Fish rehomed by Arun District Council shines light in dark days for nature

Unbelievable! It was recently reported that Japan is to defy the International Whaling Commission and environmental groups and resume commercial whaling – and now Iceland are to follow suit.

It has been reported that the Icelandic government are set to allow the slaughter of over 2,000 fin and minke whales. Most of these animals will be sold to the shrinking Japanese market. Coals to Newcastle, where is the logic in that?

A spring clean for our historic Oyster Pond

A spring clean for our historic Oyster Pond

Both Japan and the Icelandic government admit whale meat consumption is on the wane and in Iceland most of the whale meat is consumed by tourists. Simple answer to this particular madness, as far as Iceland is concerned, is don’t go there and, if you do go, don’t eat the whale meat! Why not try a ‘puffin muffin’ instead?

| Also in the news - a body found in woods near Arundel on Tuesday belongs to missing person Helen Slaughter, according to Sussex Police; Shoreham Airshow pilot Andy Hill has been found not guilty by a jury; and children across the area have been dressing up as their favourite literary characters to mark World Book Day |

NOT good news to environmentalists all round this week. Another unfathomable madness is the recent revelation that Natural England, the government’s supposed nature caretaker, has signed off on the destruction of 170,000 wild birds, their eggs or nests in the past five years. All slaughtered in your name, my friends.

I read that one of the reasons given was ‘public safety’. What kind of rubbish is that? Public safety from a barn owl or a peregrine? The truth is, I would suggest, the main reasons are that the birds in some way impinge upon the activities of those raising fish or game, the latter to be taken under the gun for vast amounts of money.

To some, a one-off driven pheasant viewed over the double barrels of a Purdy is grander than watching a stooping falcon any day or every day of your life.

What possible public safety fears are raised by buzzards who feed mostly of carrion or geese, who apart from being a bit messy and noisy, are of little threat to anybody. And licences to ‘kill, injure or take’ barn owls and peregrines over ‘public safety’ fears. What nonsense is that?

ONE bright light on the conservation front shone forth last week. The draining of the Oyster Pond left several mullet milling around in the murky shallow waters of their vanished home.

Happily, Arun District Council saw to it that these homeless strays were rounded up and carefully rehoused in the River Arun where they will grow fat and prosper, well done Arun District Council, if only you cared as much for trees. See next week’s column...

THERE was considerable dismay when the post office in the Arcade closed with dire warning of long queues and a restricted service. We marched and we shouted to no avail.

Happily, all were unfounded and apart from the usual holdups such as dealing with passports, driving licence applications and the like, all is well. Far from being disgruntled with the move, the familiar counter staff are as cheerful and friendly as ever.

Even so, one suggestion which would improve the service for all even more would be to have a specified window for the many Littlehampton eBay and internet sellers who turn up with sacks filled with parcels which seem to take an age to sort. I’m just saying is all...

Oops! Last week’s photograph should have been credited to Christine Elson. Apologies...

• If you would like to get in touch with Whispering Smith, please email: whisperingsmith1@gmail.com

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