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  1. ..... but Mr Packham and his friends do NOT want lapwing to be protected, at least not in Cornwall. Their submission to DEFRA stated: "..... Curlew, Lapwing and Grey Partridge. These three species do not occur in all parts of England or in all habitats and so we question the wisdom of any nationwide general licence. Killing Carrion Crows in Cornwall, for example, is of no value to the conservation of Curlew, Lapwing or Grey Partridge and such a general licence would be disproportionate." https://wildjustice.org.uk/general/wild-justice-response-to-consultation-on-general-licences/?fbclid=IwAR2xQ0LUMDEalFkW4hgSiwqn5b7XazYm64EfIRAu7IYdvISWx2LvKiQ5fOU Of course, if somebody were to produce photos of curlew or lapwing on Bodmin Moor, it would make the Wild Justice trio would look stupid and ignorant.
  2. Mark Avery does like animals to be killed for his own personal pleasure. He has made it very clear that he eats meat, not just for nutrition, but principally because he enjoys the taste of it. He says that he really ought to eat less meat, for the benefit of his health and for the sake of the environment. He may claim to have concern for the environment, but this is obviously outweighed by the pleasure he gets from shovelling excess food down his gullet. Do I detect a whiff of hypocrisy? Here is an extract from his blog dated 29 September 2015 https://markavery.info/2015/09/29/hate-vegans/ “I guess, at heart, I think I ought to eat even less meat but the taste of a juicy steak, bangers and mash, a sandwich of crispy bacon (perhaps with a cup of tea from a van by the road at Tomatin with Henry), roast lamb, pepperoni pizza etc, let alone fish and chips eaten out of the paper or a bowl of mussels or half a dozen oysters, are all very tempting at various times and various occasions. Some of them I feel I should swerve on either four days a week I do, but for three days a week I don't. And quite honestly, I think I probably should do on the other three days a week too, but I don't.” Perhaps he hates the idea that somebody else might derive pleasure from killing. If so, what would he think about abattoir staff, those who earn a crust by slaughtering animals to satisfy the Avery gluttony, if some of them actually enjoyed their work? Or might he be one of people who rarely give any consideration at all to the feeling of others? I made a screen-dump of that blog, but today it has been replaced by a statement: “We are carrying out a mix of essential and non-essential maintenance. We will be back online at the end of May 2019.” Here is the original. ?
  3. I think you are right. Some of the cheap polytunnels sold by DIY shops are quite flimsy, but the good quality tunnels used for professional horticulture seem to last for years. The ones being used for lambing sheds on hill farms must be capable of withstanding severe weather.
  4. I can tell you exactly what they are like in strong wind. Bought one a few months ago, same supplier and probably same model as described by Stephen-H. Frame poorly engineered and extremely flimsy. Tubes thin-walled and very slack where one is inserted into another (far worse fitting than the cheapest of cheap frame tents). Bolt holes in the tubes are circular, so the square shanks of the coach bolts have nothing to grip on. No washers supplied. Anyway, I put it up and everything seemed OK at first. The ground anchors didn't look very secure, so I put sand bags and some concrete blocks to weight the thing down, all the way round the edge of the fabric cover. The only niggle was that the zips for the door flap kept undoing themselves every time the cover moved in the breeze. Then one day we had a gale, a rather strong one, and I came home to find the whole thing had blown away and wrapped itself around our apple tree, with the frame tubes bent and knotted like a cat's cradle. I had erected the tent with the door away from the prevailing wind, but that particular gale was from the opposite direction, and I suspect the door zips came undone, letting the wind right inside the cover. I reckon everything would have been all right if the zips had been more secure (I really ought to have fetched pieces of string and laced them shut) and the ground anchors had been twice the size. The cover was completely undamaged, and is obviously made from very strong material.
  5. Two points: (1) Presumably MAFF/DEFRA sought legal opinion when General Licences were originally devised. Lawyers acting for NE now say the General Licence scheme was being operated illegally. Was one or other of those legal teams totally incompetent? I wonder whether we are allowed to know who the original lawyers were, and how much they were paid for what was apparently rubbish advice. (2) Regarding the requirement to justify lethal control , Marian Spain told the meeting that it would be OK "..... if you can tell yourself ....." that it is reasonable to kill the bird (video 16:07). She was directly contradicting the wording of the GL, and her recent Position Statement, both of which demand that "Users of the licence are required to be able show that they are complying with the terms and conditions of the licence if asked by an officer of Natural England or the Police." https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/802734/natural-england-general-licence-position-statement.pdf Was she just spouting a load of ******** during that meeting?
  6. "..... the practised hustings-liar ....." "Step by step we gain'd a freedom known to Europe, known to all; Step by step we rose to greatness, - thro' the tonguesters we may fall." (Tennyson, 1886)
  7. Is this all about pussycats and lap-dogs, or will it include working animals (guide dogs, gun dogs, sheep dogs, guard dogs, etc)? Will police be expected to spend more time investigating loss of a hamster than the theft of a FTCh?
