Proposal to reintroduce golden eagles to Wales: information withheld

Way back in February 2019, in a publicity fanfare, a claim was made that a licence application to reintroduce golden eagles to Snowdonia would be submitted to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) ‘by summer’ by an organisation called Wilder Britain (see here and here).

In November 2019 an FoI request to NRW revealed that no such application had been received (see here).

[A young golden eagle, photo Getty Images]

Dr Paul O’Donoghue of Wilder Britain was back in the press again in August this year, fundraising for his proposed reintroduction project, which raised questions about whether there was genuine intent to try and reintroduce golden eagles or whether it was just an ongoing publicity/fundraising stunt from the previous year (see here).

O’Donoghue hosted several poorly-attended public meetings this summer, some of them announced at very short notice, and these elicited some interesting commentary from those who managed to attend and also from members of the Welsh Parliament (see here and here).

In August a Freedom of Information request was submitted to NRW to find out more details about O’Donoghue’s proposals. NRW has finally responded and has refused to release any information because it needed O’Donoghue’s consent and he has refused permission:

Interesting. An appeal has been lodged with NRW because I believe it’s in the public interest to see what advice NRW has been giving to O’Donoghue about a proposed reintroduction scheme.

Meanwhile, a more open and transparent organisation interested in a Welsh reintroduction of both golden and white-tailed eagles, under the project Eagle Reintroduction Wales, is continuing its involvement in online interviews and question & answer sessions which allow any interested member of the public an opportunity to find out more details, ask questions and listen to the responses.

The next one is this evening at 17.30hrs with ERW project manager Dr Sophie-lee Williams and can be watched here.

7 Responses to “Proposal to reintroduce golden eagles to Wales: information withheld”

  1. November 8, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Maybe this is a case for the Information Commissioners? They look in detail at cases where information has not been supplied.

  2. 4 WCRCUK
    November 8, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    Wilder Britain have gone very quiet on social media. The virtual stakeholder meeting on 9th October which was cancelled due to “technical” issues, has still not been rearranged.

  3. 5 Carol Wood
    November 8, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    Eagles will stimulate tourism (see kites)
    Sheep meat make little
    money and reliant on subsidies.
    With Brexit that industry will probably suffer.
    Wildlife tourism and green energy may be the way forward

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