Just a quick post, to recognise today’s Birdfair contribution to the debate about the future of the British Countryside, and for facilitating a debate on the topical issue to “Ban driven grouse shooting”.
Conspicuous by their absence were the Moorland Association, the GWCT and the Countryside Alliance. No sign either of YFTB spin bowler Botham either, perhaps still licking his metaphoric wounds from recent radio debates?
Simon Lester (retired Langholm Project gamekeeper) did his best to defend the indefensible? He received a welcome and due acknowledgement for his attendance, and it was refreshing to hear him acknowledge publicly that grouse shooting walked up / over dogs is not economically viable.
It was great that the leader of a political party also attended and did an excellent job in advocating for the wider public interest in the issue of upland land management, Natalie Bennett was very well received by an appreciative audience who realised that she had a good grasp of the topic, the Green Party is the only political party to have made a Manifesto commitment to Ban driven grouse shooting. She certainly held her own when it was inferred that because she’d not worked on grouse moors, she couldn’t understand or appreciate the complexities of the issues.
Panel left to right: Mark Avery, Natalie Bennett, Chairman, Simon Lester & Stuart Housden.
It was an inspiring day with some excellent speakers and if the Ban driven grouse shooting debate attendees all 500 each went away and did write to their MPs, did talk about the issues around upland moorland management with family, friends and colleagues then the panel did a great service and are thanked for their motivational offerings.
Chris Packham and Tim Appleton enjoy a lighter moment.
It was suggested and clearly supported by the 500+ audience that the Birdfair organisers having, in the words of Mark Avery ‘dared and won’ should make this kind of event / debate a regular feature – I agree, to have this debate and to hear Simon King‘s talk “Enough” is good; people were engaged, they were educated and they were empowered so well done Birdfair!
Charlie Moores and the BAWC team, Dominic Dyer (Badger Trust), Simon King and Chris Packham and not least Mark Avery – thank you. As was recognised, the hard work is just beginning.