DARK QUEST

Dr. Colin Ridsdale

The Council took note of the objection to having Light Quest taking place in the closed breeding season 1st March until 31 July and moved the event to September.

This has now been blurred by the proposal to cull some 40+goats in the Valley and that the Council wishes to modify the agreed stocking of not less than 42 and not more than 80 down to 32-42, which is at the lower limit of a genetically viable herd.

All of this is proposed to take place within the closed breeding season. Just proves you cannot trust the Council's wildlife management capacities.

The stampede of animals trying to escape the bloody cull will certainly affect the breeding species of birds, some of which are priority species on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Hardly conservation minded, a Management Plan is supposed to enhance conservation of these species on a SSSI site.
The Council is asking for an unreserved licence to kill. The request that the goats should be allowed to remain in the Valley at the discretion of the Council is not acceptable. The Cheviot goats were illegally released by the former L.L.D.C. on land for which they did not own the historical grazing rights. The Council cannot introduce new stock to meet its legal commitments under The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2001, as it does not own the grazing rights. Hence, this clause is unacceptable.