Tag: grouse moors

Hen Harrier ‘disappears’ in the Yorkshire Dales

Another day and yet another appeal for information after yet another Hen Harrier disappears in the raptor sinkhole that is the Yorkshire Dales while shooting lobbyists issue yet another piece of classic obfuscation: “Just because yet another Hen Harrier disappears somewhere on a glorious grouse moor in the glorious Yorkshire Dales doesn’t mean we had anything to do with it. Anyway, it could still be alive – there was that one time, you know, when that one bird wasn’t dead, I’m sure I read about that in a memo once…” Etc etc etc…Grouse shooting. It’s nothing but the ritual massacre of wild birds, the slaughter of countless hares, foxes, corvid, mustelids, and an industry’s absolute unwillingness to sort out the infection of criminality that ensure this disgusting hobby is and always will be first in the frame when Hen Harriers ‘disappear’ on a moor in one of the worst places in the country for illegal raptor persecution.

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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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NE lobbying for grouse industry

We were planning to write about how Natural England (NE) has morphed into a better lobbying group for the grouse shooting industry than, for example, the anaemic Moorland Association (see NE’s beaming self-endorsement of a smattering of successful breeding Hen Harriers which has been widely cut and pasted in much of the mainstream media), but as so often happens Raptor Persecution UK (RPUK) got there first and did it far better than we could. However, Tony Juniper’s leadership of Natural England seems to have been one of the most disappointing post-appointment ‘volte-face’ in recent conservation history…

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Yorkshire Post | Mural protesting raptor persecution

North Yorkshire. How sad that for many of us the very name of what is undoubtedly a beautiful and evocative part of the UK, has become synonymous with the illegal persecution of birds of prey. Persecution to protect Red Grouse which moorland landowners flog off to the ‘have gun, will travel, don’t especially care what we shoot, and don’t especially care about your missing Hen Harriers‘ crowd. It’s such a shame. It’s become so bad that even local newspapers like the Yorkshire Post (a daily broadsheet published in Leeds and covering the whole of what used to be Yorkshire as well as parts of north Derbyshire and Lincolnshire) appear to have become highly irritated that wildlife criminals are turning their corner of the country into a byword for raptor persecution.

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Grouse moors | licencing slaughter

Licencing is touted as a way of controlling the chaos and dead wildlife of the grouse shooting industry. It would, apparently, involve a shoot obtaining an operational licence from a regulator which would, at minimum, have conditions attached mandating the shoot follows wildlife and environmental protection codes of practice and laws. Where there is evidence suggesting that a shoot has failed to follow those conditions the licence can be withdrawn, even if the evidence pointing to criminality is less than sufficient to merit criminal proceeding. Which sounds sort of reasonable, but let’s think about what that actually means for wildlife for a moment…

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£500k donation to Langholm Moor Community Buyout

Langholm Moor was put up for sale last year. Locals are proposing a buy out to take the moor into community ownership and manage the land as a nature reserve. This year’s online Hen Harrier Day pledged to raise donations for the Buyout and have now donated a very respectable £10,000. The John Muir Trust has donated £100,000. Even better news came this week in the shape of a huge donation by the Dunblane-based Carman Family Foundation, which was set up to assist with projects that both enhance biodiversity and encourage people to gain knowledge and enjoyment from the newly enhanced land (and which earlier this year helped the Woodland Trust to buy Fairy Glen, a short valley near Spinningdale).

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