Saturday, 29 October 2011

Money money money...or lack of it

The Safari hasn't got any pics for you today. We've  been busy doing other things. 
Tried to get a bit of vid of the Magpie working out how best to attack the suet feeder without coming a cropper but it saw the camera poking through the kitchen window blinds and was off like a shot. It has now managed to cling to the feeder like a Blue Tit so we'll need to get a purpose built suet feeder cos it'll eat us out of house and home otherwise.
Little point in taking any still shots as they would have come out too dull and grainy in the typical autumnal conditions.
Little else of note other than it was good to see the Coal Tit still about. 
We tried to do some stop-watch timings of the handling times of the sunny seeds for the various species as mentioned yesterday but really that's a job for during the week when there are far fewer distractions.
Had a read of Mark Avery's blog (see link on sidebar) about the all new all dancing Natural Improvement Areas and noted that the original list of 75 has been reduced to only 12, one and a sort of half of which are within the Safari's 'area'. On paper they sound like a good idea and 7.5 million quid is being chucked at them - which on the face off it sounds like a reasonable sum of if it was 7.5 million EACH it would be a reasonable sum to do some serious work with BUT it's only 7.5 million BETWEEN them or put another way £625k, the price of a four bed detached house in any of those areas - in other words a pittance...and less than 10% of the annual spent on Bovine TB payments. Considering the size of the areas in question and scope of what could be achieved £7.5 mill wouldn't actually be that great a sum either. If they gave £10 mill to all 75 original areas it would still only be a little more than British Gas's last year's profit from its domestic customers, or just 17% of what BP intends to invest in the climate changing oil reserves of the North Sea!
"Greenest government ever" eye*
* feel free to substitute any other body part/area that may spring to mind.
Add to that the potential for some negative changes in the CAP there could be some tough times ahead for Britain's beleaguered wildlife...although with some clever thinking (and politicians accepting that) the new CAP has the potential to work very well - we just don't have much faith in the bods who'll end up making the decisions.
Don't even think about getting us started on the proposed changes to the planning system...sustainable development or a developers Charter (= free for all) ? One thing that should happen is that the Ecologists who do the EIAs should be independent of the developers (who would still have to pay for them but not chose them or even know who they are) and the scope of the EIAs should be wider and more robust. We're not knockin professional ecologists who are dedicated, well qualified  and often seriously underpaid just the system in which they are asked to work within.
Why the rant you might ask - well the Slavonian Grebe has reappeared  not far from the nature reserve and a pair of  lovely Snow Buntings are flitting around the base of the dunes a couple of miles up the road and either would do to reach our target but we're housebound...big :(
Where to next? Hopefully we might just be allowed an hour or so at the nature reserve tomorrow and we might see if we can wangle a detour to the Slav...if it's still there...what's left of any fingers we might still have are well and truly crossed.
In the meantime let us know who's spending all the money in your outback...or not as the case may be.


Warren Baker said...

well ranted Davo, agree with your sentiments mate!

Have you been reading British Wildlife mag ?

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

As well Warren - yes!


cliff said...

Dave - where's the Slav Grebe reappeared at??

I didn't get out yesterday, the one gap between rain showers coincided with the footy, I contemplated heading to Fleetwood for the waders at high tide, but instead chose to watch the match, a correct decision for once, an 8 goal thriller & I'm a bit of a closet Arsenal fan.

May get to the mere today.