Looking at the visit numbers on my blog in recent weeks it's clear that not a huge number of people view it and subsequently, even fewer people comment on it. It's not a problem as such, I don't make my postings in order that every night I get euphoric, back slapping comments on what a wonderful person I am, as clearly one or two bloggers seem to do. But it does however, naturally cause you to question why the blog is being by-passed - how does it compare with others, why do some of them do very well, is there a particular theme on mine that pisses them off.
Trawling through other blogs, two things different from mine become commonly clear, the others contain lots of excellent, almost professional photos of wildlife and they pretty much all, stick to the same "three wise monkeys" control, i.e. see no evil, hear no evil and definitely, speak no evil. Even if you accept, or even agree that nasty things have to happen in the countryside, never mention them or admit to it, stick to repeating lots of photos of nice cuddly things that get you lots of praise each night. How often is there a photo of a lovely and cute fox or cub on some - the fact that it probably ate their missing Coot or Moorhens chicks is conveniently overlooked. Tell them that a fox or a pair of crows can systematically clear a nesting colony of Little Terns or Lapwings of eggs and chicks and they'll deny it and blame it on somebody else, like the regular Mr. Nasty, the farmer. It's quite amazing how blinkered these people can be when having to accept that some of these creatures actually do harm in the countryside In short, they are all clones of each other, and many take it in turns each night to back slap each other. Look on many blogs and you will see comments from the same people on each, all congratulating each other. Ah, ha you say, jealousy, no, amusement at how they all copy each other, and a determination to continue writing about some of the nasty but real sides of the countryside!
The BBC's Countryfile programme seems to have been ambushed by the same people, apart from the excellent "Adam's Farm" section, the rest is little more than weekly adverts for the English Countryside Tourist industry. When do you see any features on basic countryside management topics such as ferreting, pest controls and the reasons why they're necessary, wildfowling, pigeon shooting, etc. etc, they all go on in the countryside but not in Countryfile's country. Why, because once again they're pandering to the new generation of English wildlife watchers, you can show a cheetah killing a deer in Africa but daren't show a dog killing a hare in England. Years ago there used to be an excellent and much revered programme on TV called "Out of Town" with Jack Hargreaves, in which he not only showed country sports taking place but also showed you how to make things with which to catch or trap them - not likely to happen these days!
The RSPB have also fallen into the same trap and despite the fact that they actively practise pest controls on their reserves, and use legal methods such as Larsen traps to catch and kill crows and the like, they still hide the fact from their subscription paying members in order to keep the money coming in and subsequently these members don't believe it happens. When did you ever see an article in the RSPB'S Birds magazine entitled "Pest Controls and Why We Need To Use Them" and yet I could show you today an RSPB managed reserve with Larsen traps on it.
All of the above is fair enough, but all this hiding the facts thing is doing is creating a whole generation of people that believe none of these nasty bits actually happen, that the whole countryside is as Springwatch portraits it. That if it does happen it's done by nasty men who like killing things, it couldn't possibly be carried out by people such as the RSPB. What a shock these people would get if they actually spent some proper time on a nature reserve and saw how many creatures kill each other and how some of them have to be caught and killed in order to maintain a realistic balance.