Today I received a post, drawing my attention to the latest directive from DEFRA. That august department intends to promote the culling of hundreds of seagulls at Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire. Bad enough that this facility has been built where it shouldn’t be – in an area of special scientific interest, without bringing further death and destruction to the habitat of some of our rare wildlife. Surely BAE systems have an obligation to find a solution, rather than resorting to such slaughter because they find the birds are a nuisance?
Only a week ago, I read how a rare feathered-visitor, a member of the swift family, had met an untimely death in front of hundreds of enthusiastic twitchers, many of whom, having travelled hundreds of miles to the remote Scottish Isles to catch a glimpse of the bird, watched in horror as it was killed by flying into the propellers of a wind-turbine.
It seems nature has no place in the plans of Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Affairs. As our rural environment shrinks ever further, perhaps Mr Paterson should be reminded of some facts before we no longer have a rural environment for him to run.
Slaughtering over five hundred breeding pairs of herring gulls, and even more pairs of lesser black-backed gulls – because they are considered a nuisance, is both nonsensical and unacceptable since all species of gull have suffered a serious decline in numbers over recent years. I thought the Department of the Environment and Rural Affairs was about the protection of our environment, not its exploitation by BAE. Perhaps our seagull friend agrees with the van driver from Wells-next-the-sea.