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.

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