Natural England – The Corporate Lap Dog

Posted: May 20, 2014 in Comment
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Well I’m back from my week of watching some iconic wildlife in a location which thrives on ecotourism and the financial stability that it brings to the area. Apart from a few old fashioned farmers that complain of losses of lambs (sound familiar) to Eagles it’s refreshing to see everyone embracing the wildlife Mull has to offer along with the stunning landscape and hospitality. However on my return to the real world I’m once again astounded by the news that our so called independent Government environmental watchdog is bowing down to corporate demands and sacrificing our natural heritage in favour of big finance once again.

Marked for destruction

Marked for destruction

What piqued my interest was news that Natural England are going to allow the destruction of birds’ nests, along with their precious contents of certain species of birds should they be deemed to be a threat to health and safety. These are likely to include the Starling, a bird in massive decline, the Pied Wagtail and the Robin, one of our most loved species. These would be targeted without any special license which would mean any old Tom Dick or Harry could legally destroy nests at will and with no regulation, something which is currently against the law.

On closer inspection of the consultation paper from Natural England it would seem that the bird’s potential to cause a public health hazard would be by nesting in building ventilation or flues. It would seem on first glance this would be a tenuous justification at best and at worst nothing more than complete hokum designed to give a free reign to destroy to anyone who doesn’t want these species nesting in or on their homes. What is clearly more relevant is the desire from developers to not be hampered by the legalities of destroying protected bird nests and the political blog from Tom Pride (click here) gives us the real reason. Take a look, it’s short and to the point but unfortunately highlights once again that nothing is safe while this Government is in power and is singularly driven by the flow of cash to their already bulging bank accounts and are willing to sanction environmental vandalism to meet their aims. They’ll continue bend the rules, to place their corporate chums in positions of power in so-called independent organisations they wish to control whilst keeping the general public at large in the dark about their dirty dealing whilst claiming innocents should the dirty truth come out.

The last man you want in an environmental post (apart from Owen Paterson)

The last man you want in an environmental post (apart from Owen Paterson)

Once again like the desire to slaughter Badgers driven by the NFU, the destruction of Buzzard nests at the behest of shooting estates and the desire to hunt with dogs from the Tory elite we’re faced with a situation largely beyond our control from which some species could suffer to a point from which they would never recover. This is the sad face of environmental issues faced in Great Britain today. It is quite frankly a disgrace and I feel ashamed that this beautiful country of ours that’s filled with wonderful and varied species is so easily brushed aside in favour of the few or the pounds they greedily soak up from our taxes. The RSPB should be all over this like a rash. They’re a big, rich and powerful organisation and it’s about time they flexed some of those muscles rather than sitting on the fence and remaining quiet as they so often seem to do on issues like this.

It is also about time that we had a truly independent body that would oversee the wider environmental issues and have the power to veto Governmental decisions not in the best interest of our natural heritage. An organisation made up of a cross section of people who really know what they’re on about and with a desire to see nature come first for once rather than just another annoyance to be circumvented by any spurious means with the flimsiest of justification. While we have people like Andrew Sells at the helm then nothing will be safe, as he is without doubt not fighting the corner for those species which have no voice of their own. Natural England? There’s nothing natural about them, you may as well just have Owen Paterson as Environment Minister, oh wait . . .

Sign the petition – Click Here

George Monbiot on Andrew Sells – Click Here

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