The RSPB appears to have a remarkably short memory. Only two years ago the same spokesman, Pat Thompson, told a packed conservation conference that grouse moor owners should be praised for their ‘significant investment’ in restoring 18,000 hectares of moorland across northern England (Saddleworth fire: ‘Arsonists revel in moor havoc’).
This work includes blocking drains, which were dug after the war, with government grants, to improve farming, not to benefit grouse shooting, as he knows only too well. It is equally unfortunate that he cannot recall his praise for grouse moor owners in resisting grants, from successive governments, to drain their land and plant commercial forestry blocks on what is now recognised as a globally rare habitat. It is time for the commitments made by these private land owners to be recognised, rather than demonised.
Director of communications at GWCT
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