Some of my Letters to the Editor triggered/provoked by Simon Barnes – from raptors to moors to food to

Moorland money
November 16 2011
Grouse shooting involves large sums of money but that money is badly needed in
managing the upland heather moorlands
Sir, Simon Barnes is right to turn his binoculars on to those who persecute raptors (Wild
Notebook, Nov 12), and where hard evidence of this occurs, ever effort must be made to find the
perpetrators! What does worr me is that his suppositions are drawn from a scientific paper that
used "oogle #arth and feedback from local raptor groups$ the former perhaps out of date and the
latter perhaps with a vested interest in making life uncomfortable for some moor owners!
"rouse shooting ma involve large sums of mone but that mone is badl needed in managing the
upland heather moorlands of which the %& is home to '( per cent of the global resource! )hese
same hills should also be en*oed b those +going for a nice walk,! But as walkers ma not
contribute directl to the upkeep of these areas, we must then allow landowners to manage these
moors as viable, sustainable sporting resources - with great benefits for other wildlife - while
ensuring that we e.pose those who show apath towards an form of illegal practice!
/ob 0orke
1bergavenn, 2onmouthshire
Simon Barnes’s thrill at seeing his buzzards in East Anglia is understandable (Wild Notebook,
Mar 9).
March 14 2013
Sir, 3indsa Waddell (letter, 2ar 14), could have been more compelling on the science supporting
his group5s claim that its work benefits conservation! )he ten6ear 3angholm 2oor pro*ect is
looking at solutions for the raptor6grouse moor impasse, along with biodiversit enhancement! )he
science of the "ame Wildlife and 7onservation )rust, with support of the /S8B, is reling on the
skills of keepers in the management of the pro*ect!
)here are two raptor6related e6petitions running with gamekeepers in their sights, but we must not
rush into over6regulation to discover that both upland conservation and viable rural enterprises
/ob 0orke
1bergavenn, 2onmouthshire
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Unaffordable food
November 7 2013
The solutions to the problems of the environment may well end up causing more
problems, particularly for those managing on lower incomes
Sir, )he 9!( per cent fall in spending on all food since 2::(6:' is of concern (+;ruit and veg left on
shelf as families tr to cut costs,, Nov <) if we wish to have a countrside described b Simon
Barnes as +a nice place of everwhere, one that works for everone, (Wild Notebook, Nov 2)!
/ural economists have used data from the National #cosstem 1ssessment to discover that if we
full invested in natural capital via better management of soils, biodiversit water and carbon
emissions, it would undoubtedl raise food production costs and add to prices! )his ma be a
sustainable solution for the environment but a potentiall unsustainable one for those on lower
/ob 0orke
1bergavenn, 2onmouthshire
Silence of the lambs
March 28 2014
The proposal to construct a racetrack on moorland in South Wales will be a blow to
Sir, National planning guidance polic is not influenced b particular cases of local planners
weighing up the demands of communities with a need to protect biodiversit as set out within their
adopted plan (Simon Barnes, Wild Notebook, 2ar 22)
)he urge to continue building on =lmpic successes ma not be directl felt here in South Wales
but a large swathe of moorland, ad*acent to the Brecon Beacons National 8ark, has been
earmarked for a motor racetrack as part of the economic regeneration of nearb severel deprived
2erthr )dfil (News, 2ar 22)!
)he area has plent of sklarks singing on it and perhaps now is the time to be braver in e.ploring
how biodiversit offsetting might enable progress of much needed development without trashing
wildlife habitat!
/ob 0orke
1bergavenn, 2onmouthshire
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