Brood meddling in the Guardian

Patrick Barkham in the Guardian: Conservationists say government scheme, aimed at placating grouse moor land owners who object to the birds breeding on their land, will not boost numbers of the endangered birds.

There’s a good quote from the RSPB but we are all wondering what the RSPB will actually do now.

There’s a very revealing quote from Amanda foot-in-mouth Anderson who basically confirms that this licence is for the benefit of grouse shooters not Hen Harriers.  She actually says that it is a win-win situation but since she has only canvassed the views of people who pay her wages and shoot red Grouse and not a single Hen Harrier then it’s pretty clear what she means.

Andrew Sells says nothing of note – can you imagine his great conservation predecessors allowing such an action and then supporting it in public?  Natural England is not fit for purpose – not for any conservation purpose anyway.

We cannot rely on our politicians or our statutory agencies to act in the best interests of nature cosnervation but we don’t need to take their actions lying down – please sign Gavin Gamble’s e-petition in favour of banning driven grouse shooting to send a strong message to our failed government and statutory nature conservation sector that they are getting this wrong.  Other adminstrations will be available – and already are in Scotland.

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9 Replies to “Brood meddling in the Guardian”

  1. This coming on top of an aspirational 25 YEP rather than an actual ACTION plan is not doing Michael Gove or his boss any favours?

    As for Natural England, 1997 muzzled watchdog to lapdog in two decades, time they were culled?

    They'll remain as Govt need a wall to hide behind and their management will be queuing up for the gongs & knighthoods etc.?

    Yes, I'm sure there are some good staff in there somewhere but they're rarer than hens teeth ....

  2. I have a meddling plan. On estates within the designated areas, where the density of gamekeepers is greater than 1 per 10,000 km^2 (or other arbitrary area), we incarcerate gamekeepers to bring the density back to that level and their managers, for a set duration.

  3. I was prompted by this to look up Andrew Sells. He is a Tory party donor, housebuilder, businessman and a banker. About as suitable for Natural England as Toby Young was for the Office for Students. I guess that's what we mght expect of someone appointed by Owen Patterson. This jobs for the boys charade is an insult to democracy.

    More on ths from George Monbiot, here:

  4. I may be being a bit thick here, but I don't understand where the HH to meddle with are going to come from. It won't be England's only successful HH because FC is only slightly less meddleable with these days than Sir David Attenborough and I don't think FC people are going to give up their HH easily (despite the ludicrously high density they are breeding at). So will the meddled HH come from eggs that would otherwise have been stamped on, to roam off and come back later to be shot instead ? They can't come from Scotland or wales because, thankfully, NE licenses don't extend to the devolved countries - and anyway who would want to be importing malicious vermin across the border ? I thought meddling was meant to happen when HH reached a certain density - but I suppose that's right, because the grouse shooters have made clear that the right density of HH is absolutely none at all. I'm sure I must have misunderstood something along the line - and no doubt Mark will explain.

    1. Roderick - no, you are quite right! Of course, it might just be that there are HH nests all over the place in England now the licence has been issued - and that would tell us a lot.

      This is a trial of the techniques. I imagine there might be a legal challenge if post-trial the plan were enacted. But then again, the legal framework might well be different then if we have left the EU.

  5. Like Roderick (no offence intended) am I also being a bit thick or have I missed something here? If this scheme is designed to take away eggs and / or chicks, where are / what happens to the adult birds after the removal?

    1. Lee - they fly around rather grumpily and maybe have another nesting attempt where their chicks/eggs might be taken away. Or they might jsut 'disappear' of course.

  6. Mark, I must admit to being somewhat puzzled by your final sentence - "Other adminstrations will be available – and already are in Scotland." Although we have heard some fine words and statements of intent from Roseanna Cunningham (Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Environment, etc.), to come down heavily on harrier persecution, the SNP Government as a whole seems far too enthusiastic in their support for The Gift of Grouse campaign. I suggest it will take a lot of convincing lobbying to bring them round to legislating for a ban on driven grouse shooting.



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