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Monday, November 29, 2010

Climate change

Just in case readers think that Badgers are a big problem here is a really big problem which defies any attempt to define its scope!

Click here for an update on Cancun 2010

Or use this URL

Here is an extract:

"The main issues, though, are economic and geopolitical in nature.

Many governments are worried about losing their economic competitiveness through curbing emissions, particularly against key global or regional rivals.

Main players in the summit itself are optimistic that something worthwhile can emerge, despite these obstacles.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN climate convention, recently said: "At this point, everything I see tells me that there is a deal to be done.

"Cancun will be a success, if parties compromise."

The lesson of Copenhagen, though, is that this is likely to prove a very big "if". "

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Badger control consultation

I've spent some time going through notes on this subject from the SWT, that includes a 13 page report by Liz Deane Chair of the SWT Council in which she reviewed a wide range of published papers and reports on the subject.( Its very comprehensive). Also notes from  the Badger Group and the NFU. Finally I've looked at the DEFRA web site and browsed the extensive set of documents which make up their consultation doc.It all confirmed my view that the proposals are based on so many assumptions based on inadequate research and lack of relevant knowledge  that they are not at all certain to achieve their intended objective. The only certainty is that a large number of animals will be killed many of which will be healthy. 
If you want to see the DEFRA docs they are all available at this link here.

I've gone through the 8 questions they invite comment on and here is my response. Qu 1, 7 and 8 are the only ones I have written much about the others are all "No".

Of course we also want to encourage individuals to respond  as they see fit, the more the better regardless of what is said. A bigger post bag means more people are concerned about the subject one way or another.  Here  are my comments with the DEFRA question shown in bold:
Submission to DEFRA.
Qu 1.  Comments are invited on the options, costs and assumptions made in the Impact Statement.  ( that is Annex F )
The Impact Statement includes many assumptions which are unlikely to prove accurately assessed. Consequently it is not possible to predict a successful outcome and this is not an acceptable basis for killing a large number of animals.
We do not agree with a policy of culling badgers.
We consider such a policy to be unnecessary and not adequately supported by scientific evidence.
The Consultative Doc also shows many areas of uncertainty especially in the culling method statements.
Qu 2  Do you agree with the preferred option? 
Qu 3  Do you agree that this approach, of issuing licences to farmers/ landowners, is the most appropriate way to operate a badger control policy? 
Qu 4  Do you agree with the proposed licensing criteria for culling and vaccination?
Qu 5  Do you agree that the proposed methods of culling are effective and humane?
Qu 6  Do you agree with the proposed use of vaccination, particularly its focus on mitigating the perturbation effects of culling?
No , not as part of the culling process.
Qu 7  Should anything further be done to encourage the use of vaccination?
Yes. The use of vaccination should be promoted as the long term sustainable solution. Development of oral vaccine should be given greater urgency. Biosecurity should be strengthened.
Qu 8 Do you agree with the proposed monitoring?
No. We have no confidence that monitoring will be comprehensive enough  to ensure that the proposed procedures will be followed.
Signed and dated

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and  on://!/levelswildlife
and our diary of events at:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Traditional Orchards Network

Orchard Network

Welcome to Orchard Network - website of the Habitat Action Plan (HAP) group for Traditional Orchards. We are a partnership of organisations working together for the conservation of Traditional Orchards as a wildlife habitat. We hope you find this site a useful resource for finding out about the wildlife that thrives within our orchards, the issues that surround their conservation, and ways that you can get involved.
Click on this link to go to a video about traditional orchards which I think is inspiring and motivating

Friday, November 12, 2010

Badgers. Consultation ends Dec 8th

It was a very interesting and stimulating meeting last night. Aidrian Coward gave a detailed account of the life cycle of a badger and illustrated his talk with excellent photographs and some skulls and other exhibits from his collection which were passed round. It was clear from the audience reaction that badgers have many supporters.
Aidrian ended his talk by informing us about the Government plans for controlling Bovine TB which are currently likely to include the killing of badgers in large numbers, many of whom will be healthy animals. There is so much to know about this subject and Aidrian demonstrated a very detailed knowledge.
Rather than try to recall all that was said including answers to  numerous excellent questions I am giving you a link to the Badger Trust. Click here
The Badgers Trust and the Somerset Wildlife Trust are both making similar statements based on an understanding of the scientific work carried out in recent years.

You can read SWT's views on the DEFRA proposals here

And for the sake of completeness here is a link to the relevant DEFRA site, here.
Or use this url:

Sunday, November 07, 2010


Need to keep our next public meeting at the top of my Blog.

Just sent a Tweet to help promote the event.   See my Twitter account here

A public meeting on Badgers should be good value for £2.50! Hear the latest news, get answers to your questions. Nov 11,   Somerton 7.30pm.

Adrian Coward, professional ecologist and chair of the Somerset Wildlife Trust Badger Group will be talking about the lives and habitats of badgers.
United Reform Church Hall.West Street, Somerton.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Beer and Aller Wood

This is one of our best local SWT nature reserve. In recent years we have always had a Fungi Foray here led by Peter Baker. Peter moved away last year and we must find a replacement to lead next years event
This year we organised a spring flower walk with Anne Bebbington as leader. There is always something different to see here from season to season and year to year.
To give you a feel for the woods I'm including a video clip made by SWT and showing on the web site for their nature reserves where you can see others.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Convention on Biological Diversity

 This post is a follow up to my previous post.

 The UN web site shows links to what it calls "Advanced unedited text" which I not going to try to follow or give extracts. If your interested you can just follow the link below.
There clearly is information available and probably there are so many changes and amendments to the first drafts that it will take some time for the Secretariat to produce a final set of documents.
In that respect George is correct.
Trying to follow the thread through UN documents is a challenge all on its own!

Convention on Biological Diversity » A Ghost Agreement

 As a sobering foot note to the press accounts of the success of the recent UNEP Convention on Biological  Diversity in Nagoya ,the link shown below paints a more worrying picture. Next I'll follow up by visiting the UNEP web site to see what they are making available » A Ghost Agreement