RSPB selling off land bequeathed to it for wild life

I am so angry to read today that the RSPB is selling off land In Cheshire to housing developers bequeathed to it for wildlife. The lady stated when it was bequeathed that it should never be built on, but the RSPB are disregarding this and selling it anyway for housing. Amongst others it is home to barn owls, tawny owls and lapwings. The RSPB claim the housing development will increase biodiversity. This is an utter disgrace and I for one will be cancelling my subscription and supporting a more worthy organisation. SHAME ON YOU RSPB.
  • Woodpecker

    You're referring to this article in the Telegraph?

    I think one has to bear in mind, that the story is seemingly being distributed by the You Forgot the Birds "campaign" - in reality a PR organisation set up by the grouse shooting industry* and fronted by Sir Ian Botham. The Telegraph, along with the Daily Mail, has recently republished a number of their press releases - see this blog by Martin Harper.

    *or so YFtB say themselves - in fairness to the Grouse shooting industry, perhaps I should have added "elements of" 

  • In reply to Sue C:

    I must confess I would like to hear the full story behind this.  The Telegraph certainly can't be trusted to give a clear, unbiased account.

    I also notice that the Telegraph, not unlike some of the recurring trolls who pop up on here, have chosen a Saturday to print this story.  It couldn't be that they don't want an instant response to their article, could it?

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • In reply to Clare:

    Martin Harper has explained this on his blog at

    The group fronted by Ian Botham seems intent on making comments about the Rspb without the full story.  They did it last week including repeating comments that had already been overturned by the charity commission.  It is interesting to see the background of the various editors and then it becomes a bit clearer why this is happening.  

    What they haven't commented on is why of 5 known harrier nests 4 males have disappeared.

    The Cotswold Water park sightings website

    My Flicker page

  • In reply to Clare:

    The story is also in today's Times - again referring to "You Forgot the Birds". Nice picture, but the caption doesn't actually state that it's of the land in question.

    Nothing on the Daily Mail website, but I'm prepared to bet there will be something in tomorrow's Mail on Sunday - it would be a natural follow-up to this and this  

  • In reply to Sue C:

    Any article that has quotes from, "You Forgot the Birds" reps can be dismissed, Woodpecker.

    You say the 20 acres (according to The Telegraph, 25 acres if you read the Times!)is "home to barn owls, tawney owls and lapwings". Is it?  

  • In reply to Robbo:

    I don't really care which other organisations might have interests in scoring points from this. It doesn't matter really what wildlife it hosts. What matters is that an old lady left the land to the RSPB in good faith because she cared about wildlife. What I do care about is that I subscribe to the RSPB which I feel is losing sight of it's purpose. It seems, looking back, that the RSPB have been looking to sell off this land for years now. I feel they can't be trusted. Who would bequeath them land now?

  • In reply to Woodpecker:

    Although RSPB actions on this appear to publicly be 'politically incorrect', it doesn't mean there is definitely anything underhand or devious.

    Although you made the point in your first post about certain species, I accept you don't really believe what wildlife it hosts, Woodpecker, is of any matter. But, whether it matters to you isn't relevant to RSPB policy. It personally does matter to me what wildlife the 20/25 acres supports. If it does support amber status species to any extent other than 'flyover', then I would be disappointed in the selloff.

    I personally do not want RSPB spending money looking after and maintaining dog walking, community facilities. Land doesn't take care of itself.

    There are comments in the papers (and Sue won her bet about it subsequently morphing into an article in the Mail!), about giving the land away if it's of little wildlife value. But that is not addressing the wish to support wildlife. Would the local Wildlife Trust want to take it over???

    As a cynic, I can also see cans of worms if RSPB can never dispose of land bequeathed to it. You could end up with allsorts given to them. Any community could club together to buy a playing field and hand it over to RSPB to conserve for blackbirds forevermore. Certainly one way of stopping it from being developed!