BASC is fighting an attempt by Bradford City Council to silence its criticism of its moorland management.
BASC has received a letter from the council’s legal department demanding the removal of a blog which questioned why Baildon Moor was being mown by a tractor at a critical time of the year for ground-nesting birds. Read the original blog here.
The council is also demanding that BASC now amends its media coverage of the incident or risk them taking further action against the association.
BASC has said it will not accede to the requests in the council’s letter in the absence of meaningful dialogue which answers the questions originally posed by BASC and other rural organisations at the time video footage emerged on social media of the moor being mown.
Garry Doolan, BASC’s deputy director of communications and public affairs, said: “We had no contact from the council on this matter until we received a lawyer’s letter threatening us with media exposure if we did not give in to their demands.
“It’s a rather bizarre approach from the council and one that is unlikely to reap dividends with either us or the council’s other critics when what we were trying to achieve at the outset was wider exposure of the awful events on the moor. If they want to help us get this issue into the wider media, we would be delighted.
“What is at the heart of this is that somebody felt it was okay to mow the moor in the spring when vulnerable ground-nesting birds were in the middle of their breeding season.
“The moorland is under the management of Bradford Council and so the incident occurred on their watch. It is only right that this incident is called out by BASC and others.
“We will gladly put more information on our website on behalf of Bradford City Council once they open proper lines of communication with BASC instead of using their lawyers to try to threaten and intimidate us.”