Save The Ribble

A blog dedicated to preserving the beauty and delicate ecosystem of the River Ribble, and opposing the Riverworks 'vision' to build a barrage on our River and develop on our riverbanks, floodplains and green spaces, causing damage to wildlife and the environment and increasing the risk of flooding to our homes. Save the Ribble Campaign is not responsible for the content of external blogs or websites which link here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Central Park - official announcement

We are thrilled at today's official announcement by South Ribble Borough Council that the fabulous expanse of fields and woodlands and floodplains running alongside the River Ribble from Penwortham to Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge is now OFFICIALLY the new Central Park


Cllr Cliff Hughes has announced that this area will now be preserved as a massive "green spine" across the borough, protecting and enhancing this fantastic green ecosystem for future generations. It will also link to the new Ribble Coast and Wetlands Regional Park along the Ribble Way, and connect across the River Ribble to Avenham and Miller Parks in Preston.

This is a real shout for people-power, and a fantastic cherry-on-the-top of the successful community campaign to save the River Ribble and its remaining green corridor from damaging barrages and inappropriate floodplain and green field development. 

A huge THANK YOU to Cllr Hughes and South Ribble Borough Council for listening!
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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Ribble Estuary Against Fracking talk about Fracking in Lancashire on Countryfile Sunday 4th December

Ribble Estuary Against Fracking have had a busy week of interviews as the debates about Fracking in Lancashire heat up.

They have been interviewed by Bloomberg News who are covering Fracking in the UK;

and by John Craven who is looking at the issue of Fracking in Lancashire on this Sunday's Countryfile programme BBC1 (Sunday 4th December at 6.25pm).

Find out more about Ribble Estuary Against Fracking here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fracking Meeting at Poulton-le-Fylde Mon 28th November

Ribble Estuary Against Fracking
have organised a public meeting
for Monday 28th November at 7pm
at the Church Hall,
Vicarage Lane,
Poulton-le-Fylde FY6 7BE.

Come along and find out more about the Fracking issue.

See http://www.reaf.org.uk/ for more information.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Marine Conservation Zones AT RISK


Image by Paul Naylor

 Our Seas need your help!

The Wildlife Trust and Save Our Seas recommended network of 127 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) is under threat.  

'We need to demonstrate the importance and urgency of the MCZ network to the Parliament Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon MP today, and ensure that Defra does not reduce the number of MCZs going forward for consultation in 2012.

After years of pressure, and with huge public support, the Marine and Coastal Access Act of 2009 promised a coherent network of protection around the coasts by 2012. Now 127 marine sites around England’s coast, including seven in the North West, have been recommended by four regional stakeholder groups to become MCZs next year.

However, there is now the very real fear that only a fraction of these will be recommended for designation, which would be a disaster for our marine wildlife as it would leave a smaller and effective network of protection.


Jewel Anemones by Sally Sharrock
 This is a once in a lifetime chance for us to protect the wildlife in our seas, and we can't let it slip away.'

Find out how you can write to Richard Benyon here.

And sign the petition here.

Thank you to Cheryl Nicholson, Marine Conservation Officer, and everyone at the North West Wildlife Trusts, for bringing this to everyone's attention.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Fracking along the Ribble 'likely cause' of tremors, and protestors tell Cuadrilla to Frack Off

Frack Off protestors invaded the Cuadrilla fracking site at Hesketh Bank and Banks this morning, climbing the drilling rig in a protest against Shale Gas extraction in Lancashire, on a day when a report commissioned by Cuadrilla itself announced that it is "highly probable" that shale gas test drilling triggered earth tremors in Lancashire.

Of course it isn't "just" the potential risk of earth tremors that concern people about shale gas extraction, it's the potential risks of water contamination by a cocktail of toxic chemicals, and the small matter that shale gas extraction is as far away from reducing our national carbon emmissions as other fossil fuel extraction and use is.

"In a separate protest as part of a day of action against the controversial extraction method, 50 anti-fracking activists gathered outside the Copthorne Tara hotel in Kensington, west London, from around 3pm in an attempt to disrupt an industry conference organised by SMI international.

