Category: Guest posts

Language Matters | Guest post: Bo Beolens (Fatbirder)

“Shakespeare said ‘that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet’. Maybe so, but call it, ‘Manure flower’ and I bet half the people sniffing it would pull back in horror at the stench. We are, by nature, suggestible. Snake oil salesmen have been selling us crap at luxury prices for ever, because part of the way we believe is direct experience and part received wisdom. You can’t judge a book by its cover! But we do. Language is important, terms become reified, so tackling terms is an important step in removing connotations we don’t want. Every single thing we say or write carries sub-cultural capital.” Guest post by Bo Beolens in support of our ‘Language Matters’ campaign.

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Guest Post | Kevin Hand: Barbastelles, Jones Hill Woods, and HS2

“By chance I found myself recently at a Stop HS2 camp at Denham Country Park, in the beautiful Colne Valley, on the fringes of London not far from Heathrow. I had planned a day out to catch up with a friend and he suggested we visit. We were warmly welcomed and it was quickly apparent that as a trained and experienced ecologist here was something practical I could do to help our wildlife, and to help some very inspiring young people. I set up a training session on monitoring protected species, and we were all delighted when we found clear evidence of water voles grazing on the edges of the chalk streams…but tinged with regret that these same streams were to be deeply affected by developments associated with the vast HS2 project.” Guest post by Kevin Hand

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Guest Post | Forestry England & Fox Hunting #5 – the United Pack in Shropshire

“In Shropshire, Forestry England has been licencing the United Pack. The United Pack are a hunt I’ve encountered on National Trust land when they had a ‘trail hunting’ licence for the site, but because myself and others documented the hunt’s terriermen on the site in December 2018, the licence was revoked. On top of their regular trespass across National Trust land, information requests have revealed that the United Pack regularly hunt across Forestry England’s land without permission too, often enough for the government department to threaten the use of solicitors and then write to the Master of Foxhounds Association [MFHA]…” Guest post by Jack Riggall

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Guest Post | Forestry England & Fox Hunting #4 – New Petition Against Licences Launched

“Very recently, my own petition calling for an end to ‘trail’ hunting licences being granted came to a close, with 11,949 signatures. I’m very glad to see that Robert Pownall from the anti-hunt campaign group Keep The Ban immediately took up the issue and launched another petition to end these licences. As I write this, the petition has been active for less than a week and has already gathered over 10,000 signatures, which means Defra will once again have to publish a written response to defend fox hunting on public land – very soon after having to do the same with my petition. I’m confident that Robert’s petition can gather over 100,000 signatures and I hope the fact that calls for Forestry England to stop giving out hunting licences aren’t slowing down shows the decision makers that this issue isn’t going away.” Guest post by Jack Riggall

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Guest Post: Forestry England and Fox Hunting #3 | DEFRA’s Petition Response

“On 10th September, Defra responded to my petition calling for an end to fox & hare hunting on public land, doing so on behalf of Forestry England . The War on Wildlife Project has already posted about this and I have a few thoughts of my own to share as well. Firstly, in defending so-called ‘trail hunting’, Defra expects us to believe it actually exists when in reality it is a farce. The examples I referred to in the petition itself were of hunts tearing foxes apart, hounds rampaging through residential areas and more. Why does Defra think these incidents happen with such regularity if hunting organisations were genuinely trying to avoid harming wildlife? Secondly, the Kimblewick Hunt ban receives a mention. Defra holds this up as an example of Forestry England taking action, but it only shows the opposite to be true.” Guest post by Jack Riggall

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Guest Post | Forestry England & Fox Hunting #2 – the Chair’s Endorsement of Bloodsport Lobbyists

This second entry is just a brief outline of something that I think should be highlighted. Throughout the last hunting season, Forestry England gave out 34 ‘trail’ hunting licences. It didn’t really seem to matter what hunts did [with the exception of the Kimblewick Hunt], as hunters were at various times convicted and investigated with no apparent impact on how Forestry England considered licence applications. Part way through the season, the Forestry Commission appointed a new Chair, Sir William Worsley. The Commissioner’s Register of Interests were later published and amongst other things, the new Chairman is a member of the Countryside Alliance, the pro-bloodsports lobby group.

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Guest Post | Forestry England & Fox Hunting #1: The Portman Hunt

Think fox hunting, which was banned by the Hunting Act 2004, is a ‘thing of the past’? Think again. Hunts have been breaking the law since the Act was passed – helped by sympathetic landowners who issue licences despite a wealth of material proving the terms of those licences are being routinely broken. Jack Riggall, an independent hunt monitor and anti-hunting campaigner, is writing a series of posts on fox hunts and Forestry England, the government department responsible for managing and promoting the nation’s forests. Jack has written other guest posts and recorded a number of podcasts with us.

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Guest Post | Gamebird Shooting in Sheffield & South Yorkshire

“The sight and sound of a pheasant is almost ubiquitous in the fields around Sheffield and South Yorkshire. Any day out in the countryside will eventually involve the familiar coarse squawk as they dash out from the scrub. But why are they here and why do people care? There is growing unease about the presence of pheasants – and their associates, red-legged partridges – in the UK countryside. The prevalence of these birds is the end result of a deeply damaging and divisive shooting industry. Each year, more and more opponents are speaking out about the animal welfare issues and environmental impacts of this industry.” Guest Post by Adam Davies

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