In a Parliamentary Question 30th January 2004, and answered by the Minister for conservation, Mr. Bradshaw, the ecological impact of badger removal, or badgers living within the ecosystem was posed.
Column 537W 30th January 2004)
"The budgeted cost of the project is £1.48 million, expected date for completion March 2005. Project managed by the head of the team at the Woodchester Park site of the central Science Laboratory" (otherwise known as Badger Heaven)
"What are they on with now?" we hear you ask!
This ecological impact survey is being sited by the Wildlife Trusts as being of 'great importance' to them, and we were told "The Krebs trial is not only about culling badgers you know".
So how detailed is this £1.48 million 'ecological survey'?
Who does it, when and how much time is spent on each area?
How much time is required of the landowner to monitor changes in his wildlife patterns over years?
Several farmers involved in the Krebs trial have told us that a single young graduate stands for 4 minutes on a spot marked X once a year at a given time, and records what he / she hears and sees. And that dear readers is it. One spot in 250 acres or 2500 - a holding anyway. No input required from the landowner to tell how his ground nesting birds, bumble bees and hedgehogs have all gone - but his badger setts have increased 10 fold.
Protocol and methodology are everything to secure a definitive survey.
It could have been useful.
C**p in = C**p out?
And the taxpayer has paid £1.48 million for this bucketful.