Demonstrators dressed in yellow fire hazard suits they shouted chants including: "Flaming water from out tap, we don't want this Fracking crap." The Guardian.

We've been told there is a PUBLIC MEETING organised by Cuadrilla, who have invited residents to a meeting this Friday 4th November.

If anyone would like to attend here are the details:
Public question and answer meeting
Friday 4 Nov 6.15pm onwards
he Roman Catholic Church Hall
152 Hesketh Lane
Tarleton
PR4 6AS

If there's any change to these details, we'll let you know.

For more on the report and the Frack Off protest, see the Guardian news coverage here, and the Lancashire Evening Post,  and the UK Frack Off campaign here, and the Lancashire Frack Off campaign here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fracking: News, Events, free film showing of Gasland, and WHAT YOU CAN DO: UPDATE

Update:
The North West fracking issue featured on Granada reports NW England Regional News at 6pm Thursday 1st September, where significant concerns were discussed about the fracking problem in the North West, including by a leading academic.

NEW:
There is a public event at Manor Farm, Hesketh Bank, Near Southport, Lancashire the weekend of 16th - 17th - 18th September:

What is fracking?: The process – called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking - involves pumping a mixture of water, sand and drilling fluids at high pressure into the rock, to split it apart and release the natural gas it contains.


This process has already, in its relatively short history, caused a great deal of controversy, due to environmental problems and risks posed to human health, including water contamination and higher rates of air pollution than that of coal production.

And now ‘fracking’ has recently begun in the UK – starting with several sites near Blackpool.

Camp Frack Info

What: The camp will include a day of workshops on shale gas, and on planning an ongoing national campaign against it. It will involve raising local awareness about the problems with shale gas and an a_ction day of peaceful protest mainly focused on the nearby active drilling rig, but we also hope to have the option of expeditions to take the message out to Blackpool and Preston as well.

Where: Manor Farm, Hesketh Bank, Near Southport, Lancashire.

When: 16th - 18th September

For details see http://northern-indymedia.org/events/2175

More information: campfrack@gmail.com

websites for info:   http://frack-off.org.uk/

http://www.campaigncc.org/fracking

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And if you haven't seen Josh Fox's Oscar-nominated film Gaslands yet, there's a FREE showing at The Continental, South Meadow Lane, Preston PR1 8JP on Monday 12 September 7.30 pm.

Don't miss it - it's a REAL eye-opener.

'Gasland' - gas shale exploitation and its impact - Monday 12 September 7.30 pm – FREE.


~

Concerned about Fracking along the Ribble Estuary?

Send your OBJECTION to Lancashire County Council by 14th September: http://frack-off.org.uk/send-your-fracking-objections-to-lancashire-county-council/
You can do it by email - takes no time at all.
~

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reprieve for Wetland Wildlife on the Mersey Estuary

We are very pleased to see that the proposals to build a tidal barrage across the Mersey have been put on hold.



The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside report that they and other "conservation charities have raised serious concerns over the proposal for a tidal barrage due to the potential impact on thousands of birds and newly established populations of migratory fish. The Feasibility Study Report issued by Peel Energy Ltd found that the estimated £3.5bn initial construction costs were ‘not competitive’ in current markets.

"The announcement comes after plans were also dropped for a larger £20bn tidal energy generation scheme on the Severn estuary less than a year ago.

"The Mersey estuary is designated as a European Special Protection Area (SPA) and is a critical autumn migration and winter refuge for up to 70,000 birds. Following water quality improvements in the last 20 years, the estuary is now also home to migratory salmon and acts as a nursery for other fish species."


Like the Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, and many other organisations who are keen to see a commitment to renewable energy OF THE RIGHT SORT and IN THE RIGHT PLACE, we have highlighted the unsustainable nature of tidal barrages - in terms of the impact on delicate intertidal ecosystems and the wildlife that depend upon them in particular - but also in terms of economic cost and the very real threat of increased floodrisk to vulnerable communities.

