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Daily Mail (MailOnline)

IMAGE ABOVE: Wildlife haven – Developers dig up the untouched land, a sanctuary for animals, against the wishes of the late David Brown

By Ross Slater and Lynne Wallis

The greatest joy in the life of animal enthusiast David Brown was the wild habitat he owned opposite his cottage that was home to foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and squirrels.

So when he wrote his will, Mr Brown chose to leave his property to the RSPCA – a charity he trusted.

But the RSPCA repaid his trust by selling the land to property developers, and last week, to the horror of his former neighbours, the habitat was flattened – in just 12 hours.

At least six trees, including two large oaks, were sawn down and the site reduced to muddy patch.

For Mr Brown had made one crucial mistake in drawing up his will – he expressed the ‘wish’ that the area be maintained as an animal sanctuary rather than making it a legal condition of the will.

This technicality allowed the RSPCA to ignore his wishes and instead cash in by selling both the cottage and the land for £295,000.

 Neighbours suspected something might be happening when, a week before the diggers moved in, a plaque screwed to a tree in David’s honour was removed and attached to the side of his former cottage.

It read: ‘In loving memory, David, a good friend to us all. Not forgotten.’

Neighbours said Mr Brown used to feed badgers and foxes by hand, and wanted them to continue to live in peace on the plot
Neighbours said Mr Brown used to feed badgers and foxes by hand, and wanted them to continue to live in peace on the plot
Homeless hedgehogs: Mr Brown had made one crucial mistake in drawing up his will, he expressed the 'wish' that the are be maintained as an animal sanctuary rather than making it a legal condition
Homeless hedgehogs: Mr Brown had made one crucial mistake in drawing up his will, he expressed the ‘wish’ that the are be maintained as an animal sanctuary rather than making it a legal condition

The RSPCA’s actions have caused fury among Mr Brown’s neighbours in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

Paul Welton said: ‘I remember him coming to see me after writing his will and saying, “It will be safe now.” For him it was the most important thing. The RSPCA has ridden roughshod over his wishes.’

Julie Richards, who took in Mr Brown’s cat after his death in 2007, said: ‘We thought leaving it all to the RSPCA was a fantastic thing to do. He has been badly let down.’

Mr Brown had given £3 a week to the RSPCA for most of his life.

Despite suffering dyslexia, the 61-year-old would write down things that were important. After his death, Ms Richards found a notebook in his cottage in which he had written  his wishes for his estate.

It read: ‘The house cleared and sold – money for RSPCA for cats’ home. Antiques to be sold. ¼ acre of land to be left undeveloped, can be used for animals.’

The untouched land next to Mr Brown's cottage was a haven for wildlife      Bold: Foxes would feed from Mr Brown's hands on the plot of land he left to animal charity the RSPCA to maintain as a sanctuary
Bold: Foxes would feed from Mr Brown’s hands on the plot of land he left to animal charity the RSPCA to maintain as a sanctuary

Mr Welton added: ‘It was teeming with wildlife and fruit. David would feed the foxes and badgers by hand.’

Another neighbour, Mark Duffy, 48, a design consultant, said: ‘I think what they have done is illegal and I am going to challenge it.

A team of them arrived last Wednesday and started going for it like an army assault team. We all suspect that it is only a matter of time before they apply to build houses on it.’

Mr Brown’s elder brother, Geoffery, 71, who lives nearby, said: ‘It’s very sad that this land has been  left bare when my brother wanted  it protected. I am really very angry.’ It is understood that the RSPCA decided to sell the land in 2008.

Squirrels are among the animals likely to lose their homes if the RSPCA goes ahead and builds on the plot of land
Squirrels are among the animals likely to lose their homes if the RSPCA goes ahead and builds on the plot of land

 

It was sold to companies connected to The Emerson Group, a development firm based nearby and owned by property tycoon Peter Jones.

The RSPCA, which also inherited £30,000 in premium bonds from  Mr Brown, said: ‘Mr Brown wished us not to sell the land for building though this wasn’t a binding condition of the will. The RSPCA has used the money for its animals.’

Nobody from The Emerson Group was available for comment but  a spokesman for East Cheshire Council said: ‘We are not aware of anything being done in breach  of planning control.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2136714/Nature-lover-leaves-wildlife-haven-RSPCA–sell-bulldozed-built-on.html#ixzz2HlRElNvv

From their own website: “Our vision is to have a world in which all humans respect and live in harmony with members of the animal kingdom.” So how exactly does destroying wildlife habitats fit into this part of the mission statement?

 


 

COMMENTS

Terrible Two, Cloud Cuckoo Land, 29/4/2012 10:59

Click to rate     Rating   1126

Is it any wonder the RSPSA are getting more and more unliked by the day?

Owner of what the RSPCA call ‘Mutant Freaks’, Dunstable, 29/4/2012 6:18

Click to rate     Rating   1019

Amazing what the scent of money can do! Shame on the RSPCA. That’s ended my contributions.

scinic, uk, 29/4/2012 15:29

Click to rate     Rating   976

What your charity money is used for RSPCA: Mark Watts, chief executive, received £105,500 in pay and perks in the year to April 2009 . Barnardo’s: Its chief executive, Martin Narey, earns a salary of £166,532. National Trust: Fiona Reynolds, the director general, is paid between £160,000 and £169,000.

Greg, Midlands, 29/4/2012 10:32

Click to rate     Rating   834

Well, that’s the RSPCA these days………………..less interested in the welfare of animals than in the salaries of its officials…………

(Old) Robert , Worcester UK, 29/4/2012 11:33

Click to rate     Rating   753

No, the RSPCA are NOT “unliked” by those who care about animal welfare and have seen its good works at first hand. However, for some incomprehensible reason there are people working hard to show them in a consistently bad light. Be careful about believing everything you read. Without the intervention of the RSPCA, a great many animals will be left without a hope of rescue. – Dorset Wayfarer, Dorchester, Dorset, 28/4/2012 23:22 ************** I have worked alongside the RSPCA and have seen some of their good work BUT I have also seen the other side of them. For example, newborn puppies destroyed for NO GOOD REASON. I actually begged to be allowed to hand rear them (and I was more than qualified to do so) but my pleas fell upon deaf ears. This article does not surprise me in the least. Mr. Brown must be turning in his grave, disgusting behaviour by this self-righteous ‘charity’.

Terrible Two, Cloud Cuckoo Land, 29/4/2012 10:47

Click to rate     Rating   718

No more from me……..will donate to local rescue.

geebers, Rotherhamth, 29/4/2012 15:40

Click to rate     Rating   672

The RSPCA supposedly care for the welfare of animals. In some cases only if it suits them. But in this case they have been so cruel to human being who has been a benefactor for many years. What a disgusting organisation the RSPCA is. It should be stripped of its Royal title. No more money from me.

sohud, hounslow, 29/4/2012 15:50

Click to rate     Rating   618

My mother is well known locally for her love of animals and wildlife. She saw through the RSPCA years ago. She tells people never to give to the RSPCA. I can see her point now. I suspect the RSPCA is becoming like PETA more and more. And eralier writer is right, it has become a business, rather than a charity.If you love animals, give to a local charity.

Nonpc, Toytown,UK, 29/4/2012 14:59

Click to rate     Rating   600

When the people at the top require 6 figure wages plus huge pension contributions along with expenses, cars and large offices, then its ALL about the money. For every £1 donated, only 2 pence goes to the cause. This applies to all charities to.

Alan, Huddersfield, 29/4/2012 11:07

Click to rate     Rating   595

 

 

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