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Diane Gould from the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust deceives public in effort to raise funds

The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has been running a public consultation called 'Ghosts of the landscape', about what the public want to see in the Peak District moors.

Any rational and reasonable person would think that this related to how the public wanted Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to manage their extensive acreage of moorland, but they would be wrong. The consultation Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is conducting is about land they don't own, and land where they have no right to tell anyone what to do, any more than they can go into someone's garden a tell them to stop cutting the lawn.

Just to be clear Derbyshire Wildlife Trust don't own any appreciable amount of moorland. The odd little bit of heather and upland grass and scrub is about the limit and these patches are not exactly teeming with endangered ground nesting birds or mountain hares, but obviously that doesn't stop them asking all and sundry what they want the people, who do own the land, who do have masses of rare ground nesting birds and mountain hares, to do.

This consultation is backed up by a video which either demonstrates Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's deep ignorance of moorland management or is intentionally deceitful, or perhaps both.

The video is presented by Diane Gould, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's 'People Engagement Officer', who informs us that far from being wild and full of rare wildlife as they once believed, the heather moors are barren degraded landscapes devoid of life. This is (obviously, it always is) because they are managed for grouse. She illustrates the point with footage of what she says is an area of burnt heather which is now bone dry and fit only for bracken, a full grown frond is conveniently growing in shot.

What she either doesn't notice, or doesn't comprehend, or perhaps chose to ignore, is that the ground around her is littered with the dry stalks of dead bracken. Anyone with a vestigial knowledge of moorland ecology would know that she is standing in a place where bracken has been killed prior to regenerating the complex mixture of plant life that makes up a functioning grouse moor.

It might seem a small matter but it is not. The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust considers itself expert in all matters moorland and is happy to tell people how they should manage their own land, but its expert spokesperson can't tell cool-burn heather from a treated bracken bed. Does any reasonable person not understand why moorland managers have had enough of this sort of arrogant nonsense.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust could of course claim that we should leave the bracken alone. Indeed, it probably would, as it does nothing to control bracken on its own ground. On one of its upland reserves is virtually nothing else. The problem is that bracken is well known for producing carcinogens, both air and water borne, is an ideal habitat of disease carrying ticks and is avoided by almost all the species which need well managed heather moorland as essential habitat.

Of course, it would not be the first time senior members of The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust have been caught trying to deceive the public with their hate-filled agenda against moorland management.

Tim Birch, its Conservation Manager, once claimed to The Times' 'there we no raptors' in the Derwent Valley of the Peak District, only to then release a video a few days later camped next to a hen harrier nest and boasting of the merlins, buzzards and peregrine falcons he had seen that morning.

Bob Berzins, another Peak District based activist who runs the moorland monitors, was caught earlier this year giving a presentation to his branch of the Sheffield Green Party which contained no fewer than 22 lies.

George Taylor, a member of the Peak District raptor group, was caught on camera last year giving a presentation to wildlife enthusiasts in which he claimed 'there were only 3 pairs of hen harriers in the UK' as opposed to the 597 estimated by BBC wildlife.

It is little wonder no one believes a word they say anymore.


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