The Mersey proposal, like the much larger barrage proposed for the Severn, has been suspended because of the unsustainable initial construction costs of the scheme, and you can read more on this story on the Wildlife Trust's website.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fracking along the Ribble

UPDATE on Fracking in Lancashire:

We will be joining other residents along the Ribble in keeping an eye on the situation as, despite calling a halt to the fracking process at Preese Hall on the Fylde while investigations are carried out into the tremors in the Blackpool area, the drilling activities are continuing, as are plans to drill on the South side of the Ribble in the Banks area between Preston and Southport. See the Southport Visitor for more on this.

There is a well-organised campaign against Fracking on the Fylde, so do check out their blog   http://dont-frack-with-the-fylde.blogspot.com/  for further information and to find out about any further developments as they are leading the campaign against this highly controversial activity in the area: What the Frack?

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Philip Mitchell from the Blackpool and Fylde Green Party gave a talk about the Shale Fracking/Coalbed Methane issues at Lytham YMCA, Mythop Rd, Lytham
Tuesday 22nd March (UN World Water Day) 7:30pm

The meeting was well-attended by local residents who raised significant conserns about the potential impacts of the fracking - not least to their fresh water supplies in the area.

Please sign the PETITION at www.ipetitions.com/petition/ukgas


Here's an interesting extract from Philip Mitchell's Parliamentary Memorandum:

"In Lancashire it has been reported that the Shale Gas field potentially reached from Blackpool to Pendle Hill, and in the DECC map includes the Forest of Bowland and extends to the West side of the Yorkshire Dales. This itself suggests a field of approximately 400 square miles, and on a purely commercial consideration would mean 100 gas wells extracting gas from a well 2 miles apart ( the approximate distance of the first three test wells in the Fylde). THIS IS A TINY PROPORTION OF THE POTENTIAL FIELD across the UK, .

The main risk and source of public outcry in the US has been the contamination of drinking water. In Lancashire the aquifers used in drinking cover this likely area of drilling and in the AJ Lucas press release [... ref attachments of evidence submitted to Parliament] re Preese Hall, Grange Hill, Singleton], appears to be in the location of the Aquifer [...ref attachments of evidence submitted to Parliament ] and Carbonate Rock. Purely commercial Interest would also mean many of the wells would be in the area of the aquifers.

The committee should also consider the risk of extracting 1 billion gallons of water from the surface water of the potential gas field in Lancashire.

The routes to pollution are multiple, and include leakage from the well, spillage from the site and handling of thousands of gallons of liquid which flows back from the well after fracking. The control mechanisms cannot be relied upon alone. I would also urge the committee to seriously consider the long term risks of deterioration of control mechanisms of the vertical well linings meant to protect the well from leakage.

When the liquid used for fracking leaks it has natural gas dissolved in it, this entering the water table has caused wells to explode and domestic water drawn from the aquifer to be inflammable and explosive.[...]
There is a need to dispose of the millions of gallons of highly toxic liquid flow-back following fracking and the committee needs to consider the risks of inadequate numbers of treatment centres to process this waste, for example in Lancashire on the basis of using up to 1 billion gallons of water for fracking. Contamination of water supplies and Rivers would be considered disastrous. This is already a huge problem in New York State and Pennsylvania.

The risk to locally produced food is serious. Contamination with the chemicals involved through any of the many routes of pollution will pose a threat to the farming and local food retail industry as well as the consumers.

The risk to wildlife and animals is huge. [ref attachments of evidence submitted to Parliament ].

There is also a risk of a well blowout which in a reported case spewed out explosive gas and polluting liquid 75 feet into the air and onto the ground for 16 hours. The area around for one square mile had to be evacuated and flight routes diverted.

Experiences in the Fylde

Experiences in the Fylde of the first three production test sites (Weeton – Preese Hall, Singleton and Lytham Moss Anna’s Road) Cuadrilla Resources. Cuadrilla Resources Limited gives its postal address in Lichfield, Leicestershire, UK. AJLucas describe their activities as only in the UK and Europe and that this has been the first time they have carried out "true" shale gas extraction methods (ref attachments of evidence submitted to Parliament ).

