Tag: natural england

Natural England and FOI data on Hen Harriers

Natural England comes in for a huge amount of flak because as the government’s conservation watchdog we need it to be effective – but it clearly isn’t. The appointment of Tony Juniper as NE Chair in March 2019 brought a brief flicker of hope that the department would take up the fight for wildlife again, but that hasn’t transpired. NE’s support for the slaughter of badgers to protect dairy farming is an especially egregious example, and there are far too many cases of NE supporting the shooting industry (they work very closely with shooting lobbyists BASC for example and have blocked access to countryside to help out a shoot adjacent to an SSSi in Wiltshire). Surely though NE aren’t deliberately hiding information from the public? After all, it’s we ‘the public’ that fund Natural England. Data on where these birds are being killed comes via satellite-tags that we the taxpayer are buying. We fund the staff working on collecting the data. And of course we pay them to run the epically stupid Hen Harrier ‘brood meddling’ scheme which sees Hen Harrier chicks moved from grouse moors to ‘protect them’ from illegal killing on grouse moors before re-releasing them back into the countryside when of course they fly back to the grouse moors and are illegally killed…

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Natural England protects shoot from ‘disturbance’

A tweet showing a Natural England sign which restricts access to land to ‘avoid disturbance to game and disruption to shooting’ has (rightly) gone viral (kudos @KeggieC). What on earth is Natural England – the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England. “We help to protect and restore our natural world” – doing? A quick internet search leads us to a Notice of Relevant Authority Decision following review of Direction restricting CROW Access rights, and that’s when things really start to stink…It turns out the public is shut out of open access land because there may be disturbance to non-native birds ‘pre-season’, during the season, and possible disruption to the shoot on shoot days! Shut out BY NATURAL ENGLAND. Because of DISTURBANCE to a bloody shoot. Astounding…

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Wild Justice | Ban the Shooting of Badgers petition one day on

Wild Justice petition smashes through 16,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.
Natural England Chair Tony Juniper (or ‘the former conservationist Tony Juniper’ as he is being referred to on social media) must be wondering what on earth he got himself into when he signed off on more badger killing to protect the dairy industry, poorly-thought out General Licences to protect shooting, and Hen Harrier brood meddling to – er, protect shooting…No doubt NE’s lobbyist chums at BASC and the NFU will tell him to ignore the ‘animal rights extremists’ who care about wildlife in ways that he would have once professed to understand (and even perhaps once shared) but it must be getting harder to ignore the pressures the public are bringing to bear on stopping the slaughter of our wildlife on behalf of industry…

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Natural England props up the shooting industry again

We’ve written extensively about the problem facing Hen Harriers (and that is problem not problems – the UK’s most persecuted bird faces one serious threat to its UK population and that’s relentless persecution from the shooting industry). We’ve also looked at the ‘plan’ whereby Defra (and thus ultimately Natural England) ignores the legal protections given to Hen Harriers via a farcical ‘brood meddling’ scheme which blatantly supports that same shooting industry by allowing them to remove Hen Harrier chicks from grouse moors and raise them somewhere else. And now we’re going to write about it again because more and more people are reading blogs like these to understand what’s going on….

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