Search Results for: national park

Britain’s National Parks – protecting Red Grouse for the guns

We have consistently described our national parks – supposedly the most important and most precious of our landscapes – as ‘so-called national parks’. We have said that because our ‘so-called national parks’ are – to a large extent – in fact managed not to conserve the magnificence of the Cairngorms, the Peak District, or the North York Moors, but to conserve grouse shooting (see, for example, Shooting in national parks from Dec 2019) And grouse shooting, as we’ve also consistently said – and as Luke Steele laid out in an interview we posted yesterday – is underpinned by wildlife crime (the extent of raptor persecution in our so-called national parks is shameful). is a pollutant, and is damaging land that could be key to the UK’s attempts to bring down its carbon emissions. What we’ve not had access to are figures that state exactly how much of our so-called national parks is given over to slaughtering wildlife, is covered in traps and snares, and run solely for the benefit of a tiny minority of shooters and their lobbyists. Now, though, Rewildling Britain (the charity set up to “expand the scale, quality and connectivity of our native habitats”) has produced research that does just that.

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Another dead Buzzard reinforces the lie of ‘national parks’

Our so-called ‘national parks’ are not what many of us imagine. They are neither wildlerness nor pristine, nor do they protect the wildlife that lives within them. They are in fact largely privately-owned, large areas are run as shooting clubs for the wealthy, and birds of prey especially are probably safer in parks and farmland. The shooting of yet another Buzzard in the wildlife crime hotspot of the Peak District ‘national park’ will come as little surprise to anyone paying attention. Raptors frequently die in ‘national parks’, and we’ve reported on that fact many times. That is because ‘national parks’ are heavily gamekeepered, are blighted with grouse shooting estates, and birds of prey are simply not tolerated. Anyone walking anywhere near a shooting estate in a ‘national park’ looking for birds of prey won’t find them.

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Goshawk killed on grouse-shooting estate in North York Moors National Park

There’s probably a joke being made in Baronial halls along the lines of ‘waiting for crimes against birds of prey/North Yorkshire/all coming at once’ – but the situation in North Yorkshire and the so-called North Yorks’ National Park’ and rampant raptor persecution isn’t remotely funny. It’s hateful and utterly shameful. This region, as many of us know all too well, is the most notorious hot spot for crimes against birds of prey in the country.. The latest act of criminality involves a ‘masked man’ on an as yet unnamed shooting estate killing a Goshawk in a cage trap. Is there any chance that ‘masked man’ wasn’t a gamekeeper? No charges have been brought yet but let’s speculate…

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Fur Trapping in a UK National Park

The Hunt Investigation Team (HIT) – a highly skilled, specialist team with years of experience fighting animal abuse – have just posted details of their latest investigation: an expose of huge numbers of foxes being trapped and killed for their fur in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park by the UK’s self-styled ‘last fur trapper’ David Sneade. It’s a horrible story, writes Charlie Moores, but one that HIT deserve huge credit for uncovering.

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Shooting in National Parks

Our national parks are ‘treasured landscapes’. ‘Rugged wilds’. Perhaps. ‘Special places’? That probably depends on your definition of a ‘special place’. Somewhere to go for peace and solitude, go hiking or birdwatching perhaps, enjoy wildlife? Or how about somewhere to go and listen to shooters killing the wildlife and filling the valleys and hills with the sound of gunfire…?

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National Trust and protecting wildlife

The Guardian newspaper has a piece today about how wildlife has repopulated closed National Trust properties (the Trust is one of the largest landowners in the country, and with over 5 million members potentially one of its most influential). It says that “The National Trust is reporting that emboldened wildlife, from raptors and warblers to badgers, otters and even orcas, appear to be enjoying the disappearance of humans from its gardens, castles and waterways across the UK“. Is this the same NT that facilitates illegal fox hunting on its land? Indeed it is…

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Guest Post | Forestry England, National Trust, and Fox Hunting

‘There are campaigns for an end to hunting on land belonging to both the National Trust & FE. Here’s an overview of the behaviour of the licensed hunts, along with the current and upcoming campaigning efforts calling on both landowners to ban hunting. Feel free to ask yourself whilst reading whether you think these so-called ‘trail hunts’ should be granted licences to hunt on government and charity-owned land.’ Guest post by Jack Riggall

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Peregrine chicks taken in Peak District nest raid

Another godawful headline (this time from the Derby Telegraph) for the ‘authorities’ that supposedly run the Peak District National Park – a supposedly protected landscape blasted by grouse shooting and a bottomless pit for wildlife crime and raptor persecution. No, there is nothing in the newspaper report that specifically points to grouse shooting for the removal of yet more Peregrines – it could have been Mark Avery’s fabled ‘nurses on a day out’ enjoying a spot of falcon theft what done it – and it could have been linked to pigeon flyers or wealthy falconers – but the fact is that the ‘dark peak’ area of this blighted part of the countryside is notorious for its gamekeepers and their tight hold over everything that comes in or out of the grouse moors, and (as Bob Berzins memorably put it in a stinging post on Mountain Hare persecution in the very same ‘national park’ just yesterday), “There is no video footage of gamekeepers shooting mountain hares but then again there’s no footage of them shooting raptors either. So we’re left to explain the gaps in our skies, our missing birds and mammals…Spend time in the uplands and it’s obvious what’s happening”.

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