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001. Submission to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the Implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy – 26th November 2013

Submission on CAP from British Wildlife Management.
 
Summary

Pillar 2 payments are a waste of money without predator management.

All of the CAP payments should be conditional on allowing free best practice private sector management of the fox, badger, deer, mink and hare, together with professional keepering to control corvid's, common raptors, grey squirrels and other major predator problems.

Special capital investment payments should be made available to the moorlands for the capital improvements needed to remove bracken and unpalatable toxic, rank, tick infested vegetation, and replace it with reseeding of both heather and palatable grasses, together with lime for improved grazing,  and the management of a whole range of other beneficial plant species.

A ten-fold increase in the carrying capacity of native winter hardy cattle and sheep would trigger a ten-fold increase in wild bird species, provided compulsory predator controls and keepering was imposed.

Britain's wildlife would return, profitable livestock farming would be possible with increased economies of scale, and Upland Farming and farmers would survive, making a major contribution to both the economy and creating beauty.

No need for welfare payments.

Tourists and the public would be able to enjoy biologically rich and viable landscapes, rather than the current Uplands devastation created by the RSPB and Un-Natural England.

We should have a new Wildlife Management and Forest Service, encompassing biodiversity, agriculture, fisheries and food by knocking a further £1bn of Defra's annual budget.

We can have our own profitable agricultural industry, if our farmers are allowed a genuine level playing field with their competitors, together with sound business planning at all levels nationally.

CAP payments should not be paid to organisations such as the RSPB and the National Trust, until such time as their sites are restored to the SSSI status, which existed when they were taken over.

Fair compensation should be paid to commoners, graziers and Upland farmers, for loss of income resulting from Defra’s and Natural England’s disasterous Upland Clearances instigated on the criminal excuse of over-grazing.
 
Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management.

002. Why, How and Objectives - A Rich Biologically Diverse Countryside for Future Generations - Link

 

This article was originally published in the Menu Heading of Moral Duty

Why, How and Objectives - A Rich Biologically Diverse Countryside for Future Generations

004. RSPB Upland Management Neglect – Carngafallt

RSPB Moorland Management

The RSPB's aggressive, misleading and untruthful political lobbying against gamekeepers calls for their own track record on moorland management to be put under the spotlight.

Fortunately we have a good example of the consequences of RSPB management at their reserve at Carngafallt in Mid Wales, following their acquisition of the SSSI product of generations of good grazing management.

1. 13 graziers were told to stop traditional patchwork burning of the heather, leading to loss of control of the ideal habitat.
2. Loss of ideal habitat has curtailed traditional grazing management of cattle and sheep, with the loss of 10 graziers through lack of incentive. The subsequent loss of dung and urine has reduced the insect population and soil quality.
3. The resulting under-grazing and lack of scrub control has led to one large accidental fire, probably started by walkers. Heather has taken 6 to 7 years to partially recover from attempts at control by flailing, being smothered by pulp.  Where burnt, regeneration took place in 3 years.
4. Out of control bracken and 4 feet high heather, causes the remaining 3 graziers lose their sheep and even their cattle, complicating management and veterinary treatments.
5. Ticks and heather beetle now present serious uncontrolled problems.
6. There is little effective vermin control, a five fold increase in the local badger population, and so much general predation that prey species numbers have collapsed.
7. 30 to 40 grouse would have been seen regularly, now there appear to be none.
8. Hen Harriers were released into this area and have failed to survive the low food supplies, excessive predation and management neglect.
9. There has been no attempt to discuss management with the graziers despite requests.

Everybody loses and this pattern of neglect is typical of all RSPB reserves

Well managed moorland has more than ten times the carrying capacity of habitat for livestock, deer, and a wide range of upland species.

We have 75 per cent of the world’s remaining heather moorland here in the UK.  Endangered lapwing, curlew, golden plover, ring ouzel, merlin, black grouse and grey partridge all fare far better on moorland with gamekeepers, absent on RSPB properties.

 

This picture was taken in June 2013 at Carngafallt, showing little change from the picture overleaf taken seven years before. Bracken is well established and summer growth is beginning to break through and will soon dominate the area, which used to be one of the best quality areas of heather moorland in Mid-Wales, fully productive for wildlife, including grouse, and the provision of valuable quality winter food for sheep and cattle. Good stands of heather can take up to a 40% loss from winter grazing.

During hard winters with deep snow, the heather moorlands were the place where a whole range of species, including sheep and cattle could shelter and feed. In the 1947 winter, sheep from one Welsh valley cut off for weeks by snow and drifts survived and maintained condition.

The RSPB’s wilding experiments have at least shown the way forward in bringing back livestock and traditional management skills, which can now be applied using the new burning and reseeding technologies developed on Howden Moor. The traditional roles of the stockman, shepherd, grazier, commoner, huntsman, terrier-man, earth-stopper, stonewaller, keeper, forester, fishing manager, gillie, upland farmer, sporting participants and tourist guides can restore the viable rich biologically diverse environments of the Welsh Uplands.

003. A View of the Issues (added 2.12.05) - Link

This article was originally published in the Menu Heading Wildlife Forum

A View of the Issues (added 2.12.05)

 

 

005. Natual England Charge Sheet - Dartmoor - 2000 - 2013

Catastrophic decline in habitat quality since English Nature and Natural England took over, threatening farmers that subsidies would not be paid if they did not do what they were told.  If farming in the Uplands and Lowlands of Britain were placed by good Government on a level playing field with their competitors, there would be no need to put the farming industry on welfare.  Pillar 2 is money down the drain without compulsory predator control, headage payments, disease control and prevention of human disturbance of wildlife. The Uplands devastated by Labour and RSPB’s Upland Clearances, requires capital investment to utilise the new proven technologies, which can provide a ten-fold increase in the carrying capacity for cattle, sheep and wildlife, and also boost tourism and other upland enterprises.
 
Catastrophic decline in wildlife.
 
Catastrophic increase in most predators and declines towards extinction of many vulnerable prey species.
 
Catastrophic decline in Dartmoor Ponies.
 
Rank unpalatable grasses infested with ticks, over-growing bronze age archaeology.
 
Un-burnt mature heather infested with heather beetle.
 
Out of control bracken creating sterile landscapes, unsafe for tourists and walkers (lyme disease).
 
Pointless interference with the natural drainage of peat bogs.
 
Reclassifying good unmanaged heather moorland as heathland in good condition, in order that staff could meet their targets.
 
Farmers, Commoners and Graziers with their associated skills driven off the land and put out of business, by pointless red tape and on-going reductions in livestock numbers, which no other business could or would tolerate.
 
Unnecessary costs of stock housing born by farmers through being forced to make the wrong choice of livestock.
 
No consideration given to the situation in 2000, when English Nature regarded under-grazing to be as serious a threat as over grazing.
 
Catastrophic increase in at least four organisations and staff telling farmers, commoners and graziers what to do and almost certainly outnumbering them.
 
Repeated all over Britain, Upland farming communities have been deprived of viable business, have not been fairly compensated for loss of income, with the taxpayer paying massive unnecessary costs for no rewards.
 
Edmund Marriage – British Wildlife Management – 25 Sept 2013.

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