Natural England – where are you?

I’ve spoken to quite a few journalists over the last couple of days – all have said that Natural England is refusing to comment on the General Licence issue.

I find this shocking – if Natural England won’t talk about it then Defra should. But Natural England should. Where is their Chair? Their Chief Exec? Anyone?

Public accountability?

This article on the fieldsports website Guns and Pegs is very interesting. Especially read the quote from Rishi Sunak MP and especially the paragraph starting ‘Why are we here? ‘.

Here are a few questions for NE to answer:

  1. Have you ever had legal advice before Wild Justice’s challenge that the General Licences were of doubtful legality?
  2. When did you first receive legal advice that said that Wild Justice’s challenge was sound?
  3. Was this discussed at the NE Board meeting of 15 April?
  4. Why did it take so long after that time to announce the revocation of the General Licences?
  5. Why was the revocation done with such little time between announcement and activation?
  6. What’s the new plan?

If you just want a laugh, a really big laugh, read the political ‘analysis’ on the fieldsportstv website here. Made my day.


23 Replies to “Natural England – where are you?”

  1. Surely the most distressing issue here is that an Oxbridge educated, Old Wykehamist like Rishi Sunak repeatedly refers to licenses rather than licences.

    Other than that his statement that ‘The legal basis for this is being worked out as we speak’ seems rather curious.

    It suggests that they’ve decided on a course of action and hope the lawyers can then come up with a justification for it. I can’t help thinking they might me going about things the wrong way round.

    1. De – if I may, his words may have been misspelled by others. Not that that is any real excuse of course.

  2. I love the field sports conspiracy tosh…. but…their logic…. now I am concerned… when I was much younger, I drove a car through the New Forest. Is there a risk that I might be Chris Packams father????

  3. It isn’t Natural England – where are you, it is natural England who are you and why?

    Over 2000 staff and a budget of £200m. Can’t get their own general licences fit for purpose, can’t help stop people with guns breaking the law and will not protect birds of prey despite the fact that they are protected in law.

    Mark, you must know by now that the only way to get a response from NE is to a issue an FoI request!

    Keep up the good work and financial support will continue to flow in.


  4. Ignorance of the real damage that this is currently causing to wildlife is no excuse. Avery is a bit of a buffoon and is clearly motivated by the same desire for personal financial gain as his partner Packham.
    It is quite clear that these people have personal issues that distance them from reality and acknowledging the basic right of personal choice.

    1. No Yandrea. If you think for one moment that this has been done for anyone’s financial gain then you are the buffoon! If you take the trouble to read the previous blogs on this subject in this and on the RPUK blog you might be able to gain some insight in to the reality of the situation and how it came about.

      Personal choice doesn’t even come into it. A responsible person will abide by the rule of law. For many years now the law has been repeatedly broken, albeit unwittingly in some cases, but knowingly abused in many more. Hopefully, this will now come to an end.

  5. The simple answer is for a recent (interim) CEO and very new chair faced nwith this sort of shambles saying nothing makes sense.

    Remember, NE has been progressively degraded by budget cuts, random sacking of staff and senior staff with little knowledge and a brief to cut. Its hardly surprising something like this slipped the net.

    Lets make sure it rebounds on the politicians, not Tony and Marian – although it would be very Theresa May to sack the people who’ve simply carried out her wishes – think back to the border force fiasco when it emerged not everyone was being checked and the CEO went rather than the people who’d tipped him the wink it was all OK.

  6. It is difficult to comprehend how my comments could be construed as offensive when they are quite obviously true. What is really offensive is the damage that is being caused to the songbirds by some of the species that were included on the general licence and those that are witnessed causing carnage every season when feeding/encouraging the wildlife that I am very fortunate to have as regular visitors in my garden. Only today, I have witnessed a pair of carrion crows systematically working through the conifers in my garden with the end result being that 2no nests of long tailed tits had been raided and upsettingly left strewn across my lawn. Excessive human waste and poor management of landfill sites are a major factor in assisting to create an imbalance and control of this imbalance is needed if we are to have any chance of reversing the decline of our songbirds. You and Packham should really be ashamed of yourselves and should look to put your hand in your well lined pockets instead of relying on others to fund your personal agenda and one that quite clearly satisfies your pursuit of personal gain.

