Bowland Gull Cull 12 – I keep asking

Dear Natural England,

In November 2017 you told me that the investigation of the gull cull in Bowland was entering its final stages and that you would answer my questions (of mid July 2017 and subsequently) ‘once the investigation is concluded’.  On 11 June you told me that ‘the investigation is in its final stages’.


Please let me know when my questions will be answered.

Please let me know to whom I should complain if I do not get a full response by the end of July – please tell me this before the end of July.

Please tell me how many investigations of a similar nature NE has conducted in the past five years and how long each of them took to conclude.


I have a strong feeling that you are simply mucking me about, and you can rest assured that I will pursue this issue with vigour.

Dr Mark Avery



The story so far:

Natural England is carrying out an investigation, it seems very, very slowly, into the culling of Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the Abbeystead grouse mooor in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire. The Bowland Fells Special Protection Area for Birds was notified partly because of its importance for Lesser Black-backed Gulls. It has been suggested by the RSPB that NE consented culls in this area (under what basis is not known) but that the terms of the consent may have been breached. The interest in this case derives from puzzlement over why NE consented any culling of this species in its English stronghold (was this legal), and whether the conditions of that consent, if it existed, were breached.

An FoI response from NE13 June 2018

Bowland gull cull update25 April 2018

Natural England continues not to come clean on Bowland gull cull9 April 2018

Smidgeons of information on gull culls from NE14 February 2018

Bowland gull cull licensing facts still kept secret by NE6 February 2018

FOI Bowland gull cullNovember 2017

Quick response from NE on Bowland gull cull7 September 2017

Any NE news on Bowland gull cull?5 September 2017

Response from NE on Bowland gull cull15 August 2017

Those gulls again10 July 2017

RSPB calls on Natural England to act7 July 2017



1 Reply to “Bowland Gull Cull 12 – I keep asking”

  1. You could have asked “how many of your officers are undertaking the investigation and what is the approval process for its outcome?” They are bound to know that?

    Lets see….. 1 officer conducting interviews with local staff, and reviewing correspondence on file.= 1day.
    1 officer writing up a report on interviews and correspondence… =3 days
    2nd officer QC report= 0.5days
    Report passed to senior staff for consideration. = 2 days

    Senior staff spending time in the toilet after reading report….1.5 years.

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