  8. As the old slogan went "Sooner or later, you'll buy a Hayter." Rather more manageable than the Allen scythe that my granddad used for rough grass in his orchard, until it pulled him over -- clutch take-up was quite fierce, and he was aged nearly 80 at the time.
  9. Are there any Cornish members who can explain this section from WJ's response to DEFRA? "..... Curlew, Lapwing and Grey Partridge. These three species do not occur in all parts of England or in all habitats and so we question the wisdom of any nationwide general licence. Killing Carrion Crows in Cornwall, for example, is of no value to the conservation of Curlew, Lapwing or Grey Partridge ....." The Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society (CWBPS) suggest breeding populations of curlew, lapwing, and grey partridge, with distributions shown on these maps: Curlew http://www.cbwps.org.uk/atlas/breeding/CU.shtml Lapwing http://www.cbwps.org.uk/atlas/breeding/L_.shtml Grey partridge http://www.cbwps.org.uk/atlas/breeding/P_.shtml I can think of a few possible explanations for what WJ has written, but they all seem rather ridiculous: There is some particular reason, perhaps known only to the WJ trio, why carrion crows would not harm curlew, lapwing and grey partridge that happen to live in Cornwall. WJ believe none of those species exists in Cornwall, and made no attempt to obtain local information. WJ are aware of the CBWPS data, but consider themselves better informed than any local residents, and therefore continue to believe there are no curlew, lapwing or grey partridge in Cornwall. WJ have their own reasons for not wishing those species to be encouraged within Cornwall. What have I missed? What is the real reasoning behind that WJ statement?
  10. We moved recently to a place with a larger garden, didn’t want to spend big money for a ride-on machine, so bought a Mountfield self-propelled pedestrian mower from Screwfix (about £240), cut a few meandering paths through the half-acre of grass at the back of the house, and left the rest to grow. Some people need closely-cut grass for bowls or croquet, some admire the appearance of a manicured lawn, and maybe some actually enjoy mowing, but none of the above apply for us, so we have allowed the area to revert to nature. Barn owls do a few circuits most mornings and evenings, and occasionally we see one fly away carrying a vole. At the moment we have a resident brown hare, and there must be leverets among the tussocks, because she rarely leaves the garden and defends her patch fiercely (charges towards any jackdaw that has alighted, and a when a barn owl dared to approach her last week she chased it away down the lane for about 60 yards). Cheap entertainment for us watching the wildlife, cheap mower, low fuel cost as it is only used ½ hour per week. Not sure whether we can claim to be doing our bit for the planet by re-wilding, perhaps more accurate to describe us as miserly and idle.
  11. Good decision. Set them up in a field that is being attacked. If pigeons continue to invade the crop, in spite of all your efforts to deter them by use of Natural England's recommended method, you will be fully justified in shooting them.
  12. Pegasus Mail. Been using it continuously since the early-1990s, never failed me yet. I read somewhere that it generally very secure, perhaps because the number of users is small in comparison to Outlook, so hackers don't consider it worth the effort.
  13. Can anybody clarify the legal issues implicit in Conditions 8 and 12 of the new General Licences? Condition 8(e): "Any person using this licence must be able to show, if asked by an officer of Natural England or the Police ..... what lawful methods have been. and are being, taken ....." Is a verbal statement likely to be acceptable, or does the word "show" entitle Natural England to demand photographs and/or video footage? Has the term "an officer of Natural England" been defined, or should we assume that any school leaver employed by NE will have been awarded powers equivalent to those of a police officer, and is entitled to enter farm steadings, interview farm staff, and make judgements about whether evidence is adequate? Does Condition 8 overturn the normal principle of justice, demanding that a person must provide evidence of innocence, in situations where there are unlikely to be any independent witnesses? Condition 12: "Good Practice" means Natural England's 'Wildlife Management Advice Note: Legal measures to resolve conflict with wild birds' and any other relevant good practice published by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation or the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. If there are conflicts between this good practice and the terms and conditions of this licence, the licence will prevail. This suggests to that good practice is only a secondary consideration, subordinate to Natural England's overall aim of restricting pest control. Are the GL conditions liable to be varied at any time at the whim of NE staff?
  14. When asked (during this morning's radio interview) what listeners could do to help the environment, Tony Juniper said: "..... stop wasting food ..... we are wasting one third of it, which is one third of the land ..... so we can take a big pressure off of nature by stopping wasting food ....." He is absolutely right. And any legislation that seeks to prevent farmers from taking immediate action to control pests is extremely damaging to the environment. Loss of lambs following attack by corvids means that more ewes have to be kept, more grazing land must be maintained and fenced, and more fodder grown and conserved for winter. Woodpigeons destroy a substantial proportion of the nation's food crops, and additional land has to be cultivated, planted, fertilised and harvested in order to compensate for the losses, using energy that is largely obtained from fossil fuels. Michael Gove has repeatedly stressed his concern for the environment. Perhaps PW members responding to DEFRA could draw attention to the discrepancy between his words and the recent actions of government bodies forming part of his remit.
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