    1. Yandrea, you seem to think that flinging insults about constitutes an argument but whilst it may help to relieve your own blood pressure it won’t convince anyone else.
      As to your observation of crows ‘systematically working through the conifers in your garden’ – well that is what crows do. Predation is a part of nature. If you look closely enough you might also notice blue tits systematically working through your deciduous trees and killing vast numbers of caterpillars. Perhaps you think we should cull blue tits in order to save the moths? It would be no more silly than what you are proposing.
      It may be distressing to you to see long-tailed tits nests being raided but it is part of nature and BTO data show that Long-tailed tits have increased in abundance strongly (by 79%) over the past 25 years so you see there is no evidence at all that crows have an adverse effect on this species’ conservation status.
      Nobody is arguing that there are no circumstances in which crows may need to be controlled for conservation purposes and when this is the case it will continue to be the case that people will be able to apply for a licence to shoot them. The difference is that control in those circumstances will be limited to where it is specifically needed and justified rather than an ill-informed shooting-on-sight of crows wherever they occur ‘because they’re vicious/a menace/evil/black/cruel/blood-thirsty or whatever other negative adjectives you wish to apply to them’.
      One further point: it is mystifying how you think that Chris Packham and Mark Avery will gain pecuniary benefit from this decision. If you are going to keep making this allegation you really should explain by what possible mechanism you think this could occur.

  7. Mark, I was unaware that birds of prey were included on the general licence. Maybe you have been misled by the same comments of “Lapwing shooting” by Packham…P.S. Lapwings were not on the general licence either.

  8. Oh dear…It would appear that you did not agree with my previous reply. Was it the “well lined pockets” comment that decided this?

    1. Whatever your name is, you don’t have a shred of evidence that supports your half-baked theories regarding predation. Are you just parroting the pig-ignorant, victorian rubbish of your tiny-minded interest group, or are you just a liar?

  9. I’ve not heard of Rishi Sunak being very vociferous, or active in getting an urgent meeting of law enforcement staff in his constituency. Surely one of the worst for illegal killing of wildlife in England. Has he written to the relevant minister demanding action to eliminate the long standing and ongoing breadth of wildlife crime in his part of Yorkshire?

    The manufactured outrage would be hilarious if it wasn’t allied to the nasty criminal stuff at Chris Packham’s home.

  10. Mark, I see that you are Keen on lawfulness, quite rightly so. Would you please explain why you have got into bed with a league with members that act unlawfully on occasions?

  11. HeclaSU…thank you for you interesting comments and the same applies to the others who felt inclined to reply to other elements of my text. Unfortunately I have prior engagements over the coming weekend that cannot be avoided and i shall provide you with a substantive response to your comments in due course – have a nice weekend.

  12. Red Campion…please let’s not forget violence, threats to legitimate business and intimidation with intent to provoke. It is sad that these people so often try to impose their will upon others in such a violent manner. I have yet to meet a shooter that insists that others should be forced to comply with what their opinion or beliefs are – the same cannot be said of the other party I am afraid. Freedom of choice should always take precedence over dictatorship.

  13. Coop – thank you for your interesting comments and I assume that it is myself to whom you are referring. Are you purporting to be some sort of an animal lover or are you just a frustrated activist that just looks around for something to latch onto and to use as an excuse for attacking reasonable and decent people.
    If your reply would be that you are an animal lover then I would suggest that your comments of “pig ignorant” are somewhat contradictory to making this claim – unfortunately, that would then imply the frustrated activist angle.

    1. You still fail to provide any supporting evidence for your repeated falsehoods, made-up-name. So, I ask once more…

      Are you just parroting the pig-ignorant, victorian rubbish of your tiny-minded interest group, or are you just a liar?

      Which is it to be?

  14. I read the “Guns on Pegs” piece. The comments uner the article are even more revealing with the usual scattering of ‘pest’ and ‘vermin’ amongst them. My favourite is this; “There are estimated to be 20m Woodpigeons in this country and they have between 6/8 young per pair per annum which is an increase of circa 60m birds PA without mortality. I am a professional pigeon shooter and if we can only shoot the birds to protect growing crops rather than stubbles then I fear the population will reach unsustainable levels very quickly.” Should someone with so little grasp of reality and nature be allowed to have a gun? Yandrea Wewyn is not worth responding to, in my opinion.

  15. Indeed, Andy. The truth is, of course, that Whojamaflip, Thingummybob or Whatchamacallit isn’t worth anything. 😉

Comments are closed.