The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) has today (Tuesday 23 June) launched an online blog which highlights, through photos and videos, the damage caused by predatory birds due to a lack of licences issued by Natural England to help protect many of England’s most precious wildlife sites.
Rare, vulnerable birds and young livestock have been hammered this spring by crows, rooks, gulls and other predators because the wildlife licensing authority, Natural England, has granted only 6% of licence applications made by gamekeepers and farmers to control predatory birds on many of England’s most precious wildlife sites.
These photos and videos, collected by the NGO thanks to its members, show examples of the widespread damage that can occur when control of common predatory birds is not allowed to take place.
The NGO, together with the Moorland Association and the Countryside Alliance, recently sent a paper to the Secretary of State for the Environment, The Rt Hon George Eustice MP, entitled, ‘Wildlife Licensing in England: Chaos, Crisis and Cure’.
The paper catalogues a litany of errors and delays by Natural England and explains how the failure to issue workable licences has caused a crisis in the countryside. These photos and videos show that crisis.
Liam Bell, Chairman of the NGO, said: “We are asking Defra to take back control of all wildlife licensing and to make it work. Already, George Eustice has responded by extending the main General Licences saying, “It is vital that we have a robust long-term licensing system which balances the needs of users and our wildlife.” We want to help make sure that happens.”
The NGO is asking gamekeepers, farmers and land managers across the country to share their experience with us by emailing the NGO team on firstname.lastname@example.org, via social media pages or through the official NGO blog.
The NGO blog can be found at www.gamekeepersblog.com/wildlife-licensing-crisis/