/ Ban driven grouse shooting

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Mr Ed - on 29 May 2014
Dear All,

I know a lot of these things come up in different places and I know how easy it is to click away or not be interested but this is something that to me is important. Dr Mark Avery was the conservation director for the RSPB for 13 years and worked for the RSPB for 25. His petition calls for the banning of driven grouse shooting in the UK. Considering the apocalyptic impact on raptors and none-grouse wildlife carried out to 'manage' these upland areas it's a no brainer to me. The keepers lace the moors with poison to kill raptors slowly as they scare the grouse away on shooting days. On occasion (and unfortunately rarely prosecuted) they blast hen harriers and eagle owl, short eared owl out of the sky. All this to provide wealthy individuals with a days 'sport' of shooting some red grouse. I'd be against it even if the keepers hadn't vandalised my car for being on their 'open access' land. If you're uncertain please look into it but I urge everyone I know to sign the petition and share and comment on it in any media you like. With any luck we can at least get it debated in the commons.

Cheers

Mr Ed

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/65627
davidbeynon - on 29 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

I think you will have to wait until after the next election before anyone will listen.
Choss on 29 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

Done
llechwedd - on 29 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

Tighten up the policing and legislation, sure. Ban, no.

I'm not a shooter, nor am I a fan of the stereotypical cocks who seem to attend driven shoots.
Mr Ed - on 29 May 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

Why would you not ban it?
llechwedd - on 29 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

You've told us why you feel it's important to ban it, but, alongside Mark Avery, you've yet to suggest a costed alternative.

Sure, it would be nice to have rowan trees and black grouse everywhere, but what would it cost, and who will pay for it?

Like it or not, the countryside isn't a playground where hard economics don't come into the equation.
Mr Ed - on 29 May 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

Costs associated with the status quo:

Massive subsidies in form of farm payments going to extremely detrimentally managed upland moor areas.

Increased water costs due to poor management practices leading to high sediment loads which needs to be extracted chemically at water treatment works resulting in costs passed to water consumers.

Criminal actions of the keepers with tacit approval of the landowners.

Increased flood risk down stream of these areas due to drainage practices and lack of storage capacity as a result in upper catchments. This costs through the need for flood defences downstream and subsequent insurance costs.

Large greenhouse gas emissions through methane release and heather burning.

The extinction of iconic species and destruction of entire swathes of wildlife which should be protected by law.


If driven grouse shooting is banned alternatives could be:


Land managed in a different way for small numbers of sheep/cattle.

Better flood protection downstream where costs could be offset.

Nature reserves/nature education areas for everyone, not the wealthy 'elite'.

Better quality and cheaper water supply for those downstream.

People would pay to visit nature reserves and these could be very popular. Economics unfortunately does come into play you're absolutely right Llechwedd and i'm even not wholly against shooting for sport- small scale shooting on well managed land could be sustainable. What I object to is the bullying, criminal, irresponsible management practices of those who manage these estates to the detriment of everyone else.
mockerkin on 29 May 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

> You've told us why you feel it's important to ban it, but, alongside Mark Avery, you've yet to suggest a costed alternative.

> Sure, it would be nice to have rowan trees and black grouse everywhere, but what would it cost, and who will pay for it?

> Like it or not, the countryside isn't a playground where hard economics don't come into the equation.

All your three objections can be eventually sorted by changing rules and laws. Isn't there a current survey in Scotland about who owns what land? But the Scottish government doesn't have the bollocks to take on the landowners, especially estates owned by the royal family. Look at what Mr Ed says.
malk - on 29 May 2014
Nordie_matt - on 29 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:
Done and shared with friends

malk - on 29 May 2014
In reply to llechwedd:
> Like it or not, the countryside isn't a playground where hard economics don't come into the equation.

therein lies the problem..
why are you happy to see money rule the countryside?
Post edited at 19:36
llechwedd - on 29 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

> Massive subsidies in form of farm payments going to extremely detrimentally managed upland moor areas.

detrimental to what/who?

> Increased water costs due to poor management practices leading to high sediment loads which needs to be extracted chemically at water treatment works resulting in costs passed to water consumers.

