Natural England are under fire from all sides it seems.
On this blog last week Bob Berzins’s account of the failure of NE to release details of a licence which allowed widespread unlimited killing of several species of birds (see here and here) suggested that the organisation might have been deliberately witholding information which it knew would show it in a bad light. And one wonders how many more such licences might exist?
I wrote about the lack of openness about the whole brood-meddling ‘experiment’ – why has NE not published a report on progress and the criticisms of the scientific steering group?
And on Friday the RSPB revealed that along with the brood-meddled nest and its nearby neighbour which meant that one or other nest ‘qualified’ for meddling, there were two other Hen Harrier nests on nearby Yorkshire grouse moors last year which have not been admitted by the Moorland Association nor by Natural England. Natural England appears to be standing by and letting the grouse shooting industry distort the truth (as they do – see here) without doing anything to correct the faulty information.
There is far too much of this going on, it seems, for this to be cock-up, even I think it looks very much like conspiracy. And when Natural England just hunkers down and does not respond it looks like that even more.
The Natural England senior leadership needs to sort this out. The organisation is losing its natural friends and allies in droves.