Saturday, 23 October 2010

Cuts to the Countryside

The UK Government is planning sweeping cuts to public spending. Many of the cuts affect wildlife and the environment. For example there are plans to privatise Natural Nature Reserves and ask wildlife charities to run them. RSPB and other environmental charities have an excellent track record of running wildlife reserves but they need money to do this. It seems unlikely that this government (which likes to present itself as the greenest government ever) would in the current economic climate give charities extra cash. So it looks likely that wildlife will lose out.

One piece of good news though is that money for wildlife friendly farming looks set to stay in place. This means that farmland birds, which have really declined in numbers recently will continue to be given the protection they need so that their numbers have some chance of recovering. One example that shows very clearly how wildlife friendly farming can make a difference is the recent increase in number of corncrakes in Scotland.

Today, Crafty Green Boyfriend and I joined 20 000 other people to march through the centre of Edinburgh to protest at the Government Cuts. It felt like a real flashback to the 1980s when we were students protesting against the Thatcher Government. It was less well organised and there was less chanting, but I guess we'll have plenty of chances to improve our protesting skills over the next few months.

10 comments:

Shakespeare said...

Hurray for both Poet and Boyfriend!

It's so sad when cuts affect the resources that truly need our protection. We have had such devastation of what were once government lands here in the States. I hope we can do more than stem the attrition, and actually build up our conservancy again.

Inverness Daily Photo said...

Good luck with the protest. Hail the revolution. O sorry, we've already had one and lost.

Gabrielle Bryden said...

I've been reading about the cuts - shocking! Good on you for protesting.

Oh said...

Excellent - glad to hear you're taking to the streets to be heard! And good luck with it - I'm rooting for you from this side of the ocean.
(Really? protested Thatcher? priceless.)

Now I'm going to look at your link to corncrakes!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Oh - there were huge protests agaisnt the Thatcher government and their unfair taxes

Deb G said...

Sorry to hear about this.... Sadly I think we will have much to protest.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

It is interesting to heara from a "real person" what the effects of these drastic cuts will be in the UK -- of course it has made our news.

I fear that the same or similar or worse will happen here in the US soon. The mid-term elections are not looking good.

Congratulations on putting your marchng feet where your heart it.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Well, perhaps as usual, I have a differing take on the situation - although from afar!

Around here, most government efforts at environmental work could easily be done twice as well, twice as fast, and with half the money by private/non-governmental organizations. I am hoping the current UK "experiment" of perhaps forcing this situation will prove the point and encourage more folks to join in that way rather than through impersonal taxation schemes.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Rabbit's Guy - here a lot of the best environmental work is done by non-governmental agencies and they do it very well as I said in my post. The issue here is that the Government wants to hand over management to non-governmental agencies without giving them the money to take on these extra responsibilities. Plus on the forestry side, the conservation value (that has been built up over the last few years as government forestry realised the value of conservation) will probably be lost if private companies take it over.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Very concerned, especially about the forestry aspects.