Search Results for: national parks

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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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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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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