Don't really buy this line at all.
Muirburn is over a large area, but I've never noticed it leading to much gully erosion and consequent high sediment loads in watercourses. Probably get a flush of phenols through though with surface vegetation burnt. A bit like most upland rivers in spate.
Contrast that with forest operations. But having said that, felling licences are only granted on condition that silt traps etc are sited as needed. Doesn't stop huge pulses of nitrogenous compounds entering the water though when cut vegetation begins to rot.
I'd imagine that hillwalkers themselves contribute substantially to the sediment loading of rivers through localised erosion.
Indeed, many are so keen to promote erosion that they avoid the rock bed of a path to trample the vegetation and soil alongside. In contrast to burning which stimulates new growth, continuously trampled heather doesn't stand a chance. Then we've the effects of mountain bikers, the access tracks, the windfarms...and presumably the RSPB visitor centres like that insensitive one planned for the Flow Country..

> Criminal actions of the keepers with tacit approval of the landowners.

If and when it happens then treat like other criminal acts in society.

> Increased flood risk down stream of these areas due to drainage practices and lack of storage capacity as a result in upper catchments. This costs through the need for flood defences downstream and subsequent insurance costs.

See my point above.

> Large greenhouse gas emissions through methane release and heather burning.

Definitely another source of gasses, but I wonder how it stacks up against alternatives. I'd bet that the village of trucks and mobile homes that accompanies 'Springwatch' on location every year chucks out a fair ammount:-)

> The extinction of iconic species and destruction of entire swathes of wildlife which should be protected by law.

Iconic to whom? Probably there are many in the RSPB who wouldn't recognise a hen harrier. It'd be good if someone better informed than me could point to quality research that categorically states that rogue keepers are the main factor in the bird's decline.

Entire swathes? No positives?

> If driven grouse shooting is banned alternatives could be:

> Land managed in a different way for small numbers of sheep/cattle.

Have you seen the price farmers get for meat? You mentioned how awful subsidies were earlier in your reply.

> Better flood protection downstream where costs could be offset.

Tenuous in the extreme

> Nature reserves/nature education areas for everyone, not the wealthy 'elite'.

Strange how some of the areas with wildlife 'designations' are ones that are shot over

> Better quality and cheaper water supply for those downstream.

Tenuous.

> People would pay to visit nature reserves and these could be very popular.

What I object to is the bullying, criminal, irresponsible management practices of those who manage these estates to the detriment of everyone else.

I would object to that too.
I went into forestry in the late 1980's because I felt passionately about the damage that was been done to the Flow Country by private forestry schemes which were a massive tax dodge for the wealthy and pensions companies. The RSPB were important in highlighting this issue. However, I think that moorland is currently best managed by the people who are doing just that (in spite of their sometimes reprehensible behaviour). I'm not saying it couldn't be better managed. But that would require more subsidies.. ( or the RSPB to spend some of its' many millions)


The Hen Harrier is a magnificent bird. I sat amongst the boulders on the summit of Glyder Fach and watched a male quarter the plateau. Just me and that bird. Easter Bank holiday weekend, one evening and all the visitors down for their tea.
llechwedd - on 29 May 2014
In reply to malk:

> therein lies the problem..

> why are you happy to see money rule the countryside?

Not happy. But that's life. I'm a pragmatist.
I used to go birdsnesting as a boy. From that, I developed my affinity for the rural bits of the British Isles. I was doing 'conservation' before it was commonly called that. I looked after my bit of the countryside.
I find that the 'conservation' agenda is nowadays set by people who want to meddle in things they know little about. Unintended consequences and all that ...
Society has deemed that bariatric surgery and nuclear weapons are higher priority.

Apathy rules. Hey, we're all consumers now, whether we like it or not.
llechwedd - on 29 May 2014
In reply to malk:

> how about just stopping the grouse shooting subsidy?



Fully agree with that one.
Antigua - on 29 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:
I was wondering...... is this about birds or about the fact that the small number of participants are probably public school educated, barbour wearing, Range Rover driving stinking rich toff's using 100k Purdey shotguns?

Will there be a similar petition at the start of the fishing season when little Johnny goes down to the canal with his 15 starter fishing kit from the local high street angling shop and kills a number of fish and leaves shot and hooks all over the place?
Post edited at 20:57
Alyson - on 29 May 2014
In reply to davidbeynon:

> I think you will have to wait until after the next election before anyone will listen.

