Wildlife Broadcaster Supports Controversial Grazing Policy

One of Britain’s best-known wildlife broadcasters, Bill Oddie, says he supports the controversial Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust grazing policy.

The decision to manage the landscape using horses and grazing cattle, restricted by electric fences, has been met with the widespread opposition.

Objectors formed a group called Save our Scilly, or SOS, to oppose the policy and AONB Officer, Trevor Kirk, has tried to mediate between land users who oppose the policy and the Wildlife Trust.

Bill, a keen birdwatcher, says he thinks the grazing is a good thing because it increases the number of birds in the area.

But SOS organiser Dave Badcock disputes this, saying the grazing reduces the number of certain bird species, such as wrens, linnets and stonechats that prefer to live in the gorse.

He says the grazing is unnecessary and the environment should be allowed to manage itself.

Dave alleges that the Wildlife Trust is only undertaking the grazing trials because this brings in grants and it will stop if the cash dries up.

He also feels that the Trust is placing too much emphasis on maintaining flower species, rather than monitoring the birdlife in the grazed areas.

3 Responses to Wildlife Broadcaster Supports Controversial Grazing Policy

  1. George Kershaw December 7, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I have been over to St Martins several times this year and walked the etire island a few times as well.
    They don’t have wildlife trust grazing on their island,they point blank refused to let it happen, instead they flatten bracken after it is starting to die off and that keeps it neat and tidy and looking good.
    Bracken and such heathland on St Martins is always full of Linnets,finches and other small birds that nest happily in the spring and through summer left untouched until they have all fledged and are able to move around to other areas without any danger of habitat destruction by either grazing or the other trust favourite a good fire!

  2. Todd Stevens December 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I will never understand why they have to test this stuff in the most popular places- why cant they trial it elsewhere, less popular, then let us see the results there. We can then be consulted/decide if we want the same thing done in the more popular places. Im not happy about having to walk through cows and dung though and the dogs hate the electric fencing. I do like the fact that the bracken is being kept down but please leave the gorse alone!!

  3. linda December 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Those of us have that have loved our islands for decades know that the environment does indeed manage itself and should be allowed to continue so.
    The lack of the birds mentioned by David Badcock was noticeable and the land grazing, fencing etc. is not good for Scilly, many visitors I made a point of asking said they preferred the Islands as they were, not manicured and void of the birds they love to see. If indeed the fact that grants allow this destruction to continue then in my heart felt opinion the grant should stop.