Dear Michael Ellis,
I am sending you this email in part frustration, part desperation! My name is Mike Green. I am one of your constituents, a retired optometrist (age 71 – although I can’t believe it), living in Chapel Brampton for the last 32 years, and a lifelong country sportsman. I have had the honour of having fished and shot for England over the years, although (with one or two exceptions) I no longer shoot, but I am a fanatical angler and would literally DIE if I could not fish.
This brings me to my first point. For the last 30 years or so I have enjoyed some shooting and (mainly) fishing on Houghton Lakes on the land owned by Mr Davidge and farmed my my good friend, James Arrowsmith, and his son, Richard. Throughout this time everything has been totally harmonious and I have enjoyed the serenity of this wonderful area, and observing the multitude of wildfowl and other wild creatures that have shared this environment with me and my pals without the slightest problem. All of a sudden James has told me that ‘Natural England’ have decreed that there shall be no more winter fishing on the lakes! Nicola whatever-her-name-is (who is a self-confessed angler hater!) has acted like a despot, threatening to withdraw the subsidy paid to James if he should disregard her edict! What I would ask is, just who are these Natural England people? Are they a government-funded body? And what gives them the right to spoil the fishing I have enjoyed for so long without detriment to wildlife, the environment, or anyone else for that matter, on the whim of one (in my opinion) heavily biased woman, obsessed with her power? I would welcome your response.
My second point is that nothing seems to be done about the inland invasion of cormorants, who basically don’t belong inland, but are indeed here in huge numbers clearing our lakes and rivers of all manner of native fish. They have the cloak of protection thanks to a total cock-up by the E.U. (who were trying to protect the Scottish Shag – a similar, smaller and far less numerous bird). The Prime Minister promised to do sometrhing about this when he met with a delegation from the Angling Trust but, as usual, it’s all talk. These ghastly birds rightly belong on the vermin list, where they used to be. I know for a fact that hundreds of them are being shot by desperate fishery owners – but why should this have to happen illegally? Cormorants have no natural enemies, and there is literally nothing to stop them as they rape and pillage our resident fish population! The situation is SERIOUS and unless something happens soon it will be too late. All part of the awful deterioraton in the quality of life of our wonderful country!
I welcome any help you can give me.
Yours sincerely Michael Green F.B.O.A F.S.M.C D.C.L.P.