As part of The War on Wildlife Project we’ve been writing about the calls being made by the RSPB and councils across northern England to ban the deliberate setting of fires on grouse moors by the grouse shooting industry (see waronwildlife.co.uk/?s=burning). Recently Kirklees council joined Sheffield, York, Calderdale, and Wakefield Councils, plus the Mayor of Doncaster, in calling for a ban.
These things don’t come around by accident. It’s taken hard work and a great deal of support…and one of the key figures who’s been working tirelessly behind the scenes, talking with councils as well as moorland-owning utilities like Yorkshire Water, is Luke Steele, Director and spokesperson for Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors.
It really does appear that the tide is turning against grouse shooting. There have been numerous exposures of wildlife crimes and raptor persecution on grouse moors, and ever more groups are monitoring the routine and extensive use of traps and snares on grouse moors. As importantly most of us now accept that we’re in a climate emergency and setting fire to our uplands with their huge stores of carbon is just nonsensical.
A full ban on grouse shooting is still some way off and the halfway house of licencing grouse shoots is the option being put forward by the likes of the RSPB – and now Ban Bloodsports themselves. Is that a compromise too far, one that would legitimise grouse shooting and the killing of hundreds of thousands of Red Grouse, or a necessary step towards a full ban?
That’s a question Charlie Moores puts to Luke in the following conversation, but Charlie begins by asking him to clarify exactly what it means when a council ‘calls for’ a ban on burning…
“…it’s past time to end burning peatland for grouse moors…it damages the peatland, contributes to climate change, floods communities, causes massive amounts of smoke pollution…the government has said it’s going to ban burning, let’s get on and make that ban happen…”
Luke Steele | Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors
- If you’d like to learn more about Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors please go to their website at stoptheshoot.com.
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