The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), one of Britain’s largest conservation charities, faces a hefty fine for chopping down trees without a licence after up to 100 acres of highland forest was cleared during bog and peatland restoration work at the Forsinard Flows reserve in Scotland.
The Forestry Commission has investigated and has confirmed to Breitbart London that it will announce the decision to prosecute or not within a fortnight.
According to the Forestry Commission website the RSPB could be fined twice the value of each felled tree. Although a smaller fine set at a flat rate of £2,500 is theoretically possible, this case comes in some way above that low threshold as the Forestry Commission is investigating the felling of around 3,300 tonnes of mixed conifers.
The charity could also be issued with a Restocking Notice and ordered to restore the forest, but this is unlikely as it did have Forestry Commission support to carry out the work before it was suspended on 2nd March when it was discovered that their felling licence had lapsed. A new licence has since been issued but logging has not restarted as it risks disrupting the breeding season for local birdlife.
Deadline News quotes a contractor involved in the work as saying that there was no malicious wrongdoing, rather it was “a lapse of people dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.”
The RSPB’s conservation activity in the Forsinard Flows has been called into question before with objections raised to a development including a field centre described by locals as a “modern monstrosity adorned with wood and glass”. More generally the the charity has also faced allegations that it made large sums of money from partnerships with the wind power industry despite that industry’s turbines killing millions of birds every year.