The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust is in serious trouble over its spin.
See this series of tweets from Jeff Knott, RSPB Director of East England (and former species policy officer at The Lodge).
All the above tweets come from current or past RSPB staff (one of whom was also an ex-GWCT staff member). I hope Jeff Knott doesn’t get into any trouble from his tweets as they appear to be factual apart from what was clearly a strongly-held opinion about the quality of science and senior management in GWCT. And they are good to see because in organisational life, as well as in private life, it is sometimes necessary to call out serious misdemeanours. I hope RSPB senior management will do some more of this in future.
See also this blog from Raptor Persecution UK which covers similar ground on the same RSPB report.
And have a look at this blog on the Wild Justice site which was published yesterday and points out the mealy-mouthed statement by GWCT on Pheasant impacts.
It is worth looking too at this blog on the Wild Justice website which is about the GWCT’s evidence on the general licences – the third paragraph which includes the words ‘they fail to disclose’ and although it is all technical scientific stuff the general message is that the GWCT are deliberately or carelessly giving the impression that predation by birds listed on the general licences is a serious conservation problem when they know, and it is clear, that the evidence does not support that for many species.
Where GWCT are, in my opinion, is that their best science is behind them, and of course perhaps in front of them, but it isn’t with them now. And it really doesn’t matter how good your science is, or was, or might be, if you don’t communicate it perfectly honestly. Cherry-picking, mealy-mouthedness and avoiding unpalatable truths are just as much bad science as doing bad science in the first place.
I no longer trust or respect the GWCT, as an organisation – but maybe you do. They have fallen a long way in a decade or two. Yes, they have some good apples in their organisation but their public face no longer inspires confidence. I blame Teresa Dent and the GWCT’s board of trustees but it is difficult to know whether they have caused this terrible situation or have simply failed to notice or correct it.