in respect of what is right, what is it the science tells us and therefore what needs to be done. It is much less about "where are the people going? we must follow them". Defra are certainly not providing the former and probably not even the latter.

  2. Way too late. They've had 4 years to sort the mess they got into mover forest sales - and ducked the opportunity of a near legislation-free last session.

    Of course, we will now get a raft of promises - but hopefully voters will focus on what they did (or didn't do) when they had the chance.

    However, its not just the politicians problem - all land users should be thinking hard about the future, especially in the uplands where the way we do things now is failing people as much as the environment. We need a compelling vision for the future, not just criticism of how bad thins are.


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