The Peak District Moorland Group's response to Ruth George MP
On Wednesday evening, members of the local Peak District community, as well as from the ornithological world, met to find out the results of the 2018 Peak District Breeding Birds survey, carried out by Moors for the Future. The data released, which was analysed by the British Trust for Ornithology, showed some astounding results. Curlew – which have declined nationally by 48% in the last twenty years, had increased by 250% since 1990. Buzzard numbers were up – from just one to 239 – while 157 ravens were sighted, compared to zero in 1990. The numbers of 21 species, including golden plover, snipe and lapwing, have all increased.
That same afternoon, local MP Ruth George spoke in the second reading of the Environment Bill in Westminster. She described grouse moors as “some of the least diverse areas for wildlife”, and said that “In my constituency, [raptors] have actually disappeared”. A complete contrast to the data and science, which says the exact opposite.
This is far from the first time that the science and data surrounding moorlands and both their wildlife and their management has been ignored. Time and time again facts and data which show the diversity of moorlands, and how they benefit wildlife, are ignored by people who refuse to accept that grouse moor management can be beneficial to other species.
We are delighted that the Peak District Moorland Group have written to Ruth George MP, and we look forward to hearing her response.