Posts Tagged ‘Lord de Mauley’

#HaveYouSeenHenry …. Wildlife Crime continues …. keep on badgering away?

March 29, 2015

Who was it said that a nation should be judged by the way in which it treated its animals*?  The same wisdom which provided us with the view that:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win*.

Recently, I had cause to report an incident of badger digging where the sett had been dug out.  This is the second such visit already this year I’ve made to assess damage and potential wildlife crime.  What is it which motivates people to destroy or bait such mammals and inflict unimaginable cruelty?  This sett was nowhere near livestock, the animals were no threat to anyone or anything.  Neither was the earlier incident.  Both incidents were at rural locations one on agricultural land the second on public land.

There is a reported culture that sees baiting badgers as a right of passage in some parts of our region, apparently it is seen a ‘manly’ thing to do with ‘well bred’ dogs?  Recent reports seem to indicate that there has been an increase in incidences involving badgers and there is a view that this is consequential of the governments authorisation of a badger cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset.  Badgers are being promoted as ‘vermin’ by some elements of the agricultural industry so it appears acceptable in some quarters that they can be used and abused in other regions for ‘sport’.

First capture your badger(s) by digging out, collect in a sack and transport to a remote area where it / they can be pitted against dogs bred for the pupose, not forgetting to pull a few of its teeth first – after all a badger against dogs needs to have the odds ‘balanced’ in favour of predicable outcome?  Is it the associated gambling which fuels the commercial practice of digging?


This badger, caught in a snare would have suffered a painful and lingering death.  This type of incident needs to be reported as well as dead raptors and dug setts etc.

What deterrent is there to any wildlife crime?  What are the chances of being caught?

It was Chris Packham who recently summed up well the issue at the excellent BAWC Eyes in the Field Conference in Buxton.  Whilst we (society) continue to allow the species which are protected in law to be killed, whilst the purpetrators continue to either evade the law or receive lenient sentences then the view that wildlife crime is not a ‘real crime’ will persist.

Whilst this attitude prevails, and laws offering protection are seen by some as “green c**p” then the loss of biodiversity will not be stemmed as reported by Lord de Mauley, who assured an audience that Natural England’s Chief Executive was confident that the ‘no loss of biodiversity’ 2020 target would be met.  Whatever happened to the much heralded “Making Space for Nature”?  It seems to be gathering dust in the Defra archive …. Whilst The State of Nature is probably a little more up to date but still in need of serious delivery not to mention a government prepared to sign up to its recommendations.  If the rate of decline is to be believed and this is mirrored across the planet, then we seriously need Noah in forty days time?

In the interim, readers are asked to be vigilant when out and about in the countryside.  Excellent advice is to be found on the Birders Against Wildlife Crime website, where they advocate the 3 Rs.  Recognise, Record and Report! 

If you witness a wildlife crime taking place then ring 999 immediately, if you recognise signs of an incident having taken place then the number to phone is 101.  In either situation it is important to record as much detailed information as you can and to then report this to the Police.  Statistics are important if we are to improve wildlife protection.



* Mahatma Ghandi.

To BEE or not to BEE? There is a question to BEE answered?

March 28, 2014

Dasysyrphus albostriatus 2 Crowle Moor 12.5.13

We would hope that all readers are aware of the issues around problems for our bees, have Government woken up and listened to the concerns expressed and submitted by many experts and authorities?  If plants are not pollinated then the majority are likely to fail, a large proportion of commercial crops are pollinated by bees (others by flies, moths and even birds ) so they are essential in terms of food production.  To date the agri-industry chemical companies appear to have failed to convince conservationists that they value the diversity of bee species beyond industrialised breeding of colonies for commercial use.  Defra are seeking to consult on a Strategy to ‘safeguard and support’ pollinators, so ….

BUGLIFE, the invertebrate conservation charity have done much research (along with others) as well as raising public awareness to the issue.  Get Britain Buzzing: A Manifesto for Pollinators is a recent publication which is a worthwhile but not heavy read, it offers Buglife’s 7 principles and 27 actions to arrest the alarming decline in UK pollinator populationsIf Defra adopt these then there seems to be an opportunity to address the issue and reverse the decline. 

Buglife Logo

Buglife are encouraging people to make submissions, the Forum’s Executive would endorse that appeal.  Collectively collaborative campaigning can achieve positive outcomes.  Buglife are also asking people to consider signing the partnership Bee Cause Petition which calls upon the Minister Lord de Mauley (Rupert Ponsonby) to take action to address the decline in bee numbers.

So, let’s hope that the critical mass of community activism can deliver a message that is heard in the Westminster village, that is to say that bees are a necessary and valuable natural asset, they make an astonishing financial contribution to the world economy so surely they deserve a safe natural environment in which to conduct their business which makes significant contribution to man’s existence?

Why [Defra] We Are Consulting

Defra is inviting views on the proposed Strategy from stakeholders through this public consultation. In particular, this is an opportunity to engage with a wider audience before we finalise the Strategy. It also provides a further opportunity for input from those organisations and groups who have already helped us over the last six months. The main purpose of this consultation is to gather further evidence and information to help finalise the details of the Strategy and to guide its implementation.

A consultation on the National Pollinator Strategy: for bees and other pollinators in England

We welcome your views and comments on the proposals. We would prefer you to give us your answers to the consultations questions using the online survey. If you are unable to do so, we will accept responses via email to the consultation mailbox:

Alternatively, postal responses should be addressed to:

National Pollinator Strategy Team, Room 11G35, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ

Responses should be received by 2nd May 2014.

The link below will take you to the ‘Citizen Space’ portal where verious documents can be downloaded from.  There is also the opportunity to submit On Line, ‘Give Us Your Views’ they say …. so, are the questions the right ones or are they chosen with another agenda?

A consultation on the National Pollinator Strategy: for bees and other pollinators in England

Reading matter:

Yale E360




The budding hymenopterists amongst you would have realised that the image at the top of the post is not a bee but Dasysyrphus albostriatus, a hoverfly, so well done!

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