You just couldn’t let it LIE, could you?

Nope.

Grey SquirrelI haven’t posted anything for a couple of days because I have been trying to write a piece and I wrote it badly with anger in my heart. So I deleted it and tried again.

Grey SquirrelOn Tuesday one of my local papers ran this story

Gloucester Citizen: Squirrel Burger Challenge

Okay it is quite a funny story, I can see that. πŸ™‚ I don’t mind people hunting and eating Squirrel, or Deer, Boar or Rabbit. In a perfect world all of our meat would come from the wild and not the farm. You don’t really get more “free range” than that. Unfortunately there are a lot of people and we would run out of wild animals very quickly.

Roadkill is good too.

Grey SquirrelMy beef isn’t with introducing a novelty to promote the festival it is with the repeated lie that Squirrels are destroying our woodlands.

BBC News: Grey Squirrel Burger Contest

We know who is behind that…

With upwards of 100,000 greys estimated to be roaming the Forest of Dean in 2005, the Forestry Commission has admitted the “huge population” is “extremely destructive”.

Grey SquirrelSquirrels, Deer and Rabbits do not “destroy” woodland they impact on the potential yield to us from that woodland. They destroy our profits. It is not the same thing.

Before Man Britain was almost entirely covered in forest and it was full of animals. If Men disappeared from the face of the planet it would very quickly become forested again.

The idea that the only thing protecting our native forest from complete destruction is the brave men of the FC who patrol our woods with guns, risking all to try and hold the animals back….

Oh please πŸ˜€

Grey SquirrelDon’t take my word for it. Take a walk around your own local woodland. Is it okay? What you are looking at is the sum total of all the damage that wild animals have ever been able to inflict.

If you are seeing something seriously wrong with your wood then look closer for the activity of Man.

Animals don’t destroy woodland Men do.

Since their foundation in 1919 the FC have converted 25% of our total area of ancient woodland into Plantation on Ancient Woodland Sites. That is hundreds of thousands of acres. I would like to see any animal that could do that much damage to our woods.

Grey SquirrelOne last thing. I introduced the BBC link into this post and included in the link is the commentΒ “But at present the Forestry Commission don’t manage squirrels on their land.” I don’t know why they would say that, unless… You can only legally poison Squirrels with Warfarin between the 15th of March and the 15th of August and their article was posted on the 4th of October.

Here is an FC PDF on Grey Squirrel Control and the best ways to kill them.

Forestry.gov

Apparently it only takes 10 days for a Squirrel to die from Warfarin poisoning. That’s something to be grateful for, it could be a lot worse.

The BBC article contains recipes and tips if you do want to eat a Squirrel, you need three to make a burger.

So, I am really sorry to be going on about the FC again but THEY STARTED IT with their silly Squirrel BurgerΒ rubbish πŸ™‚ I don’t intend for this blog to become a personal vendetta and I am sure that the FC do a lot of good in other areas, just not in our ancient woodland.

One last, last thing a little video.

If you belong to the anti Squirrel mob then you probably want to go and get your gun now…. and load it.

Now what I see here is an animal living in perfect harmony with the forest. You will probably see a Tree Rat destroying trees.

Give it both barrels!Β 

No I don’t know where you can buy cheap monitors. Try PC World. πŸ™‚

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49 thoughts on “You just couldn’t let it LIE, could you?”

    1. Thanks Maggie πŸ™‚ We kick up about the Rain Forest and the need to save it but we didn’t hesitate to deforest our own country. We have bulldozed so much there really isn’t much left for the wildlife.

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  1. I grew up reading the George Bramwell Evens books about Romany. Indeed I still have some. That is the life we should aspire to. Could you rename Fizz as Raq? I can’t recall whether Romany cooked squirrel over the vardo stove but I think he was more in tune with the forest than the FC. Or am I just being silly (again)?

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    1. Many thanks Andrew πŸ™‚ A vardo would be a superb lifestyle.Two things put me off eating Squirrel, I have heard that it is extremely tough and it takes three of them to make one burger. Might as well let the little animals live.

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    1. Thank you so much πŸ™‚ You have a wonderful thing going on there at the farm and a great blog. I am very short of time this morning, the sun is shining πŸ™‚ but I will be back for a longer visit soon. Thank you for your kind comment. Colin

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      1. I appreciate your comment. When I’m not writing, I spend all my time outside, just like I did when I was a kid. I love your photography. My husband and I camp about half the time now, so when he is fly-fishing, the dog and I ramble.

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  2. Excellent post! I always considered the fauna as part of the forest, myself. This official and damaging language is so typical of people saying what they want to justify getting their way.
    I’m not talking the average hunter who uses what he kills. I respect those folks.
    I’m talking official statements that first, abuse language by twisting it to attempt to recreate reality, and then second, abuse us and our brains as we try to hear it and have to dump it out of our own heads or suffer irreparable damage, and third, the actual effect on the forest.
    We have these problems in the States as well. One species bears all the blame for rabies, or predators get decimated so there is plenty of game for recreational hunters, etc,etc.
    Thanks for speaking up and making basic sense get its time out in the light. Can’t let ‘experts’ and others stuff it back in a bag.

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    1. Thank you Lora πŸ™‚ Yes I too have a problem with people who twist the truth to came up with what I term a “plausible lie,” they disrespect our intelligence. Sadly a little bit of truth goes a long way.

