A letter to Chris Packham
Updated: Jul 7, 2021
This is a direct appeal to Chris Packham, Ruth Tingay and Mark Avery; their lawyers, Carol Day and Tessa Gregory, and the Natural England licensing department to recognise the consequences of their actions with regards to general licences. Across our uplands, populations of endangered ground nesting birds, including curlews and plover, are being decimated by gulls.
As was highlighted yesterday by the National Gamekeepers Organisation, gull predation has significantly increased across 95% of upland estates since 2019. Some estates have reported losing up to 90% of their plover populations as a consequence.
This is not a coincidence. In 2019, Ruth Tingay, Chris Packham and Mark Avery launched a campaign to have general licenses removed through their activist campaign vehicle, Wild Justice.
Through their highly-paid lawyers, Tessa Gregory and Carol Day of the Leigh Day law firm, they influenced the Natural England licensing department to prevent the control of gulls, amongst other predators.
When Wild Justice successfully challenged Natural England’s decision to issue licenses for predation control, their solicitor, Carol Day, said: “We are very pleased that Natural England has conceded that the General Licences are issued with insufficient scrutiny to confirm that damage to crops or livestock…”.
Well, Carol, Ruth, Chris and Mark: perhaps now look at the evidence of what is happening across our uplands and say with a straight face that there is insufficient evidence to "confirm damage". There are now over 257,000 pairs of herring, less black-backed and greater black-backed gulls in the UK.
Without control of these gulls, the ground nesting bird populations will never recover.
If anyone is still in any doubt over the impact their actions have had on some of the rarest ground nesting birds please watch, and share, this video.