Avery has timed the petition to run for a year, and be presented to whomever is in power after the next general election.
Mr Ed - on 29 May 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

> Massive subsidies in form of farm payments going to extremely detrimentally managed upland moor areas.

detrimental to what/who?

Hen harriers, Eagle Owls, Short Eared Owls, climbers who want access to crags on shooting estates.

> Increased water costs due to poor management practices leading to high sediment loads which needs to be extracted chemically at water treatment works resulting in costs passed to water consumers.

Don't really buy this line at all.

Do you know much about water treatment? United Utilities have specifically set up a scheme to try to reduce treatment costs through upland management interventions.

http://corporate.unitedutilities.com/scamp-index.aspx

Windfarms are a different argument!

> Criminal actions of the keepers with tacit approval of the landowners.

If and when it happens then treat like other criminal acts in society.

Unfortunately they are very rarely prosecuted.

> Increased flood risk down stream of these areas due to drainage practices and lack of storage capacity as a result in upper catchments. This costs through the need for flood defences downstream and subsequent insurance costs.

Flood risk and upland management are heavily linked (numerous examples) here is a link for one scheme.

http://www.energyroyd.org.uk/archives/4966

See my point above.

> Large greenhouse gas emissions through methane release and heather burning.

Definitely another source of gasses, but I wonder how it stacks up against alternatives. I'd bet that the village of trucks and mobile homes that accompanies 'Springwatch' on location every year chucks out a fair ammount:-)

I could attempt to do the maths? Not an unbiased source but should start debate:

http://www.stop-global-warming.co.uk/grouse.htm

> The extinction of iconic species and destruction of entire swathes of wildlife which should be protected by law.

Iconic to whom?

The people of the trough of Bowland who felt it was so iconic they used it as their logo but ironically have been eradicated in the region.

http://www.forestofbowland.com/

Probably there are many in the RSPB who wouldn't recognise a hen harrier. It'd be good if someone better informed than me could point to quality research that categorically states that rogue keepers are the main factor in the bird's decline.

DEFRA report good enough?

http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/pdf/jncc441.pdf

Entire swathes? No positives?

Not many imho...

> If driven grouse shooting is banned alternatives could be:

> Land managed in a different way for small numbers of sheep/cattle.

Have you seen the price farmers get for meat? You mentioned how awful subsidies were earlier in your reply.

The RSPB manage northern sections of the Pennines in this way and it seems to work though i'm not privy to the economics.

> Better flood protection downstream where costs could be offset.

Tenuous in the extreme.

Please see link above.

> Nature reserves/nature education areas for everyone, not the wealthy 'elite'.

Strange how some of the areas with wildlife 'designations' are ones that are shot over

We can but try...

> Better quality and cheaper water supply for those downstream.

Tenuous.

Please see SCAMP link above.

> People would pay to visit nature reserves and these could be very popular.

What I object to is the bullying, criminal, irresponsible management practices of those who manage these estates to the detriment of everyone else.

I would object to that too.
I went into forestry in the late 1980's because I felt passionately about the damage that was been done to the Flow Country by private forestry schemes which were a massive tax dodge for the wealthy and pensions companies. The RSPB were important in highlighting this issue. However, I think that moorland is currently best managed by the people who are doing just that (in spite of their sometimes reprehensible behaviour). I'm not saying it couldn't be better managed. But that would require more subsidies.. ( or the RSPB to spend some of its' many millions)

The RSPB is doing it's best in the Northern Pennines. But if you consider that 400K has been spent trying to protect the harrier in England with nest monitoring etc. To have satellite tags mysteriously disappear over adjacent grouse moors is heart breaking. On occasion too the RSPB have witnessed keepers shoot the Harriers here (I know I used to volunteer with them).

The Hen Harrier is a magnificent bird. I sat amongst the boulders on the summit of Glyder Fach and watched a male quarter the plateau. Just me and that bird. Easter Bank holiday weekend, one evening and all the visitors down for their tea.

Glad we agree on something...!
Mr Ed - on 29 May 2014
In reply to Antigua:

"I was wondering...... is this about birds or about the fact that the small number of participants are probably public school educated, barbour wearing, Range Rover driving stinking rich toff's using 100k Purdey shotguns?

