A rare visitor brightens up darker picture
IT’S a good news, bad news week.
Firstly some disturbing news concerning grouse moors, and secondly something to brighten your mood, with news of one of the UK’s rarest birds nesting just two hours’ drive from Albert Square.
The RSPB’s chief executive, Dr Mike Clarke, has called on those within the shooting industry to take responsibility for both the positive and negative impacts their industry has on the wider public interest, including biodiversity and the natural environment.
In a speech at the CLA Game Fair last week, Dr Clarke said: “There are two key trends in particular. First, is the continuing increase in game-birds released into the environment, now well over 50 million birds a year.
“It is ecologically naive (at best!) to think that you can introduce this amount of biomass – of a similar magnitude to the biomass of all the wild birds in the countryside – without any impact on native species populations and food webs.
“Secondly, there is a marked increase in the intensity of management on some driven grouse moors in the uplands, especially in England.
“As many of us know, our uplands are some of our most iconic landscapes, both for services they give people – such as water and as a carbon store – and for wildlife.”
One of the intensive management practices carried out on some driven grouse moors is rotational burning of heather. Last week, a study led by the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science revealed the extent of moorland burning across Britain’s upland areas and the damage it can cause.
Burning on moorlands,
The Laughing Badger Gallery, 99 Platt Street, Padfield, Glossop
●● A bee-eater makes a catch