This is how it is.

scrub removed 3

Scrub removed at Bakersfield – May 2016

Yesterday was a dark day for me. I tried. Anyone who’s ever known me will know that I tried to stop the destruction of the wildlife rich site at the top of my road.

As McCulloch Homes and Bioscan continued to celebrate spring by ripping up scrub from Bakersfield a site filled with breeding birds. I contacted the RSPB and Wildlife Crime Officer. I prowled the site taking photos and video of the destruction and confronted black hearted people claiming to be ecologists.

Mark Thomas, Head of Investigations at the RSPB thought we had a good case. Nightingales and cuckoos, both red listed birds suffering severe declines in this country, were breeding on site, scrub was being pulled up and because birds go to great lengths to hide their nests it was impossible for any ecologists to find them all prior to the digger ripping into them, especially ones from a firm that had concluded that hearing nightingales singing on site in May was not evidence that they were breeding there.

However, we hadn’t factored in the attitude of the police. I was phoned by a wildlife crime officer from Kent police who informed me that Bioscan were a thoroughly respectable firm full of very decent chaps and maybe I should talk to the man overseeing this work and attempt to understand it from his point of view . That, unless I could actually find a nest  of massacred blue tits, he was not prepared to act.

In my mind there are two types of ecologists. Those in the light and those in the dark. Bioscan and their ilk are in the dark. They learn their ecology, they go on their training courses to get their licences and then they sell their souls for developers money. I do not converse with the dark side.

And so no one will be prosecuted for destroying Bakersfield. I cannot produce that nest of decapitated baby birds. I cannot prove their actions were illegal but even if these firms can persuade others that their actions are legal that doesn’t make it moral, that doesn’t make it right.

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4 thoughts on “This is how it is.

  1. Carol, I feel your pain. Nightingales in the UK are very fussy in their habitat requirements, they tell us that this is a very special place. The odds are that nests were or are being destroyed, but the ecological consultants don’t care. They are low life’s, I have met similar, who under-record wildlife and get paid by developers to get the OK.
    It is obvious that the ecological consultants who do this are the ones who get work from developers. Those who survey properly and highlight the value of sites thus dettering development do not get contracted by the unethical deveopers. This is the world we live in sadly, money is the master of many.
    We should highlight the names of such companies and their emoyees, and black list them in any way we can. Maybe these decredited people will then be seen for what they are and, one day, be un-employable.
    Barry

    • Yes, absolutely, Barry, too right. This is exactly how I feel. I will report this company to the CIEEM and AJ said that they will be blacklisted by the RSPB and that the RSPB are looking into some kind of standard for consultants. The police visited the site yesterday and agreed that it was highly likely that birds nests had been destroyed. The policeman even found two nests himself in scrub that the digger was about to tear up but still without evidence that nests had been destroyed he could do nothing. The law really needs tightening up on this otherwise what is the point in having a law at all if it can so easily be bypassed?

    • Hi Marshal, It isn’t legal but it is finding the evidence that proves they’ve broken the law that is tricky.

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