Well done Scotland for giving Beavers protected status. How about a Bowland reintroduction scheme next. How about Dunsop or Roeburndale I can think of a few other places that could be suitable. They could be a great help with flood prevention if managed well.
Went to the Forest of Bowland Sustainable Tourism Forum last night. This is an annual event for Tourism businesses who support the aims of the AONB and want to be more environmentally friendly. The night was also the venue for the annual meetings of two organisations. Bowland Experience a business support network of which I am a Director and Champion Bowland a charity which gives small grants for environmental projects. One of the speakers was Amanda Parker from Browsholme Hall who had just won the Lancs. Tourism Sustainable Tourism Award.
This Roe Deer was in the garden bold as brass one late afternoon we saw it about 10 minutes after we had got back from shopping. It stayed for about 30 minutes.
After listening to the full debate I was left very depressed and it did nothing to dissuade me that this is not the beginning of the end for shooting. All of the fine arguments of biodiversity, employment and rural economic sustainability will not sway or influence the majority of ban supporters or stop that support growing whilst illegal raptor persecution continues. I think we are years away from a ban but unless the shooting industry radically changes I believe a ban is inevitable.
The shooting industry has the power to stamp out illegal killing. If they don’t I think the support for a ban will just keep relentlessly growing especially as technical advances and increase in public awareness will lead to more reporting and discovery of persecution. Eventually like fox hunting the numbers will grow sufficiently to start possibly influencing a few marginals and when that happens it is curtains for shooting. I believe if the shooting industry wishes to survive it must stop killing raptors and mountain hares.
One of the arguments expressed is that the antis do not understand the countryside and this is probably true, but they do understand the concept of illegal persecution and many will just see this as another example of the law turning a blind eye to criminal behaviour by the rich or on behalf of the rich.
It was also touching to see all these Tory MPs suddenly become so concerned with the employment needs of the rural working class! In many rural areas there is no shortage of jobs especially low paid jobs, but a shortage of people to do those jobs because of a lack of affordable housing and public transport plus a higher cost of living, it would be nice if those MP also turned their attention to these problems.
This is the link to video of the debate http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/0b841a46-eb3d-44b3-83b7-9500482b6d92 and transcript https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2016-10-31/debates/06472E95-10EC-49A0-BF93-84CAD2BE4191/DrivenGrouseShooting
Slaidburn Brownies and Rainbows won a class The Friends of Bowland sponsored at this years Hodder Show me and Louise and Jane Baddeley Chair of FoB visited them at one of their sessions to present the prize and talk to them about wildlife. We also took along some wildlife stuff to show them. It was a fantastic evening the children were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and we plan to help them do some wildlife projects next summer. We were really pleased when I got a call from the AONB office that someone had left a card for me it turned out to be a wonderful hand drawn card from the group see below.