Given it's the season for goodwill, and all that, here's Billy Connolly on the joys of underwaterlife. Thanks to Save Studland Group for signposting the vid.
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Thread: Studland Bay summary
27-12-11, 23:34 #71Next time, it'll all be different.
01-01-12, 12:59 #72
Billy Connolly on a recee to Studland Bay:
“A child of five could understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.”
01-01-12, 13:43 #73
No wonder the seahorses made a dash for deep water this year...
01-01-12, 14:02 #74
Probably waiting for treehugger and a frolic with a frisby.Sermons from my pulpit are with tongue firmly in cheek and without any warranty!
04-01-12, 16:02 #75
New report questions Studland evidence.
We have today launched a full broadside at Natural England and the Science Advisory panel over the whole issue of the Studland anchorage. Fireball, of this parish, who is well qualified to do this has examined the published evidence, and written a strong reply pointing out a number of fundamental weaknesses in the conservationists argument. We now wait for the response!
Fireball's findings were, very briefly, firstly that the 'recovery' status for Studland's Eelgrass, recommended by Finding Sanctuary (which if implemented would require management measures - i.e restriction or ban on anchoring in the Bay, + £800k of EFMs) has little factual basis. The recommendation is based on a Mediterranean Eelgrass with very different growth characteristics to the Studland species, and in over 1700 studies of the local species only Dr Collins makes any mention of it being damaged by anchoring.
On Seahorses, Fireball studied Seahorse Trusts publications, and found that only 3% of all recorded sightings of one species, was actually in Eelgrass. He found clear evidence both here and in other reports that Seahorses actually seek clear areas for courtship and feeding, and that dense eelgrass appears NOT to be their favoured location! He also pointed out that nationally even a 10% reduction in the Eelgrass bed for whatever reason would affect the overall Seahorse population by less than 0.75%. There is no evidence of more than a maximum of 0.7% possible damage by moorings and anchoring in the total 91ha area, which is on SHT's figures capable of supporting over 9000 specimens! Even if anchor damage were widespread, it would hardly have much impact on the 40 or so Seahorses recorded in the Bay. There is some independent evidence that Seahorses actually seek out areas which provide the open space they need for mating and feeding alongside good cover. If so, removing the moorings could actually have an adverse affect on the habitat, as many of us have suggested in these pages.
There is a great deal more in this excellent paper, which today will have arrived on the desks of most of the key people in the MCZ process, and the Studland Bay Protection Association has made similar reports to the same people, challenging the 'science' behind the recommendations.
Our plan in launching this now is to try to force a review of the whole Studland business by Natural England, and to influence the recommendations they will be making about the Bay later this year to DEFRA and the Minister.
A reply this afternoon from the Director of Marine at Natural England welcomed our input, and promised they would consider carefully the points Fireball has raised.
04-01-12, 16:10 #76
well done & thanks !
04-01-12, 21:32 #77Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
Those were exactly the points I raised with the two people concerned nearly 3 years ago, albeit without detailed evidence. The abusive reaction of one of the parties and arrogant dismissal by the other tried my patience so gave up.
Glad you have more patience in exposing these charlatans.
05-01-12, 10:39 #78
Positively enthusiastic response today from a member of the Governments Science Advisory Panel.
There is actually nothing new in Fireballs paper - he has simply taken a long hard look at the 'evidence' and used his common sense. He then wrapped his report in the 'offcialese' so loved by these people, and did a brilliant job of it! He also took the trouble to analyse the statistics and drew very different conclusions to the 'official' figures.
Quite early on in BORG we realised that trying to talk to the kind of people Tranona had contact with only produced the 'we have seen it so its true' type of response - and a great deal of verbal abuse, some of which still comes my way from time to time. We found they in fact had very little to do with the actual process. So we looked to see who the real decision makers are. That, we hope , is where our 'broadside' has gone.
I am grateful too to SBPA for their support and help in identifying where the real power lies in Government conservation circles. They too have fired off a hefty report in a similar vein to the people we have identified. 'Go to the top' seems to be the best way forward now.
If there is anyone else, preferably (but not exclusively!) with a scientific background (e.g. titles or relevant professional memberships) who would be willing to come in and put up supporting arguments/evidence in the way Fireball has, then this will add much further weight to our campaign. Please PM me if you think you may be able to help. For the first time we are actually on the offensive in this, and need solid ammunition to be able to carry it forward.
As I said before the more we can shake their confidence in the data and evidence that has so far been used, the more likely we are to get a result.
Last edited by oldharry; 07-01-12 at 15:04.
06-01-12, 16:16 #79
07-01-12, 11:55 #80