2008-01-27 10:13:00 UTC
the licensing of shoots on lands we, the public paid for to protect
Many RSPB employees have been working overtime since the recent press
coverage claiming "some reserves have inherited shooting rights"!!
Lets not confuse the issue. The recent revelations concern the RSPB
licensing shoots on land owned outright, you don't need a licence from
the RSPB on land with inherited shooting rights.
It's a CON and has obviously been going on for some time. We have
every right to be concerned.
I saw this on gardenbanter
Mr Grahame Wynne
An Open Letter
Dear Mr Wynne
Less than Honest?
In the minds of most ordinary people, the RSPB is simply an
organisation that protects birds, and on that basis they become
But is it really protecting birds other than those that are
financially rewarding in terms of publicity, grants and donations
brought in by emotional claims, and is it serious about reducing its
impact on the natural environment in the light of climate change?
Bird shooting on RSPB land
Early in 2003, I came across a British Association for Shooting and
Conservation web page, where it was revealed that shooters were
"managing" a wildfowl reserve for the RSPB. Within a day of me
bringing this to the attention of an Internet Newsgroup, the page was
removed. Following a telephone call to the RSPB headquarters in
Edinburgh, I wrote to them asking if they would identify the location
of this reserve. They didn't reply.
Later that year, I found the following message from a contributor to
an Internet wildfowling magazine, who said, "I shoot over marches
owned by the RSPB. They lease the Humber wildfowlers the shooting on
there and I suppose we sort of police them for the RSPB".
Consequently, I started to do some research and found that shooting
tenants on your Abernethy Reserve kill around 400 red grouse each
year. The RSPB's explanation is, "it is good for public relations as
the reserve is then not seen as divorced from normal country
This month I accessed two reports that stated:
· "Wildfowling is also permitted on RSPB land in the estuaries
of the Moray Firth, the Inner Clyde and the Firth of Forth". (Source:
Scottish Wildlife Trust)
· "NGO conservation bodies such as the Wildlife Trusts and RSPB
have wildfowling tenants on their reserves. Examples include Montrose
Basin (Scottish Wildlife Trust, Angus), Frampton Marsh (RSPB
Lincolnshire), Ouse Washes (RSPB Cambridgeshire), Tetney Marshes (RSPB
Lincolnshire). Locally, RSPB let sporting rights to Langstone &
District Wildfowling & Conservation Association (L&DW&CA) at the
Langstone Harbour RSPB reserve. Wardening at Langstone Harbour is a
co-operative and joint venture between RSPB, Local Authority and
L&WD&CA. In many cases wildfowling clubs lease sporting rights
jointly with conservation bodies to allow for co-0perative and
integrated management. Nearby examples include Langstone & District
Wildfowling & Conservation Association's joint Crown Estate leases
with the Hampshire Wildlife Trust and RSPB. In some cases wildfowling
clubs jointly own freehold with conservation bodies - eg. Fenland
Wildfowlers Association jointly own c.250 acres of the Welney Reserve
(Ouse Washes) with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust". (Source: West
From this it is clear that birds are being shot on RSPB land despite
its objectives as shown on the Charity Commission website, which a
(a) To conserve wild birds and the wider environment on which wild
birds depend, maintaining bird numbers, diversity and natural
(b) To conserve natural and semi-natural habitats and to re-create
(c) To encourage others to practice the conservation of wild birds
(d) To promote knowledge of conservation through education and
In my experience many members are unaware of the RSPB's association
with shooters and are shocked when told of it, Obviously the RSPB is
aware of this; hence the difficulty in gleaning information.
Ask an awkward question and it is ignored!
It is bad enough when an organisation that purports to protect birds
fails to do so if enough members of a species are prevalent, but it is
dishonest if it supports and associates itself with those who seek to
harm birds, whilst at the same time accepting money from an
unsuspecting bird-caring public.
Damage to the Natural Environment
The RSPB has jumped on the conservation bandwagon of climate change
and is keen to advise the public of the consequences of global
On 3 February it posted a media release, warning of the dire
consequences of climate change for mankind and wildlife. (Source:
Yet what could the RSPB do to reduce its own emissions?
Stop exploiting birds as visitor attractions that attracts thousands
of sightseers, in the full knowledge that most will come by car.
Close its environmentally damaging visitor centres.
Close its car parks thereby actively discouraging motorists to drive
to its reserves.
Stop hosting countryside fairs that attract thousands of motorists.
Stop using large mechanical diggers and loggers for conservation work.
Stop sending out unsolicited junk mail and newspaper inserts.
·Stop sending out thousands of "Birds" magazines, which are
environmentally damaging in their production, distribution and
Stop accepting pages of adverts in its "Birds" magazine that entice
people to travel at home and abroad.
Set an openly revealed target for reducing staff's use of cars both to
travel to work and during operations and stick to it.
Stop using pesticides.
Recently, RSPB Energy, of which the RSPB is a partner with Scottish &
Southern Energy, was censured by the Advertising Standards Authority
for misrepresenting its green energy scheme in adverts in RSPB
(Source: www.dartdorset.org/JE%20PR%20081204.pdf )
This was a shameful indictment, which conveyed the message that the
RSPB is more interested in its commission than making accurate claims
within its publications.
The RSPB should disassociate itself from all those who seek to harm
birds and not hide behind whether an activity is legal or otherwise.
Furthermore, if you believe in your media release of 3 February 2005,
you should take immediate steps to reduce your organisation's impact
on the natural environment.
To do nothing, displays a gross contempt for those who support the
RSPB to protect birds and care for the natural environment.