Will there be a similar petition at the start of the fishing season when little Johnny goes down to the canal with his 15 starter fishing kit from the local high street angling shop and kills a number of fish and leaves shot and hooks all over the place"

I wouldn't have an issue at all if the people they employed obeyed the law of the land and the will of the people to see these laws enforced. I'd also prefer it if they did so at no expense to the population that currently subsidise their hobby. If they could manage the land to better protect downstream catchments from flooding so much the better.

We've had 60 years of protection for Harriers and the situation has never been worse. People worry about lions in Africa and Pandas going extinct. Hen Harriers are at risk of becoming extinct as a breeding population here in the UK.

I don't have much time for fisherman that discard line and tackle places either...
colin struthers - on 29 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

The poisoning of birds of prey is done by gamekeepers at the behest of the landowners who, if it ever came to court, would presumably deny all knowledge. Faced with the prospect of being sacked I rather doubt that many gamekeepers would dob their employer in in these circumstances. And yet it seems highly unlikely that poisoning would ever happen if gamekeepers were specifically instructed not to do so by the landowner.

So why not campaign to change the law so that landowners are held responsible for the actions of their employees on their land.

If a few of these bastards had to pay very heavy fines or even, joy of joys, to serve time I suspect the poisoning would stop rather swiftly.
llechwedd - on 29 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

> detrimental to what/who?

> Hen harriers, Eagle Owls, Short Eared Owls, climbers who want access to crags on shooting estates.

Just as not all climbers disturb nesting birds on crags, so not all keepers engage in persecution of endangered raptors. YOu'd have fewer still of these birds if the land was afforested.
Keep an eye on those eagle owls as well. They eat hen harriers

> Do you know much about water treatment? United Utilities have specifically set up a scheme to try to reduce treatment costs through upland management interventions.

I had assumed that the United Utilities management plan was partly in response to deep drainage of moorland, the adverse effects of which are well known. I may stand corrected, but I thought that this problem was more often associated with improving upland grazing and was formerly common practice in upland forestry. To claim that the scheme is because of driven grouse shoots is a little disingenuous. Thanks for drawing my attention to it though- Its a great scheme, and good to see it being enacted on a 'watershed' scale

> Flood risk and upland management are heavily linked (numerous examples)

indeed they are, but the issue is the way the upland is managed, grouse moor or no grouse moor.


> Iconic to whom?

> The people of the trough of Bowland who felt it was so iconic they used it as their logo but ironically have been eradicated in the region.

They're still around Bowland, much reduced, but there nonetheless. I don't go looking for them, but I also saw a female last year, west of Dunsop Bridge.

In Powys they have the Red Kite as their logo. There was much talk of poisoned carcasses after the time of their reintroduction and recolonisation ( two thirds of kite deaths were directly attributed to human action). But they seem to be doing OK now. Whilst I appreciate the wisdom of vigilance, I think a ban is over the top. Has its' pitfalls, but I'd prefer the idea of licencing grouse moors and the loss of the shoot should raptor persecution be proven.

> Glad we agree on something...!

We probably agree on a lot more regarding this.
Just that I don't view it as so black and white.

ads.ukclimbing.com
timjones - on 30 May 2014
In reply to malk:

> therein lies the problem..

> why are you happy to see money rule the countryside?

The countryside is not a playground or museum.

It's been a workplace for centuries. Money and work tend to go together.
llechwedd - on 30 May 2014
In reply to malk:


> why are you happy to see money rule the countryside?

Here's another view
http://www.moorlandassociation.org/grouse_shooting2.asp

Mr Ed - on 30 May 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

It's a lobbying group for the landowners. In the same way that the RSPB is a lobbying group for birds!

"Represents owners and managers of heather moorland in a wide range of negotiations with Government, nature conservation and other bodies. Moorland Association members comprise a wide range of moorland managers and owners, including farmers, utility and mineral companies, and national charities".

I really wish I could change your mind on this one Llechwedd. It's been good fun debating with you on this one though.
Mr Ed - on 30 May 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

> (In reply to malk)
>
>
> [...]
>
> Here's another view

I really love how they advocate their way of doing things due to the threat of red grouse extinction. That bit is priceless!
Post edited at 11:19
Choss on 30 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

> I really love though how they advocate their way of doing things due to the threat of red grouse extinction though. That bit is priceless!

Me Too. They are so endangered, we do our bit to help by Killing them for money.
Matt_b - on 30 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

In North East France two weeks ago, every day I saw Hen Harriers, Montague's Harriers and even a Pallid Harrier one day. I have never had such good views of these birds. I have still yet to see one in the Forest of Bowland away from one of those ironic signs...

