Days away from the New Year and already things are looking bad for raptors across the UK. Andrew Sells is to be the new boss of Natural England. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2013/dec/06/andrew-sells-natural-england
His back ground is in accountancy, investment banking and house building . He is so rich that he can give money to the Tory party. Would that have had an influence in him getting the job! But remember the plan is to swap prime biodiversity for house building, fraking and other industry. In exchange new land will be given to conservation where nature will have to try and replace the losses from the land taken out of biodiversity. In this case this will be the right man for the job as his mates will be able to make £millions off the back of this exchange.
Then there is the Hs2 http://www.hs2.org.uk/ which will destroy Barn Owls at an alarming rate preventing nesting 1 ½ miles either side of the track not to mention destroying 10 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and countless nature reserves along its route and that does not even cover the human loss of homes and farms. Of course this railway will benefit the north more than the south. Do they think we are all thick ‘up north’!! No it is for dear old London yet again. One passenger was asked how he would use the extra ½ hour he saves travelling from London to Manchester on the new line. ‘I would probable have a cup of coffee’. Some expensive coffee!!
Then there is the new report on the airports. They recommend extensions for Gatwick and Heathrow and if that does not work a new airport in the Thames. At the end of the report it claims that a 1/3 of all traffic is only passing through these London airports and moving to their final destinations. Which means in ‘Northern’ English – ‘They don’t even have to come to these London airports in the first place’!! Vince Cable for Lib Dems suggests that extensions to northern airports would be a better deal. Just as money placed in the whole rail network would be better than Hs2!!
May be you don’t think that has any thing to do with raptors but any mass development of land will have an effect taking away food and habitat and add on the destruction of our wild areas especially in urban areas where people need something to cling onto.
All this is also linked to the licensing the removal of raptors. These boys having made their £millions need somewhere to play and as driven game is the lazy mans’ pleasure they will want no interference in big numbers over the butts. 2013’s Buzzard gate was what these big land owners are wanting on all their sporting interests. This is made even worse by the boys claiming that they are ‘protecting’ Grey Partridge and even Red Squirrels.
The fall of Grey Partridge from 75 million to 3 million in Europe is all due to agriculture change and like the Corncrake in Britain the partridge cannot cope. So these estates want to kill all raptors that may take the Grey Partridge so it was no surprise to see the estate that destroyed 4 Buzzard nests apply for 16 Buzzards and 5 Sparrowhawks to be removed. As these land managers have no knowledge of land management it may surprise them that the space where these birds once lived will soon be taken over by new birds moving into the space created. That is unless ‘licensing’ is just a cover for removing everything any way.
Interesting to see that there was no license applied for for the removal of Goshawk! This estate has mixed habitat as well as a large forestry enterprise and given the movement of Goshawk from Kielder would have this species using their land. Of course this bird can prey on Red Squirrels so they would be doing everyone a favour getting rid of it wouldn’t they!! Well when you see the poor Red Squirrel dying from ’Pox’ just like the old days with myxomatosis killing millions of rabbits because the same estates had killed off all the predators you may like to think that a predator would help by putting it out of its misery!
Sorry the gun rules the estates not to mention the traps and snares and even poison if they think they can get away with it. Never has there been a time when members of the public have to stand up and be counted to try and protect the countryside. More and more land is becoming industrialised and this government would like you to put your head in the sand and pretend that they are doing it for your benefit.
Given the complete failures of recent petitions if you do make a wish on New Year’s day please say you are going to get more involved and give raptors the protection they all deserve.