It’s every NHS chief executive’s worst nightmare: becoming embroiled in a local scandal where vulnerable local residents have come to harm in an obscure bit of their organisation they probably haven’t thought about in while.
Spare a thought then for the folk at Devon Partnership Trust. The Plymouth Herald reports that the local branch of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is “livid” with them for “destroying” the home of the endangered cirl bunting.
Mark Robins, the appropriately named senior policy officer for the charity, fulminated that the trust had engaged in “willful destruction” of the habitat of the nationally important population at a site owned by the trust.
Apparently the RSPB had paid for spring barley to go on the site - food the birds rely on in the wintertime.
Mr Robins claimed “un-cropped grassy margins” rich in invertebrates for the birds had “been sprayed and ploughed in” and hedges had been “flailed”. Birdwatch.co.uk - the home of birding on the web - even carried pictures of the devastation, commenting that the damage was done “seemingly with the intention of making it unusable for cirl buntings”.
End Game was surprised to learn that making a hedgerows unusable for cirl buntings ranks so highly on the “to do” list.
The trust has agreed to provide food for the cirl buntings over the winter.
Well done Devon Partnership for belatedly making sure that it’s not only the humans on their patch that are well looked after.