Top ten failures of 2021 from Wild Justice and friends - Day Five
Natural England remains a prominent presence across the uplands of the UK. As well as having their own involvement in certain areas of moorland through projects such as Moors for the Future, a moorland regeneration project whose partners also include the RSPB, United Utilities and the National Trust, NE also have a huge amount of control over the financial management of the uplands.
Case in point, the organisation awarded the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, who regularly sing to the same tune as Wild Justice, a grant of £538,000 towards ‘green recovery’ in September. But what does this really mean?
Fashionable buzzwords such as ‘improving biodiversity’ and ‘increasing carbon capture’ are thrown around in association with green recovery, but are difficult to quantify. What can be assessed quite readily is the state of the areas managed by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust in comparison to nearby managed moorland. It is not a flattering comparison.
Large sections of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust land remain covered in bracken that produces toxic emulsions. In contrast, the surrounding managed moorland displays far more biodiversity in both flora and fauna.
Naturally, as it is actually managed by people, it is a costlier method of maintaining the diversity of the moorland. But at least it makes financial sense, whereas Derbyshire Wildlife Trust buying up land and allowing it to ‘self-manage’ simply does not, and has proven to be a failure.
This is wasted investment opportunity, and the buck stops with Natural England choosing to spend taxpayer money on vague initiatives like ‘green recovery’ when they could be managing the uplands properly.