As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Britain would be big enough for the hen harrier and the grouse if it weren't for politics

RSPB activists advance concealed agendas under the banner of uncontroverisal causes

6:25AM GMT 13 Dec 2014

In Westminster on Tuesday, there was a Mass Rally for Nature. You cannot be blamed if you didn’t notice it, because the “mass” element was missing. Only 350 people took part.

This might seem surprising. After all, the rally was backed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which claims more than a million members. Less than 0.04 per cent of its membership turned up. This compares unfavourably, for example, with the Countryside March in 2002 against the hunting ban, which was attended by more than 400,000 people – at that time the largest march ever held in Britain.

Behind this lies the weird world of nature conservation, the charities that take part in it and the political passions that disfigure it.

The prime mover of the (non-)Mass Rally for Nature seems to have been Dr Mark Avery. He is an expert campaigner and Labour supporter who used to be the RSPB’s director of conservation. Today, he is a consultant with a blogosphere following.

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