What we do
Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. We provide practical advice, grounded in science, on how best to safeguard England’s natural wealth for the benefit of everyone.
This is a Common Buzzard, a native species to the UK and one that was persecuted to extinction in the east of the country by zealous gamekeepers, acting for their landed gentry employers. It should be one of the parts of England's natural wealth that Natural England safeguards.
This is a Pheasant. Admittedly a beautiful animal,but not native an introduction and therefore one would think of little or no concern to an organisation that safeguards England’s natural wealth. Ah but I may have missed an important point. There's another native animal that at the moment Natural England seems to feel it should help preserve.
Yes, it's one who's extinction would be welcomed by the majority of people in the country, the wealthy country "sportsman". This anachronism needs the pheasants to maintain a ritual that displays his station in life. While the plebs (excuse the word) go round beating, this courageous sportsman waits with his gun, and before the Pheasant has a chance to mount a deadly attack, he blasts it out of the sky.
What you may ask does this have to do with NE and the Buzzard. Buzzards are predatory birds and it has been calculated that around 1% of the young Pheasants, that are being raised so they can be shot by Hooray Henry and his friends, are taken by Buzzards. Natural England has issued a licence, in secret, to one such threatened Gentry. that will allow the destruction of four Buzzard nests. This action has been discovered using the freedom of information act has been highlighted on various sites including the Guardian and Martin Harper at the RSPB
The face of a very rich Tory Minister
Richard Benyon is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This is the man who has allowed, or even encouraged this to happen. He just happens to be Britain's richest MP and has an estate of 20,000 acres that employs gamekeepers who stock the estate with pheasants. His great great etc grandad was three times PM Lord Salisbury and daddy was also a Tory MP. Now he's rather more that a hooray Henry, but should we allow such powerful land owners to be in control of our environment and natural heritage? To find out more of this chaps activities visit George Monbiots Blog. You will see what a conspiracy of privilege we are up against.