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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet


Natural England begging for your money

Natural England is crowdfunding to carry out its statutory responsibilities.

This public body is now crowdfunding for habitat management of sites such as Castle Hill National Nature Reserve (and Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area for Conservation for heavens sake!) on the outskirts of Brighton. According to Natural England this is ‘arguably the finest example of ancient, wildflower-rich chalk grassland in the country‘ and yet ‘with your support we will continue to protect and enhance‘ its biodiversity. I’m pretty sure that’s what my taxes are paying for already and what I’m expecting you to do anyway.

The same goes for Lullington Heath NNR and SSSI ‘One of the largest areas of chalk heathland remaining in Britain‘ and Pevensey Levels NNR (and SSSI and SAC).

i can’t quite understand what is going on here as NE is not the land owner on any of these sites, as far as I am aware. It is the regulator – its job is to make sure that landowners comply with the legislation and maintain these sites and their biodiversity. So why is NE stepping forward to raise these funds?

Other projects in this list include the daft idea of reintroducing Hen Harriers to southern England – which appears to have had another blank year of trying to persuade real nature conservationists in Europe to hand over their Hen Harrier chicks to the public body that has caved in, very willingly and enthusiastically, to grouse moor managers over brood meddling. Natural England has the nerve to fail to allude to the fact that illegal persecution is rife in northern England and to claim that there is no danger of persecution in the south of the country. The latter is disputed by RSPB and many others and this project is opposed by most nature conservationists to whom I have talked. But NE is asking for your cash for this project that looks as though it is going nowhere.

Close to my home NE is asking for money to ‘look after’ sites such as Barnack Hills and Holes NNR (and SSSI and SAC!!)(where I see Pasque Flowers most years – including this year).

I won’t be donating to any of these projects. For one thing the terms and conditions make it clear that …

Although you may have made your Donation in response to a specific cause of a Recipient Charity, and in order to avoid creating restricted funds for the Recipient Charity, if we pass your Donation and any Gift Aid on, the Recipient Charity is not bound to only use the Donation/Gift Aid for that cause. It may use this for its other charitable activities.

Now, NE isn’t a charity but I assume that this T&C applies to them too – if not, then the site’s T&C are unclear. General principle a) of The Fundraising Code (to which NE says it signs up) states that ‘A legal principle underpinning fundraising is that all funds raised for a particular cause MUST* be used for that particular cause’ which seems to me to be contradicted by the quote above, so it’s unclear to me where my money would go anyway.

Our wildlife NGOs will be less than thrilled to see NE entering fundraising in this manner. But then, many of them are less than thrilled by NE already.


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