Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Returning native?

It sounded great to me. Our government has signed up to the idea that extinct native wildlife should be re-introduced, so the white-tailed sea eagle was an obvious candidate.
Re-introduction in Scotland was going well, so why not in England too? Natural England came up with a plan to release birds on the Suffolk-Norfolk coast and started to talk to local people about it.
Photo: Eprdox
I don't know Suffolk that well, but I was excited by the idea of an eagle-spotting holiday on the East Coast. Sadly, the locals weren't that taken with the idea and Natural England went wobbly in the face of opposition - the plan was shelved.
That was six years ago. Now it sounds as though the plan may be dusted off, but with Cumbria in the frame rather than Suffolk (a cynic might think that's because Westminster cares less for the opinions of Cumbrians...)
If the plan gets as far as public consultation I do hope the media coverage is less negative than it was last time around. Then the news media seemed obsessed with the idea that released eagles would devote most of their time to hunting down Suffolk's Chihuahuas and Yorkshire terriers.
Coverage was so focused on perceived problems that little weight was given to the benefit that sea eagles could bring to their new home. Cumbria is on my 'to do' list somewhere, but a Cumbria with sea eagles would be a 'must do' - my fingers will be crossed.


  1. I have family in Suffolk, living near where the sea eagles were going to be released. The problem was that in that area are open air pig farmers, ie. the pigs live outside. The objection was that the eagles would eat the little baby piglets. I don't know if that is really likely, but I did think it was bit of a gaff by whoever wants to release them to pick an area with little piggies running about. The Lake District is probably the best place for them. They will look far nobler amongst the granite crags than perched on a pig pen.

  2. I don't know, Spaniards live alongside bears and Italians with wolves, you'd think the English could tolerate a bit of wildlife that was really wild. They like it on the BBC.
    Could the pigs live under netting maybe? It seems like whenever anybody in the UK wants to do something different somebody is there to say no.
    But you're right, they would be quite something in the Lake District.

  3. True, Suffolk isn't the wildest of places.