Monday, 27 May 2013

Is Natural England Still Fit For Purpose?

If it was not bad enough that Natural England staff will be asked to sign the death warrants of hundreds of Badgers in the West Country the news has recently leaked that the agency issued a licence for a Buzzards nest to be destroyed and the adults taken into captivity to safeguard a commercial pheasant shoot.  In their response Natural England and Defra said that issuing the licence did not threaten the future of the species.

Pheasant - an introduced species

They just do not get the point.  Natural England has in its brief a duty to nature conservation so it seems perverse that they would allow a protected bird of prey to be treated in such a way just to further a commercial activity.  Perhaps we should not be surprised that Richard Beynon a Government Environment Minister is an active supporter of shooting and owns large tracts of land for this purpose.

Common Buzzard - protected or what?
 It is so sad that Natural England has been allowed to sink to such depths.  When I think of all the magnificent people past and present who are committed to nature conservation and who have been part of the agency and its predecessors I wonder what they think of the current situation.  I am convinced that we can no longer depend on Natural England to look after our wildlife.  With the publication of The State of Nature report last week the NGO's are going to have to really step up to the plate if we are to redress the balance.

1 comment:

  1. This is right out of The Stone Age. It reminds me of when Reagan appointed Watt as head of the interior. A real cement-head totally unqualified for the job. Looks like the fox is guarding the hen house on your side of the Atlantic, too.