Blanaid Debman Skydancer project leader, would love to hear from anyone with their thoughts on the blog and all things Skydancer. To leave a comment, simply register with RSPB Community by clicking on the link at the top right-hand corner of the RSPB blog page. Registration is completely free and only takes a moment. Let the RSPB know what you think! THIS MONTHS MARKS THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THIS FOUR YEAR LOTTERY FUNDED PROJECT.
As Skydancer fast approaches its first year marker, the truth of these words is becoming ever more apparent. Assumptions (ie the conclusions we reach based on little or no evidence, stereotypes, hearsay, or more often so-called common knowledge) are a bad habit and one of which we are all guilty from time to time. As a student Debman says she once endured a 20 min taxi journey with a very confused and seemingly upset driver who couldn’t reconcile the fact that as a conservation student, she had neither dreadlocks nor vegetarian tendencies. In fact even now, people regularly assume that working for the RSPB as she does, she must be vegetarian which she is not. At the other end of the spectrum, assumptions do have the potential to be hugely damaging (it is, after all, assumptions that form the basis of racial stereotypes), but innocent or malicious, all assumptions do have one thing in common – they are quite simply unproductive.
If you don’t ask questions, how will you ever know the answers?
In the spirit of fair play and open-mindedness, Blanaid Debman says she would like to invite anyone involved in the shooting community, all you Shooting Times and Countryman’s Weekly readers out there, to email her with the assumptions that you feel that conservationists make about shooting/people who shoot, which you feel are unjustified and the reasons why, andshe will do her best to publish and address them on the RSPB blog (reasoned arguments only please – rants, though therapeutic for the ranter, are rarely productive).
Blanaid Debman also thinks it’s high time we all started questioning our assumptions and started challenging ourselves to find new paths and opinions. Here’s a starter for ten that I know will do that for some people claims Debman : Gamekeepers do not want to see anything go extinct and the RSPB does not want to ban shooting.