The habits were farmland, not moorland. Why do more Harriers not nest outside of moorland in UK? Is it that there isn't enough set aside farmland for them?

Mr Ed - on 30 May 2014
In reply to Matt_b:

Matt,

They tend to feed on small rodents so may well be able to be supported on farmland in France- agricultural types and practice would come into play- I would suspect though that they could nest in meadows or the like.

Their territories are considerable though and unfortunately here in the UK invariably contain open grouse managed moorland. Hence the reason why they couldn't establish themselves on non grouse moors. If the RSPB could keep them away from these areas they would but unfortunately you track them on satellites and then they get to a grouse managed moor and strangely disappear...
llechwedd - on 30 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

> I really love how they advocate their way of doing things due to the threat of red grouse extinction. That bit is priceless!

I don't see the problem -
Killing is not the same as massacring.
Because the (wild) grouse fulfill a use (sad to say, but true), they are encouraged to thrive. Some of them are then shot- if they were not there, they would not be shot.

By similar economic forces, (Wild) Salmon are repopulated in rivers of Britain. Anglers lobby and pay towards such programmes. Probably, your average person wouldn't see what all the fuss is about. There's plenty of salmon in cages in sea lochs, and they're cheap to buy.
Such farmed salmon are cited as a contributory factor to the demise of the wild salmon. But 'we' don't really care.

But, cue the equally majestic 'skydancer' that is the hen harrier- we don't eat it, or shoot it for sport, so we have little personal investment in it (unless you're Mr Ed, who understandably feels connection with the species).
However, we're told that some people who are relatively wealthy, and who emphasise their outgroup status by and shooting/eating grouse, are implicated in the demise of the hen harrier. It's a no brainer ( or maybe I should say no frontal lober).
BAN IT.

However, it's a dynamic system that the hen harrier operates in- forces that encourage it, forces that hasten its' demise.
As I see it, the RSPB and the people who manage moorland for grouse, act as a check on the excesses of the other.

How many hen harriers would be enough?
How much would each one cost if the 'ban it' lobby were able to enact their future of a moorland with lower financial returns?

and what about the eel, the crayfish, the.... & etc ?

Mr Ed, I admire your passion for this topic and you suggested in your opening text that people try and read up on or find out about the subject.

Whilst there will always be activists, I dislike what I see as the creeping influence of the internet hypocrite, feeling they've thought through the subject because they clicked 'like' on 'say no to (whatever righteous cause)' before they go back to ordering more useless stuff, tax free from Amazon.
To my thinking, this way of shaping the debate is more likely to produce outcomes with unintended consequences, with no one to pick up the pieces when it goes wrong. A short termism and atomised response to countryside issues rather than a mature discussion of how we are all implicated.






Choss on 30 May 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

Theres nothing Hypocritical about people signing online Petitions against things like Shooting. Many more people than the activists Naturally feel antipathy towards people who kill animals for pleasure, and when they come across a way to express that and Maybe help challenge the status quo, they Take it.

Its small Step Change, and a simple increasingly effective thing people can do to help.
Moley on 30 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

If you believe in a ban, fair enough, your prerogative. But you have to provide a viable alternative solution for the land. These shoots are on private estates which have to make money and pay wages.

What would you do to provide a similar income for the estate and employment for the full and part time people who work on it - some of whom have lived there for several generations? No doubt you and that sorted?

Dave Perry - on 30 May 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:
At first glance a ban might be the solution but I'm not too sure.

What would banning driven grouse actually achieve? No shooting on the moorlands? OK, what happens next? No need for burning, no need for predator control no need for keepers (perhaps?), no need for moors?
Without the burning they'd be few golden plovers, curlews, and believe it or not few grouse. All these thrive species on moorland managed for grouse. I survey a bit of moorland exclusively 'managed' for the Hawk & Owl trust. (Fylingdales Moor (On a 2km transept I might record on average 2 grouse. On a grouse moor it may well be 20 - 30!!!). There are certainly less iconic moorland birds on this bit of moor! And no breeding Hen Harriers, or as far as I know, short eared owls either. (Not enough grouse to feed them on perhaps?) Oh and the Hawk & Owl trust employ a keeper to shoot the fox, crows and other 'vermin'. You can't have it both ways.

