NE and BASC are friends

In the database there are 82 agreements listed. I’m not copying a spreadsheet for you here but I’m sure that Natural England would be happy to provide information to you as they have to me. One wonders why they don’t list them somewhere – 82 in two and a bit years isn’t so many.

But let me give you a flavour of the agreements. They mostly look (from what I can make out from their titles) like a sensible list of workaday agreements to work together on particular projects. There are quite a lot of agreements with individual Rivers Trusts (Westcountry, West Cumbria, Eden, Arun and Rother), a few with individual parish councils (bat related), a few individual wildlife trusts (Northumberland, Wiltshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, Hampshire and IOW and Surrey), some water companies (Thames Water, Wessex Water) and a bunch of the conservation NGOs that one might expect on what look like individual projects (RSPB, Plantlife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Bat Conservation Trust, Woodland Trust) as well as with BTO and BSBI. There are others with FWAG, GWCT, Somerset County Council etc etc.

But there is none that looks as high flying and all-encompassing as the agreement that Natural England has with BASC. Amongst lots of Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda of Agreements and Collaborative Agreements there are only two Partnership Agreements – one with Thames Water for a year and the other with BASC for three years.

That’s quite interesting.

Now it might be that there are lots more partnership agreements but they were all started before 2018, but there might not be. the Partnership Agreement between BASC and Natural England lasts until 27 July 2021. Presumably it might be renewed then depending on how well it has gone and what the organisations think of each other.

I might be getting in touch with Natural England ahead of that time to ask them whether they really want to be partners, in a formal sense by signing a multi-year agreement, with an organisation that comes out with the following:

BASC, July 25 2019 (Interestingly, the link to this statement no longer works) on banning both Chris Packham and myself from an event to which we had been invited ‘It is right that The Game Fair does not give a platform for an extremist like Chris Packham to air his anti-shooting views

BASC, 21 January on Wild Justice legal challenge on gamebird releases ‘This is a short-sighted attack that risks causing long-term damage to environmental protections afforded by the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. The government should not have to be deviating from its work to mitigate vexatious actions by anti-conservation organisations.‘. Of course, the Wild Justice legal challenge was given permission to go to court and will be heard this November (so not so vexatious after all and clearly aimed at protecting sites notified under the Birds and Habitats Directives).

BASC, 5 February on Wild Justice’s legal challenge to general licences in Wales said ‘we would urge Wild Justice to cease these vexatious legal attacks‘ and ‘BASC will fight tooth and nail on issues that will significantly impact conservation efforts and economic activities. BASC is registering as an interested party in any legal action in Wales and will be requesting an immediate update from NRW.‘ Of course, the Wild Justice legal challenge was given permission to go to court and will be heard this autumn (date unknown) and in granting permission Mr Justice Griffiths refused BASC’s application to be added as an Interested Party ‘because the Defendant [NRW] and Secretary of State [DEFRA, as an Interested Party] sufficiently represent the interests engaged by the claim and can advance the evidence and arguments to oppose it. The addition of BASC as a further Interested Party is neither necessary nor desirable and would only serve to increase the costs and prolong the proceedings.‘.  So, again, hardly vexatious according to a judge rather than the hopeless BASC PR machine.

BASC, 19 March on Wild Justice legal challenge on general licences in Wales ‘This ill-judged action has moved Wild Justice further away from the middle ground. Not only are they are a threat to conservation, farming and to thousands of businesses across the UK, they are now also diverting focus from a national health crisis.‘. Of course, the Wild Justice legal challenge was given permission to go to court and will be heard this autumn (date unknown) and in granting permission Mr Justice Griffiths refused BASC’s application to be added as an Interested Party ‘because the Defendant [NRW] and Secretary of State [DEFRA, as an Interested Party] sufficiently represent the interests engaged by the claim and can advance the evidence and arguments to oppose it. The addition of BASC as a further Interested Party is neither necessary nor desirable and would only serve to increase the costs and prolong the proceedings.‘.  Not so ill-judgged by Wild Justice, others can decide on BASC’s judgement.

BASC, 8 April on Wild Justice’s legal challenge on gamebird releases ‘This judicial review is clearly misdirected in terms of the law and serves no purpose. Resources and expertise should be going towards reviewing gamebird releases, not unnecessary and pointless court cases.‘ Of course the Wild Justice legal challenge was given permission to go to court and will be heard this November (so not misdirected, unnecessary or pointless after all).

BASC, 21 June on hearing that a judge had given permission for the Wild Justice legal challenge on impacts of gamebird releases on sites of high conservation value to be heard in court, ‘Wild Justice continue to push their extremist agenda‘. Wild Justice is using the legal system in a rather staid and reasonable way.

BASC, last week launched an extraordinary attack on Megan McCubbin as having learned to use her position as a presenter to support ‘an extremist campaign’ and to communicate ‘woke guff’ (BASC should note the definition of woke (see here) and remember that it tends to be used perjoratively only by the far right of politics, and racists.

