The importance of working together
Many of you will know of Mark Avery; indeed, his name has cropped up on here before. As one of the three directors of the Wild Justice campaign group – alongside the BBC’s Chris Packham and Ruth Tingay – he is, at least, partially responsible for the current general licensing disaster. And like Ruth, who writes the ‘Raptor Persecution Scotland’ blog, he is a keen blogger.
He’s also not afraid to speak his mind; a recent tweet of his (linking to his blog of course, because we wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to self-promote), states: ‘Wouldn’t it be terrible if GWCT went bust?’. Referring to a letter sent from the GWCT to its supporters appealing for donations (and if you could find us an organisation who aren’t struggling with the current circumstances we would love to know), Avery pits the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust against other organisations and criticises the GWCT’s work. Bizarre really, given it wasn't so long ago it was reported that he was trying to flog his wares by offering his services to blog in favour of the GWCT.
A classic way of separating people is by driving wedges between them; like praising one child to punish another. The truth of the matter is that when it comes to preserving our moorlands and their wildlife, and protecting our rural and moorland communities, the cause is much bigger than any individual group.
There are a number of rural charitable and campaigning organisations, each of whom have their own specific aims. The likes of BASC, the Countryside Alliance, the National Gamekeepers Organisation and the Moorland Association are there to help their members, whether that’s through moorland conservation, ensuring a thriving future for gamekeepers, campaigning for shooters’ rights or ensuring the countryside and rural areas get a good deal from government. We exist to support moorland communities; the GWCT to conduct conservation science with the aim of enhancing the British countryside and its wildlife.
Sometimes there is, naturally, a crossover between these aims and issues. But what unites all the groups, more than anything else, is that the final result is more important than the individual. C4PMC are not out to promote C4PMC; our aim is to support the country’s moorland communities.
Sometimes – often – that involves working together. Look at the paper published last week on general licensing. It was addressed to the Secretary of State for the Environment and prepared by The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, Countryside Alliance and the Moorland Association, working together to do the best they can for their various members.
None of this is about individuals; the countryside deserves more than that. Chris Packham might enjoy courting the public on TV and pushing his views around, as well as the vast amounts he is reported to earn for speaking engagements; often making in one evening what many gamekeepers earn in a year. Mark Avery might want to get more blog readers by posting controversial tweets. In Mark’s embarrassingly poorly written book on conflict in the uplands, he even attempts to divide the shooting community between those in the lowlands and the uplands. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more united group of individuals, but this is reflective of his approach in general.
If his book reinforces anything it is that he makes no effort to find balance and relies upon lazy assumptions, poor research and his innate hard-left bias, which he shares with his wife, Rosemary, an outspoken local Labour councillor. Indeed, it’s bizarre that as recently as this week he is still suggesting that everyone associated with grouse shooting lives in a castle. This is particularly ironic given he spouts his rhetoric from his smart townhouse in the leafy suburbs of Northamptonshire.
All of the rural organisation and charities want what’s best for the country’s rural communities, wildlife and their local economies; and that involves supporting one another.
And, for what it’s worth, Mark Avery’s tweet appears to have dramatically backfired; driving more people to donate to the GWCT in the last week than at almost any other time. We’re sure they’ll thank you, Mark.
'For anyone wanting to donate please see: https://www.gwct.org.uk/donate/'