As a landowner what else do you do? Turn it all over to forestry perhaps? Although I'm not sure if this is a possibility if the land is an SSSI.

Nature reserves. Who would pay for what you can legally visit anyway? What would you see? Even in areas I've visited with reasonable numbers of Hen Harriers (Southern Ireland & Forest of Bowland) you don't see large numbers of short eared owls or Hen Harriers. MOst of the public couldn't tell the difference between a moorland managed for grouse or one managed for Hen Harriers anyway..

Turn the place over to sheep? Well, that might not be the best idea. When there were headage payments for the number of individual sheep you had many overstocked moors were severely degraded. The subsidies are now based on the land acreage so this is less of a problem. But sheep don't give you much income and need a lot of management. You certainly cannot keep sheep on moorland all winter so you need a considerable amount of grassland for forage during winter.

Without the sheep or the grouse there's no need for the burning so virtually all of the UK uplands would turn into a thin cover of birch, willow, & scots pine (or other species if alternative donor forests are close), In areas on the North York Moors national park, there are ungrazed areas that are now heavily populated by trees, where once - 40 years ago - I recall open moorland. That would (might?) be quite nice. But then there'd definitely be no grouse. No Curlew. No Golden Plover - and no emperor moth! Or heather. Oh, and certainly no hen harriers once the moors had sufficient trees.

Increased policing? Probably. But who pays and how would this be done? If I own several thousand acres of upland moors whose going to catch my keeper drive the land-rover up close enough to a harriers nest so the bird deserts the eggs until they become cold? And how would you prove my keeper did this deliberately anyway? But there';s no need for subtly. How will you possibly find and follow my underkeeper, who lives in the village, at 5am on a spring morning as he drives the quad bike up onto Black Moor Head and destroy the harrier eggs? I think he'd notice the police in a fluorescent livery range rover following him. He should do because he'd certainly notice the idiots following him in another quad bike trying to photo his every move.

Not all keepers are bad. I know one keeper not far from my house who is quite happy to allow a pair of Goshawks to nest locally even though they probably scoff a fair few grouse and/or their chicks every spring. I also know a game keeper instructor at a college and he's pretty convinced that the problem isn't just keepers but other factors (in the case of the harrier).

Enough!! Its Friday night!!!! I don't particularly like shooting, especially by idiots who can't tell a Hen Harrier from a Marsh Harrier - or care. But then how many hillwalkers/climbers can either? ;-)

But signing the petition might just worry the estate owners/managers enough to take any pressure off their keepers to destroy upland bird of prey species.
Post edited at 20:42
Mr Ed - on 02 Jun 2014
In reply to Moley:
> (In reply to Mr Ed)
>
> If you believe in a ban, fair enough, your prerogative. But you have to provide a viable alternative solution for the land. These shoots are on private estates which have to make money and pay wages.
>
> What would you do to provide a similar income for the estate and employment for the full and part time people who work on it - some of whom have lived there for several generations? No doubt you and that sorted?

Please see posts above outlining my position.

Just out of interest why should people have a right because their family have been there generations to flout the law of the land? Or even dare I say it expect a job?

I also have an issue with your statement:

"These shoots are on private estates which have to make money and pay wages."

Private land yes but heavily subsidised by the public who shouldn't be expected to tolerate abuse of the law and subsidise criminal behaviour.

Mr Ed - on 02 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:
Dave,

Thanks for taking the time to put together such a well thought out response. You raise a number of really good points.

Just a few points:

I think people would pay. People are members of the RSPB for examble and I have paid to gain access to wildlife reserves before. They can be a fantastic resource for education too.

Land management I have an issue with. It's almost a separate debate. My view is that driven grouse shooting has led to a poor situation in terms of ecology for some of the UK's most prized landscapes. What to do with it in terms of management is almost a location by location decision. No one size solution fits all but I'd argue that driven grouse shooting is detrimental to a number of different groups as I've hopefully outlined in my posts above.

I'd agree with sheep density issues.

I'd totally advocate increased policing. Or a policy of vicarious liability and HEAVY fining.

I fully admit not all keepers are bad but you can hardly argue that their track record is good! I'd argue it's attrocious (if you look at raptor persecution and not numbers of grouse braces).

Your last point has a lot of merit.