At Weeton , Preese Hall, the drilling is through "Clitheroe Limestone" [ref attachments of evidence submitted to Parliament ] whereas the Delaware River Keeper network wishes to ban drilling through" Karst Geology and Carbonate Rock"-
[Philip Mitchell here urges the committee to question Geologists on the significance of drilling through the rock quoted in the AJLucas press release e.g. to contamination of aquifers. ]"



You can read the whole Memorandum here and sign the PETITION at www.ipetitions.com/petition/ukgas and keep up-tp-date with the campaign to stop fracking in the North West here: http://dont-frack-with-the-fylde.blogspot.com/
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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Fracking: On Preston's Doorstep

"Hydraulic Fracturing" AKA 'Fracking', a method of extracting natural gas from the ground deep beneath our feet is becoming a deeply contraversial process. As we reported yesterday, it's coming to Preston's doorstep.

Here's a short video on the process and its possible consequences for the environment.

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Shale Gas Drilling - pursued with indecent haste and a Russian Roulette mentality

A large number of Lancashire residents and numerous scientists are extremely concerned about the deep-rock Gas Drilling company Cuadrilla's extraction operations which are about to start at sites at Weeton, Singleton, and Westby, near Kirkham and Blackpool.

There are serious and significant concerns about the potential safety of the process, where rock thousands of feet below Lancashire will be fractured using chemicals to release the gas stored in the rocks, as the process causes the rock to be polluted and there is a risk of contamination of the groundwater - and therefore our drinking water.

It is, of course, also the case that these chemicals could find their way into the Ribble's waters and pose a threat to its delicate ecosystem.

The rock in which the gas is stored stretches across a large area of Lancashire along the Ribble valley catchment, from Pendle Hill through to the Irish Sea, and concerns about the so-called "fracking" extraction process are being raised by reputable scientists world-wide, and we will be examining the research and charting the Lancashire and world-wide campaigns against the Gas Drilling over the coming weeks.

A report written by Professor Kevin Anderson from the Tyndall Centre in Manchester has led The Co-operative Financial Services' Chief Executive Neville Richardson to call for "a moratorium on any further exploitation of shale gas which will allow the wider environmental concerns to be fully exposed and addressed."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jan/17/uk-shale-gas-warning?INTCMP=SRCH


Research around the globe is currently forcing a ban on the process in New York State and is raising concerns in other states of the US, as well as in other countries across the world from Canada to South Africa.

Here in Lancashire, as the Lancashire Evening Post report, 'the Blackpool and Fylde Green Party claims the process causes pollution and could be dangerous.


Philip Mitchell, chairman of the party, said: “We demand that a ban is placed on all UK shale gas and coal bed methane industry activity, including testing sites.


“This technology has been used at a site of an important groundwater aquifer and there are over 80 further applications which have been applied for around the UK.


“Aquifers are a natural source of our drinking water, and there is risk of catastrophic harm to water resources, communities and the environment from this industry, which may roll out across Lancashire and the rest of the UK.”


Concerns have been fuelled by US documentary Gasland, which shows flames shooting from taps in areas where hydro fracking has taken place.


Some residents in areas where drilling for shale gas is taking place say they have become ill because of pollution by gas and chemicals, according to the documentary.'

Philip Mitchell has tabled a Parliamentary Memorandum which is a well-researched and illuminating assessment of the risks this process has, and he is calling for a serious re-think of the scheme before the damage is done.

Whilst the Government have made statements to the effect that:
- 'gas extraction is subject to thorough checks' (LEP)

Mark Miller, Cuadrilla chief executive, has said on the one hand that:
- the "solid rock between [the aquifer at Preese Hall Farm, Weeton, Blackpool] and where the fracking takes place would prevent the water mix contaminating the aquifer"
-whilst admitting on the other that "You never have control. Fractures will always go into the path of least resistance."

In other words, they're keeping their fingers crossed for us. Well, that's alright then.