BASC seems to lack any sound sense of judgement and any sense of politeness whatsoever.

Natural England, these are your chosen partners for another 11 months or so, it will be interesting to see whether you sign them up for another three years, and it will speak volumes if you do.

Likes(72)Dislikes(14)
Website Pin Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati del.icio.us Digg Google StumbleUpon Premium Responsive

Get email notifications of new blog posts

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.


11 Replies to “NE and BASC are friends”

  1. BASC seem to be gratuitously offensive to those they call "extremists." Their definition of extremist appears to be anyone with views that not only do not agree with BASC but may conflict with their interests. Sounds like they indulge in the politics of the School yard, yet they represent the views of people who own guns. Probably beyond time that they grew up surely.
    Whenever I think of BASc it is the round red face of Duncan "tweedy" Thomas I see in my imagination spouting to camera about how much fun it is to shoot things. And they think we are the extremists!!!

    Likes(30)Dislikes(14)
      1. Nor mine Mark. He always comes across, at least to me as a bombastic Oaf and he is certainly a bully.
        Then again that is how BASC come across too, so perhaps its an apt relationship.

        Likes(23)Dislikes(10)
    1. Sadly the politics of the school yard is often just politics these days. BASC are working straight from the Trumpian playbook with their statements: Label your opponents as extremists or anti-whatever and you don't need to address the criticisms they raise. No need to stick to facts because your fan base won't check up on you or display critical thinking (apart from clicking dislike on other peoples' blogs without providing any kind of counter argument...). Sadly they share a similar level of intelligence and short sighted thinking with Trump as well. As you say, time to grow up.

      Likes(14)Dislikes(8)
  2. What an awful lot BASC are. They are truth twisters and misrepresenters. One does wonder from their statements whether their judgement is seriously impaired such that they are actually the extremists. Clearly they are rattled and let’s hope they become more and more rattled.
    As you say Mark it will be very interesting to see what happens when their current agreement with Natural England runs out. It will speak volumes either way if it is renewed or not renewed..

    Likes(23)Dislikes(12)
  3. I just wonder - and perhaps you wonder too - whether such a 'partnership agreement' might be reviewable. I can't think of any precedent, and I suppose it would be very difficult. But all bodies such as NE created by law are bound by law - not just the statute law they are supposed to enforce but the law creating them. If they go ultra vires, they are in the wrong. So, to exaggerate for effect, it is unlikely that NE are legally empowered to strike up a partnership agreement with UKIP. It is I suppose just possible but it would have to be very specific, related to eg a nature reserve owned by UKIP. With the Moorland Association? Very possible but again it would have to focus on objectives that were within NE vires. BASC - again perhaps something very specific but on a broad 'collaborative' front. I wonder.

    Likes(17)Dislikes(7)
    1. Interesting point. Natural England was established through the Natural Environments and Rights of Way Act. Section 7 of the act empowers it to enter into management agreements with a person who has an interest in land regarding the management of that land. The agreements you refer to between NE and the various River Trusts, Wildlife Trusts, Parish Councils etc would seem likely to fall under that but it certainly seems questionable as to whether the agreement with BASC does and it would be very interesting to know exactly what the partnership agreement with them covers.
      Section 10 of the Act relates to training and consultancy and empowers NE to provide such services to any person subject to some conditions and it is conceivable that the partnership agreement could relate to provision of training to gamekeepers, for example (though if that were the case it is hard to see why it would be called a 'partnership' agreement).
      The only other part of the Act that seems to me (a non lawyer I should stress) to deal with NE's ability to enter into agreements is Part 8 which deals with agreements between designated bodies and is not applicable to any partnership NE could enter into with BASC.

      Likes(4)Dislikes(4)
  4. "Not only are they are a threat to conservation, farming and to thousands of businesses across the UK, they are now also diverting focus from a national health crisis."
    Wow, what unbelievable power you three wield! Don't let it go to your heads.

    Likes(2)Dislikes(4)
    1. I assume you are referring to Mark, Chris and Ruth, in your comment "what unbelievable power you three yield!' It's not just three, it's all the people across the country who believe that we need to stand up for nature, and who support Wild Justice. As to your remark 'they are also diverting focus from a national health crisis', I'm getting sick and tired of hearing this criticism of people who campaign on any other issue but Covid19. Remember in 1942, during the heat of WW2, when it was far from clear that the Allies would win, the Government set up the Beveridge Committee to advise on a way forward for welfare after the war. There's plenty of people working on the Covid-19 issue to leave some to look at other pressing problems in the future. For myself and many others in the UK the recent 'State of Nature' report was a wake-up call. Wild Justice is just one of many campaigns to help improve the state of nature in our country.Keep up the good work.

      Likes(3)Dislikes(1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.