The boiler room scams currently in the news because of recent police activity are at the extreme end of financial fraud. Anyone looking into the practices of banking over the last 20 years will have to conclude that the financial sector has steadily ripped off most of us in all sorts of ways.
But this blog is about Blacka Moor many leagues away from the dodgy practices of the square mile but it's no stranger to scams that have systematically raked in public money for the benefit of the bureaucratic conservation industry. It is not just the money that's handed over. It's the way that officers of Natural England have carefully put paragraph after paragraph of spurious justifications all done in office time paid for with public money. They've sat at desks scratching heads trying to work out how they can make a case sound plausible to the uninitiated. The result is that they've made it seem that payments are for protecting vital 'scientific' (what a good word that is) features when those with a little knowledge will be aware that those features are common to most bits of wasteland anywhere. It is fraud. Verily we live in an upside down world.
The money that SWT get for their Higher Level Stewardship Scheme are so:
£10, 423 for allowing cattle to destroy the natural vegetation
£7, 559 for taking the cattle off the land!!!! - presumably if they'd not put them on they wouldn't have received this
£26,352 for keeping the grassy sheep enclosure in its current ecologically depleted condition.
£30,363 for cutting native trees down and poisoning other native and some non native shrubs.
The total is about £75,000 but there will certainly be opportunities during the period to add to this.*
What's happened is they've treated it as farmland not as nature reserve at all. The two are just incompatible.
* N.B. These figures refer to the Higher Level Stewardship only. This is by no means the only farm subsidy being received. Entry Level is also being trousered. And also Single Farm.