See The Guardian article here for more details
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/mar/01/fracking-shale-gas-energy-mps

Philip Mitchell's Parliamentary Memorandum makes for interesting reading and can be found in full here

We will be reproducing extracts from it on the STR website soon, and keeping you informed about the campaign as it progresses.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Say No To Cuts in Flood Defences

The government's cuts programme, means that over 1000 flood defence schemes will lose their funding.

According to the Guardian:
more than 1,500 flood defence schemes were in line for capital funding between 2011 and 2015, but that number has been slashed to 356 in the new spending plans for 2011-12. There are no funding plans for 2012-15 as the funding mechanism will be overhauled next year. The changes mean more than 50,000 households will no longer benefit from a reduction in flood risk.

The decision to cut funding for flood defences is incredibly stupid. Climate change is not going to pause in deference to the 'Canute Twins' Cameron and Clegg. We've already seen the drastic effects of floods in recent years, we're reliably informed by meteorologists that the need for flood prevention is going to rise year on year, this is not just coming from the scientists, but from the insurance companies, who say that it may not be long before 1million British homes are uninsurable against flooding.

The cost of repairing the damage caused by floods would dwarf any savings that the government makes from these utterly shortsighted and irresponsible cuts.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our Forests need us!

Save our FORESTS!

Please sign the petition to save our forests from being sold off from public ownership into private hands!

Make your mark here:

http://38degrees.org.uk/

and tell your friends!

Our wildlife will thank us - and so will our children.
photo courtesy http://www.tojo2000.com/ 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Down By The Riverside


Rosetta Tharpe--Down By The Riverside
Uploaded by SFBA4me. - Watch more music videos, in HD!
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Godmother of Rock and Roll

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Friday, January 07, 2011

2011: The Year of the River

This is a repost of a great article from 'American Rivers': It's really great to see lots of dams being 'deconstructed' and rivers set free to flow free and clean, the way nature intended:

2011: The Year of the River


Posted on January 5, 2011


Amy Souers Kober


Senior Director of Communications

Hold on to your paddles, because 2011 is going to be a thrilling year. From Maine to Washington, we will be celebrating a river renaissance as waters long-dammed come back to life.

2011 will see the nation’s largest river restoration efforts to date. Unprecedented dam removal projects on Maine’s Penobscot, Washington’s Elwha and White Salmon, and Maryland’s Patapsco will make 2011 the Year of the River. The benefits of these dam removals to Native American tribes, water quality, fish and wildlife, and local economies will be enormous.

As Patrick McCully writes in Silenced Rivers, "Nothing alters a river as totally as a dam. A reservoir is the antithesis of a river - the essence of a river is that it flows, the essence of a reservoir is that it is still."

By removing these dams we will restore rivers that are the lifeblood of the land. We will learn from tribes like the Penobscot, Yakama, and Lower Elwha Klallam as they reconnect their cultures and traditions with the newly free-flowing rivers. We will give endangered salmon and other wildlife a fighting chance. We will prove that a healthy environment and strong economy go hand in hand.

And hopefully we will inspire others to restore rivers in their own communities.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the exciting projects coming up in the Year of the River:


Elwha River, Washington

Deconstruction begins September 2011

The Elwha River flows out of the mountainous heart of Olympic National Park to the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Puget Sound. It once supported six species of Pacific salmon and steelhead and has been the home of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe since time immemorial. Dismantling the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams will allow the river to flow freely for the first time in 100 years, restoring over 70 miles of salmon and steelhead habitat. At 210 feet tall, Glines Canyon Dam will be the tallest dam ever removed. American Rivers helped secure more than $50 million in federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Elwha River restoration.

White Salmon River, Washington

Deconstruction begins October 2011

The White Salmon River flows from the slopes of Mt. Adams to the Columbia River. Portions of the river are designated as a Wild and Scenic or are protected as part of the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area. American Rivers has worked for over ten years with our partners including the Yakama Indian Nation to lead the effort to remove the 95-year old, 125-foot Condit Dam. Removal of the dam will restore access to 33 miles of habitat for steelhead and 14 miles of habitat for chinook salmon. The river is recognized as a premier whitewater destination—ten outfitters run commercial trips on the river, and at least 25,000 boaters use the river each year. Dam removal will create additional recreation opportunities.

