I have it on good authority (though not absolutely cast-iron I would admit) that Defra minister(s) have asked, through the Defra Press Office, that the Natural England Press Office don’t bother to include any links to this blog in media summaries they send to Defra, as ministers won’t read them.
That’s not remarkable – but it is very encouraging. And it’s very depressing at the same time. Can you imagine say, Rory Stewart, sticking his fingers in his ears and going ‘La-la-la-la-la!’ so as not to hear anything that he can’t quite cope with?
But this next bit is remarkable. I am told that the same instruction applies to RSPB news items too. The RSPB is seen to be almost as irritating and subversive as this blog by Defra ministers – or so it seems. That is remarkable from where I’m standing.
And it will come as a blow to the RSPB who treasure their ‘traction’ with Defra ministers.
Rory Stewart, perhaps to be consistent with the above, still does not follow the RSPB on Twitter, nor the Wildlife Trusts, nor Natural England, nor other conservation organisations, but he continues to follow Countryside Alliance accounts. I admire the minister for not hiding the fact that he has his fingers in his ears as far as the natural world is concerned.
For an alternative perspective, just take a look at the Shadow Secretary for the Environment, Kerry McCarthy’s (@KerryMP) Twitter follows. It actually looks as though she is interested in nature (and I know she is!).