It took the GWCT quite a while to post anything on their website about the CBE that their Chief Executive, Teresa Dent, was awarded in the Birthday Honours’ List. Maybe they were as surprised as the rest of us.
Whilst RPS has nothing against Teresa Dent personally (we’ve never met), it’s a bit difficult to know quite what she and GWCT have done to deserve this ‘honour’. After all, the emblem of the GWCT, the Grey Partridge, is at rock-bottom despite a pile of good research and a GWCT membership of large landowners who ought to be implementing all of the GWCT’s bright ideas on the subject. Not exactly the biggest conservation success story is it? I’d rather be in charge of an organisation with the Avocet as its logo (whatever cricketing legends might say about it)!
The GWCT spouts a lot about its scientific reputation but, as Mark Avery pointed out on his blog years ago, they seem to be resting on their past laurels rather a lot (see here and here). But they are still going on about how they are a (?) or the (?) ‘leading wildlife research charity’ (e.g. see here), a name-tag rarely given to GWCT by anyone else these days. What science has GWCT contributed to the Hen Harrier debate recently? They don’t even seem to believe the results of their own eyes and their own research at Langholm – rating the project as a failure (see here) when others rate it as a clear success (see here). GWCT really have lost the plot!
It’s difficult to know what Teresa Dent thinks about anything as she is rarely seen in public outside of shooting circles. It is much more common to hear the GWCT’s Andrew Gilruth spouting nonsense about Hen Harriers, brood meddling and re-tweeting YFTB nonsense on Twitter.
The GWCT news item about Teresa Dent’s CBE can’t even explain what she has done! It rather cryptically says she has told people things they don’t want to know. Could this possibly mean that she sits her chairman, Ian Coghill, down and tells him that lead ammunition ought to be banned and he ought to get used to the idea? Or maybe it means that she has a word with Hawk and Owl Trust Chair Philip Merricks and tells him that brood meddling is a daft idea? Or does she tell the Moorland Association (‘a sad morons’ coalition’, for you anagram fans) and Scottish Land and Estates (‘dated tactless shits, anon’) that their members had better start getting out of driven grouse shooting before land prices drop as a ban approaches? No? Probably not.
The news item seems to think that the GWCT Council were announcing something – the announcement was made a couple of days ago by Number 10 – we all noticed it then, but the GWCT spent the weekend dozing, or dreaming of days gone by when the world outside of shooting cared what they said, and cared a little for them too.
The news item sums up the GWCT these days: vague, self-congratulatory, wrong and late.