Penobscot River, Maine

Deconstruction begins 2011

The Penobscot is New England’s second largest river system, home to the Penobscot Indian Nation. The river is known for its historically abundant fisheries, and for years the first Penobscot River salmon of the season was given to the President of the United States. As a member of the Board of Directors, American Rivers is working with the Penobscot River Restoration Trust to remove two dams on the Penobscot (Veazie and Great Works) and install a bypass channel for fish passage at Howland Dam. The project will significantly improve access to nearly 1,000 miles of river habitat while maintaining current power generation.

More than 15 dams have been removed in Maine since 1998, restoring more than 465 miles of river. Most notable was the 1999 removal of Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River.

Patapsco River, Maryland

Deconstruction began September 2010, ongoing

American Rivers is working with partners to remove several dams on the Patapsco, one of the Baltimore area’s hidden jewels. Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner at the mouth of the Patapsco, and today the river supports fish and wildlife and offers residents fishing, boating, and other recreation opportunities.

American Rivers was awarded $4 million in economic stimulus funding for the removal of the Union and Simkins dams. We are also advocating for the removal of Bloede Dam, which has been responsible for several deaths over the years, and presents an ongoing danger to swimmers. Removal of these dams will restore fisheries and contribute to the recovery of the Chesapeake Bay. Once the river is restored, we hope to work with local partners to promote recreation and education along the Patapsco.

Dam removal across the country:

In addition to these high-profile river restoration efforts, many other dams are scheduled for removal around the country in 2011. These projects might not have the same kind of size and spotlight as the ones listed above, but their benefits to local communities in terms of public safety, flood management, clean water, wildlife, economics, and recreation are significant.

Watch our blog for Year of the River updates, and join the celebration on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s going to be a year to remember!

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Brocks Needs Us! Brockholes Wetland Needs Us - and so do our Badgers...!

Brockholes Wetland - saved from development four years ago by the determination and generosity of local people and members of the Wildlife Trust, and by the sheer hard graft of the Wildlife Trust itself - needs a little extra push to realise the final phase of a truly first-class nature reserve.

Work has been going on tirelessly at Brockholes, enhancing the habitat range and biodiversity of the site, and it is already showing huge dividends in the sheer numbers of bird, insect, flora and fauna already thriving on the site. But as the Wildlife Trust point out, "Our wildlife needs more reedbeds, more meadows and more wetland habitats if it is to be safe here forever".

Funding is being tightly squeezed for the Wildlife Trust, but they want to see their vision for a truly first-class wildlife reserve realised, and are asking for donations to ensure they can provide:

•Wildlife habitat creation to further increase biodiversity at Brockholes

•Plant further reed beds for smaller birds and wetland wildlife

•A family friendly hide (where children can be noisy!)

•Give children an adventurous outdoor play trail


You can donate online at the Wildlife Trust here;



and if you donate on Monday 6th December, the Wildlife Trust can double the donation with match funding from an organisation called The Big Give.
If you'd like the Wildlife Trust to send you a reminder on 6th December, email Emma Bailie at ebailie@lancswt.org.uk



Any donation you can make to this final appeal will help ensure Brockholes Wetland can achieve everything we dreamed of, to make this fantastic wildlife habitat the best it can be.  
Donate what you can to Brockholes Wetland's final phase - even small amounts will produce huge results - especially on 6th December!



You can find out more about the Wildlife Trust's fantastic work at Brockholes Wetland here

and join in another Wildlife Trust campaign - against the Badger Cull - here because tackling Bovine TB requires a more positive approach, not the destruction of our Badgers - as the evidence shows this will NOT help and may actually make matters worse.


Save Our Badgers!

"The care of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart" Tanako Shozo Save The Ribble Logo