The Cornish Branch Secretary of the Celtic League has written to Natural England and English Heritage following a tip off by a member of the public about the alleged mismanagement of land in the Penwith area of Cornwall.
Branch Secretary Mike Chappell wrote to Chief Executive of Natural England, Dr Helen Phillips, and the Assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Nick Russell, followingvideo evidence sent to him of cattle apparently damaging the Men-an-Toll standing stones at Tregesealon Penwith moors. In his letter, one of the questions Mr Chappell asks, underthe Freedom of Information Act 2000, is who gave Natural England permission tograze cattle on land at Carnyorth Common and what action is English Heritage prepared to take to halt the allegeddamage? Mr Chappell also questions the legality of the permission given toNatural England to graze the cattle on the land, pointing out that:
“Cornwall is not in England. Constitutionally and jurisdictionally Natural England and English Heritage have no authority to act in Cornwall. Sites owned by the Duchyof Cornwall and others may be administered by English Heritage and others forconvenience, however ill founded that appointment be, but they are not owned bythat quango or others based up in England.”
The issue hasnow been taken up by the press in Cornwall, who contacted Natural England who respondedthat they are investigating the allegations further.
The fulltext of the letter from Mr Chappell can be found below and one of the videos sent to the League can be found at the link https://www.youtube.com/user/celticleaguetv?feature=mhsn#p/a/f/0/pxscmZ9yrH0
“18th June, 2011
Dear Dr Phillips & Mr Russell
PENWITH MOORS, CARNYORTHCOMMON & ENVIRONS, PENWITH, KERNOW (Cornwall)
a. DAMAGE CAUSED BY MISMANAGEMENT BY NATURALENGLAND QUANGO
b. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 to apply tothis communication where relevant and appropriate
1. It has been brought to the attention of our organisation that due to alleged mismanagement by Natural England, wide spread damage is being caused to scheduled ancient monuments and land at PenwithMoors, Carnyorth Common and environs in West Penwith in the Duchy of Cornwall.
2. We havebeen passed photographic and filmed evidence that the stone circle and the men-an-tol at Tregeseal have been damaged by Natural England’s permission granted to a land user to allow long horned cattle to graze the area.
3. That evidence may be viewed in the appendices hereunder. We are able to forward video footage of the longhorn cattle causing damage if so required.
4. What does Natural England intend doing to rectify this wanton damage caused by imported longhorn cattle who are not common to this area, the existence of which has also caused fear and distress to other uses of this land?
5. What action is being taken to bring to a halt this damage and to rectify and repair the same by English Heritage?
6. We are informed that much of this land is classed as ‘common’ land.
7. Cornwall is not in England. Constitutionally and jurisdictionally Natural England and English Heritage have no authority to act in Cornwall. Sites owned by the Duchy of Cornwall and others may be administered by English Heritage and others for convenience, however ill founded that appointment be, but they are not owned by that quango or others based up in England.
8. Under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000, I require that English Heritage and English Nature reveal the ownership of the said moors in Penwith and then from whence instruction to manage them has been obtained.
9. Under the aforementioned Act, I require sight of documentation and communication between English Heritage and English Nature as allegations of unlawful collaboration between the two organisations have been made.
10. Under the aforementioned Act, I require details of the ownership of the long horn cattle being allowed to graze the area in question and for how long such licence has been granted to that person by either Quango.
11. Under the aforementioned Act, I require details of financial costings and grants made from public funds to the owner of said livestock.
12. Under the aforementioned Act, I require sight of documentation wherein is contained previous complaints regarding this and related issues since the introduction of alien cattle to this area.
13. This is an open letter and has been copied to the Member of Westminster Parliament for the district, Andrew George MWP as well as to the Chief Executive of Cornwall Council for notification of the relevant Department and the media for their attentions.
14. I await acknowledgement and then a fuller response to contain proposals for rectification.