Search Results for: national parks

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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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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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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Another Peregrine poisoned on a Peak District grouse moor

Another day, and the RSPB are having to write yet another press-release (posted below) describing yet another dead Peregrine found poisoned inside one of our so-called ‘national parks’ – the notorious ‘Dark Peak’ region of the Peak District National Park, a raptor persecution hotspot dominated by grouse farms and patrolled by gamekeepers. This particular Peregrine was found next to a baited Wood Pigeon by a fell runner nine months ago, and the toxicology results have only just been released. Not Carbofuran this time, but another favourite of the ‘professional poisoner’: bendiocarb, a constituent of the infamous ‘Nidderdale Cocktail’. Why the delay in letting the public know about highly potent illegal poisons being used in an open area with public access is not currently known. Let’s hope it’s a Covid-related issue and not ‘shielding’ of a more sinister type…If you would like to help stop this in the future, please learn to Recognise incidents of wildlife crime, learn how to Record them properly, and always Report them: even if nothing seems to be done immediately, it does help establish a pattern and help to ensure that the ‘professionals’ know we’re out there watching them.

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North Yorkshire | Yet another Buzzard found shot

Another day, another dead Buzzard. Hard to believe that all birds of prey have been protected for more than sixty years. How have we come to this? We live in a denuded country with such small wildlife populations they should be a national embarrassment but where killing wildlife is still an everyday event. Law enforcement is spotty and convictions are extremely rare. On the huge grouse farms in our so-called ‘national parks’ wildlife crime underpins driven grouse shooting (it’s unprofitable if birds of prey aren’t illegally stopped from taking Red Grouse). Pheasant shoots routinely complain about the ‘explosion’ in raptor numbers. Even our major nature charities won’t condemn the very same shooting industry that wants licences to remove ‘nuisance’ Buzzards…

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The Law and using decoys to shoot birds (applies even in the Yorkshire Dales)

Brazen. Some criminals just don’t care who sees them. That’s perhaps hardly surprising given how incredibly difficult it is to get a conviction in court. But in yet another tale of everyday wildlife criminals working in one of our so-called ‘national parks’ (many of which are actually essentially privately-owned grouse shooting moors, you know those things you can visit under a generous ‘exemption’ the government gave to its donors) a ‘man’ was filmed using a tethered bird as a decoy which is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act Section 5 (d) – despite what some people would like to claim on social media. Well, we’re always pleased to help, so in case this issue crops up again, here’s what the law says (and we’ve even bolded the relevant text for people who are just too busy killing foxes, weasels, or birds of prey to read the whole page).

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Nada Farhoud | Daily Mirror’s Evironment Editor attacked online

“I’ve been called a liar, accused of being in the pocket of anti-bloodsport campaigners and not understanding the countryside because I live by the sea. And apparently I have an agenda because I like birdwatching.” The Daily Mirror’s Environment Editor Nada Farhoud describing the reaction from pro-shoot lobbyists to an article she wrote looking at moorland burning last week. As we and others predicted, shooting was bound to turn to the usual unfounded and personal attacks: she is a liar, townies don’t understand, she ‘just’ wants shooting banned, blah blah, blah. While Nada hasn’t gone into specific details it’s not difficult to speculate which other lines shooting’s attack dogs might also have crossed.

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Ireland | Zero tolerance approach to hedge-cutting

We have never really appreciated hedgerows. Wildlife corridors, nesting areas, larders in the winter, refuges and places of safety, according to “Hedges’ by Pollard, Hooper and Moore, hedgerows were perhaps grubbed up or cut down at a rate of some 3,000 miles per year in the immediate post-war period (1946-63). The RSPB say that “since the Second World War, hedgerows have been removed at a much faster rate than they have been planted. In some parts of the country 50 per cent of hedgerows have gone, while others are so badly managed that their value to wildlife is much reduced”. The loss of managed hedges appears to have been halted by the 1997 Hedgerow Regulations Act. Nevertheless, as we have reported on this site many times, hedgerows are still being ‘de-natured’ by ‘tidying up’, extensive flailing or even being ‘netted’ by developers to prevent birds from nesting so they can avoid potential prosecution under the Wildlife & Countryside Act. The problem (as so often) is lack of enforcement – Unless, that is is, you live in Ireland, where (on the surface at least) protecting hedgerows seems to be taken far more seriously…

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