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  3. You are exactly right about if man were to leave this earth it would quickly become forest again. Here in Michigan, Detroit is losing so much population that the wild animals are again taking over. There have been bear, raccoon, and even wild packs of dogs in the city spotted. Left to it’s own accord, nature will prevail.

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  4. Warfarin is a terrible way to die- it stops blood clotting so they have to wait till they eat something sharp ,then bleed to death slowly. I was crossing a strip of woodland adjoining a golf course when I spotted a man with high powered rifle. Once I got over the shock, he told me he was paid to kill squirrels, but as this is illegal, he was not there. Well, neither was I.

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  5. Thanks for sharing, Colin. I agree, people are the earth’s destructive culprits, not animals. I’m upset every time I see a dead dear along the road, especially along the highway, knowing that their habitat is being destroyed and they have nowhere to go.

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    1. Thanks RR πŸ™‚ Wolves would be great and I really believe that they are the only solution to our current problems. We have Wild Boar here and their numbers are growing very rapidly. I have witnessed first hand how quickly they can multiply and I worry about the impact on everything else that lives here. Unfortunately there is no real attempt to control them. People shoot them but shooting guns at them in the dark just disperses them. They run away and find somewhere that they are not shot at to breed. This is exactly what the shooters want. A small Boar is worth about Β£200 unbutchered and nobody wants this wonderful local bounty to dry up. Shooting at them is good for the Boar it spreads them out and keeps them coming. They are so elusive and intelligent that we don’t even know how many there are. The numbers quoted are all guesses. We can’t even find them to count. Wolves would find them in the dark and restore a natural balance. Bring back the Wolves πŸ˜€

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  6. I think the biggest problem is that man has upset the ‘balance of nature’. We have destroyed the very birds, animals and insects that control each other’s population and keep the fields and woods in balance. Perhaps the grey squirrel population has got out of control because we’ve eradicated its natural predators? I’m only guessing.

    I’m a carnivore and with an intolerance to grains and dairy, so I’m more inclined to promote meat (wild lean meat is too expensive unfortunately), vegetables, nuts & seeds as a natural diet. Perhaps our Paleolithic ancestors had the right idea in only killing/gathering what they needed to consume for a healthy lifestyle. They were slim, fit and relatively healthy for their time. They lived with the seasons and seasonal produce.

    Perhaps Man (in general) should look towards better birth control in heavily populated areas where the natural landscape is unable to support large communities.

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    1. Thanks Vicki πŸ™‚ but Squirrels are not out of control. Their numbers fluctuate with the food supply. In a good mast year, one where there is a lot of fruit on the trees, there are a lot of Squirrels in bad years their numbers drop. Shooting one is generally pointless because you just create a space for another one. Even the FC acknowledge this and they don’t try and control numbers out of season.Spring is when they start to impact on our finances and killing them now would be a waste of time because by next spring others will have taken their place. Squirrel numbers don’t really change, a forest will have as many Squirrels as it has food to support and no more.

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      1. I hear what you’re saying Colin.

        Excuse my ignorance, but do wolves eat squirrels. I was reading somewhere in a British Country Living magazine (the only one I buy actually), that they were trying to re-introduce wolves in Scotland for example. There was even one landowner who wanted to re-introduce bears in Scotland.

        I think you’re down Sussex in the south aren’t you – I’m always interested in the UK nature news. I must have been English in a previous life as I’m more interested in your nature news (than mine).

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      2. Thanks Vicki πŸ™‚ I am in Gloucestershire a bit to the west of Sussex now. I don’t think that Wolves would have much impact on Squirrels but they don’t really have to, the food supply controls them. Wolves can eat the Boar. I would love to have Bears back too but we haven’t got much habitat left suitable for them.

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  7. Glad you cooled down enough to write this … it is so relevant to our daily life and we carry on, blindly ignoring the decimation of our harmless wildlife.

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  8. I have tried to like them, but in a suburban garden they would eat all the bird food if left to their own devices. Having said that, I don’t see them as being legitimate targets for teenage air rifle users, which is too often the case unfortunately..

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    1. Thank you John πŸ™‚ You have my sympathy. I used to hang bird feeders in the trees in my wood and you can guess what the Squirrels did to them. In the end I just gave up and fed the Squirrels as well. I was already feeding the Badger and the Fox. It made for a lively camp. πŸ™‚

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  9. I love squirrels! and I am a vegeterian! In norway we have lots of wilderness, and I love it!! I love thinking that I am walking somewhere perhaps no one has walked before, I know there is a very small chance of it, but norway is so big, and the population so small. You are always alone with the animals there. I say, the squirrels are innocent, the people are guilty, we stole their forest! How rude of us! we must give it back!

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  10. You make so much sense. I don’t know much about the natural world but I assume that no other creature apart from man would destroy the habitat it needs to survive. We’ve been handed paradise and we’re trashing it.

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    1. Thank you Deb πŸ™‚ I like to think that we are evolving and that things are getting better. It just seems to take us a long time to get our heads around a new idea. People do think about the environment now. πŸ™‚ I don’t know whether to wish I had been born a thousand years in the future when everything will be wonderful or just to be grateful that I was born into an age when there still were animals in the world and some of us could see them and marvel at them.

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