Search Results for: ban bloodsports

Hen Harriers return to Wharfedale moorland

Well, well, well. Who could possibly have predicted this etc etc. In what must be one of grouse shooting’s worst-case scenarios coming true, a previously ‘dead’ moorland that banned grouse shooting activities (ie high levels of raptor persecution and rotational burning) has reportedly sprung back to life, birds of prey have started to roost, and peatland habitats have begun to regenerate. After all the time and money grouse shooting’s lobbyists have spent telling us that without the skilled management techniques (ie high levels of raptor persecution and rotational burning) of the ‘conservationists with guns’ Britain’s uplands would simply curl up and waste away…Nonsense, of course. Kudos NG Bailey, and kudos the Yorkshire Post and journalist Grace Newton for continuing to speak up for wildlife in a region that has repeatedly been acknowledged as the worst for raptor persecution in the UK

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RSPB launches burning reporting website

The RSPB is today launching a website where members of the public can submit their records of managed burning in northern England’s uplands as part of showing the Government where burning is still taking place. The charity will then analyse the records to see if they’re likely to be on peat soils (to indicate where blanket bog should be) and in protected areas (SSSIs, SACs). An IUCN report on peatland estimated that the UK may host between 8.8 and 14.8% of Europe’s peatland area and about 13% of the world resource of blanket bog. They state that though blanket bog has a species-poor assemblage it “contains an exceptionally high proportion of species with legal protection under UK and European conservation law“. Blanket bog forms the largest expanse of semi-natural habitat in the UK, but almost three quarters of peatlands in England are already damaged or degraded, according to Natural England, with burning a key driver.

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Kirklees council backs plans to stop grouse moor burning

In what is starting to look like a flood (one, ironically, caused just like the downstream floods in eg Hebden Bridge by gamekeepers), yet another council in northern England has backed plans to ban the burn – the routine destruction of the uplands to engineer habitats to allow shooters to kill more grouse. Kirklees, a local government district of West Yorkshire on the edge of the Peak District ‘national park’ (a notorious raptor persecution hotspot), joins Wakefield, Sheffield, York, Doncaster and Calderdale Councils in calling for a ban. The call comes as the grouse moor burning ‘season’ opens again, with a considerable area of grouse moors in the Wessenden Valley expected to begin being set on fire by shoots. Yesterday the RSPB again renewed its own call for peatland burning to stop to protect scarce habitats and wildlife.

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Channel 4 News exposes ‘wilful blindness’ of grouse shooters

“No-one seems to know about it…”, says Channel 4 News reporter Alex Thomson as yet another grouse shooter on The Duchy of Lancaster’s Goathland Moor walks away claiming to know nothing about the illegal killing of a Goshawk by a gamekeeper on the very same moor just a few months ago. The superb Raptor Persecution UK popularised the term ‘wilful blindness’ to characterise the head-in-the-sand attitude of the entire shooting industry when confronted with wildlife crime and boy was it ever on show last night…

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Mayor of Doncaster calls for end to grouse moor burning

In the last two weeks both Wakefield and Calderdale Councils have announced their intentions to push for a ban on burning moorland within their boroughs. Now the democratically-elected Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones CBE has written to the government urging Defra to deliver the burning ban “to help stop flooding in communities on the River Don”. Given the major floods in Fishlake and Doncaster, which sit downstream from the Peak District, at the end of last year, this request can only put more pressure on the government to act.

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Three gamekeepers ‘suspended’ over killing of goshawk

The media stories triggered by the filming of a ‘masked man’ killing a Goshawk, one of the UK’s rarest and most persecuted birds of prey, continue to build. Today the Yorkshire Post is reporting that three gamekeepers have been suspended (note ‘suspended’, we discuss this in the full post). Firstly though, Goshawks are routinely killed on shooting estates, so why has this bird made the headlines?
Four elements stand out that have probably helped this particular case gain traction…

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Goshawk ‘killing’ was filmed on one of Queen’s grouse moors

A couple of days ago news broke that a ‘masked man’ had been filmed killing a Goshawk on an estate in North Yorkshire. At the time the name of the estate was being withheld as a story was being prepared for a major newspaper. That voluntary embargo has now been lifted. An article with an accompanying video was published just after midnight this morning in The Times which was headlined “‘Killing’ of rare bird of prey filmed on one of Queen’s grouse moors in North Yorkshire”. The incident took place at “Goathland Moor in North Yorkshire, part of the Duchy of Lancaster”.

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RSPB consultation on gamebird shooting: Wild Justice response and our thoughts

Recently the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (the RSPB, once the UK’s only wildlife charity focussed entirely on birds, but now promoting itself as the organisation that gives nature a home – so the Royal Society for the Protection of Biodiversity perhaps?) held a consultation on so-called ‘gamebird shooting’ – the use of – er, birds as target practice. They have drawn up seven draft principles, ostensibly to help determine whether/how the RSPB should review its policy on game bird shooting and associated land management.

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