Wednesday, 18 July 2012
Having just read the latest offering from LGRE I feel he doesnt really understand the countryside. Having said that I admit to not having personal knowledge of farming only observations of many years spent largely in rural areas. I agree the countryside and our wildlife are in crisis, and that much of the reason is down to maximising production to satisfy the needs of an overindulgent 'expanding' population. I also disagree with Badger sets being gassed, but the idea of our countryside being fenced off to keep Badgers and Cattle apart is fantasy. Badgers are well equipped to dig so any fencing that cuts across Badger routes would need a major excavation. OK in the flatter lands of the east but not realistic in the rolling hillsides in the west where most cattle production occurs. Hedges would need to be ripped up to have any effective form of fencing. We've made such a mess in terms of planning for a countryside that benefits our native wildlife and the needs of farmers that there are now huge imbalances in the farmland ecosystems such that some predator species thrive to the detriment of many other species including insects, mammals and birds. Many farmland birds have become virtually extinct in my own area over the past 10 years. The only answer we seem to have to redress the balance is to get DEFRA to find a scapegoat species and wipe it out.