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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Steve Shaw BS: Brexit & other UK political topics (2473* d) RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics 13 Oct 21

Following on from my attack on the ultimate royal hypocrite, here's a timely piece in today's Guardian, written by Chris Packham, in which he calls for the royals to rewild their vast estates.

On the eve of the crucial Cop26 summit in Glasgow, at which members of the British monarchy are due to appear, the royals with their estates will find themselves forced to pick a side in this historic battle. The astonishing 1.4% of the country the royals own (that’s an area of land twice the size of Greater London) define some of the most nature-depleted landscapes in the world. In their more than 345,000 hectares (850,000 acres), huge areas of grouse moor and deer-stalking estates are, in the name of sport, kept artificially barren where exquisite temperate rainforest could and should grow. Grouse moors in particular – considered by experts to be ecological disaster zones – are regularly and deliberately burned. By annihilating the vegetation (and just about everything else that lives there), grouse moor defenders claim to be conserving historic landscapes while actually only preserving a colonial-era attitude to our precious natural world.

Elsewhere, royal land further undermines the environmental leadership that some royals have sincerely attempted. For all his love of tree planting, Prince Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall sadly has just 6% tree coverage compared with the EU average of 38%. No amount of cheese and wine-powered Aston Martins can fix that one. Meanwhile the Queen’s Sandringham estate, campaigners estimate, has barely 12% of its 20,000 acres set aside for priority habitats according to estimates by campaign group Who Owns Norfolk?. With Prince William recently taking to the BBC to champion rewilding, one wonders if the royals are actually aware of the current state of their own land – although pictures of William out hunting with his son do continue to jar with me. I do so wish we could meet and address these issues.

Well done Chris for being a damn sight more measured, probably a damn sight more effective as a result, than I am...

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