From Jane Dixon, Newport:

I wonder how many people went to one of the three meetings about the reintroduction of the white-tailed/sea eagles on the Island?

Probably a small percentage of the population as these were advertised in The Observer, a relatively newly introduced newspaper read by a smaller proportion of the public than the widely available and long-standing County Press.

The ‘meetings’ were in fact the required public consultations disguised as an exhibition of the eagle’s life and the benefits to the Island of its reintroduction.

The enthusiastic representatives of this project gave glowing reports of the benefits while playing down and, at times, denying the potential problems.

The consultations were held in Ryde, Shanklin and Cowes, none in the west Wight, and only by attending one of these consultations would you know you can express your opinions either for or against on one of their short questionnaires, or online at This was not mentioned in the newspaper article.

As seems to be normal with this type of possibly contentious consultation, there is a very short time span in which to express any concerns or approval ie until the end of November.

This fact is not stated on the website, nor is it on the printed questionnaires. One has to hope that there were sheep farmers, owners of free-range chickens and small pets, and fishermen at these ‘meetings’ as they may well be affected. A little research on the internet will verify this statement.

These birds can be three feet tall with a wingspan of eight feet. In the spring and summer they eat mainly fish, but during other times hunt for birds and small mammals, and also eat carrion. Majestic they may well be, but would you want a pair living in a tree near you?

Please visit the website to obtain more rose-tinted information.

Editor’s footnote: I attended the Cowes meeting and can confirm there were at least 230 people in the room in the time I was there. The CP did publicise the meetings and the organisers told me they were happy with the response.