Once again thanks for your input.

Cheers

Mr Ed
Post edited at 13:17
Moley on 02 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

> Please see posts above outlining my position.

> Just out of interest why should people have a right because their family have been there generations to flout the law of the land? Or even dare I say it expect a job?

> I also have an issue with your statement:

> "These shoots are on private estates which have to make money and pay wages."

> Private land yes but heavily subsidised by the public who shouldn't be expected to tolerate abuse of the law and subsidise criminal behaviour.


Yes, I see your position but I'm far from convinced that you have a viable alternative economically, mainly advocating small scale farming on not great agricultural land and public nature reserves. We are looking at an area of about 1350sq miles in England & Wales + ??? in Scotland and I'm sure you have seen the various quoted figures for jobs, income etc. That is a lot to find without even worse damage to the environment (over grazing for instance).

Regards jobs, I think your comment about "right to flout the law of the land" is way over the top and a gross generalisation. Probably you have never worked and lived in the countryside on an estate in a tied cottage, believe me workers do not want to "flout the law", they want to get on with their jobs(whatever they are), bring up children and survive the same as everyone else - without being made redundant and evicted from their house or left jobless. Yes, I think it is good if these people stay on the land and in their jobs and even better if one generation hands over to another.

Regards subsidies, not much different from all farming land is it? I don't hear of many farmers turning down subsidies, much of which is for doing virtually nothing, and much goes to giant businesses that certainly don't need it. No, I can't blame grouse estates for taking what is on offer so long as it's legal, and again you bring up "abuse of the law and subsidise criminal behaviour". Such a big generalisation, each sentence you tar everyone with the same brush and then say "I fully admit not all keepers are bad". You know full well that they are not all bad and criminal, but some are.

I agree with you there are problems and they need sorting, but I don't go for a ban because I believe the alternatives may possibly be worse for wildlife and environment.

I take it you have no objections to walked up grouse shooting or falconry on grouse? Sorry, just splitting hairs, couldn't resist it!

toad - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Moley:

I take it you have no objections to walked up grouse shooting.

Now that is an interesting point. If you look at how grouse are shot in other countries, you see a very different picture. The habitat is much more diverse, the wider ecological damage is much more minimal. It isn't the shooting of grouse per se that is the problem, it is the intensive management of the grouse moors, the agressive keepeering and the driven shoots. Interestingly, the nordic model suggests grouse don't need grouse moors at all - they have a much more scrub woodland habit, but of course you wouldn't get the density of birds a driven shoot requires for the economics to work
Mr Ed - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Moley:

Thanks for your input Moley.

The RSPB employ people in the Northern Pennines to manage their land. They're not gamekeepers admittedly so jobs are still there on non intensive grouse moor managed land.

"Right to flout the law of the land". I don't think it's a gross generalisation at all. Bad gamekeeper practice is documented heavily all over the UK. Banned poisons are still regularly found in the possession of gamekeepers. Gamekeepers have been videod clubbing to death Buzzards on estates and to be honest the numbers speak for themselves. England has territory for 300+ pairs of Hen Harrier. The numbers breeding last year. Zero. They've been systematically destroyed. That doesn't suggest a few bad apples but flagrant disregard for their protected status from a group that has a huge number of opportunities to address bad practice and hasn't done so.

Regards jobs you're absolutely correct that i've never lived/worked in a tied cottage. I've lived rurally near those areas for a great deal of my life though and know the good and bad practices that go on. Gamekeepers shouldn't have the threat of eviction over them if they don't break the law for the number of braces but I don't doubt it goes on. Vicarious liability is the way forward and hit the wealthy landowners where it hurts most in their wallets. I don't agree that people should have a right to a job just for heridatary reasons. I've had to move from an area i'd like to have stayed due to a lack of jobs. Why should anyone have a 'right' to a job? Or practice ways because that's the way it's always been?

Farming land is a little different in my opinion. Smaller amounts of land. Less wealthy landowners. Smaller estates. Entirely different economics at play- another debate, another time imho.

They take the subsidies that are legal and with the money they persecute and destroy much of our ecological heritage which is illegal. If you want to convince me otherwise show me some evidence of gamekeepers actually changing their practices or give me some examples of good ecological management? I think you might struggle.

My view (you're welcome to try and convince me otherwise) is that it would be hard to get much worse in terms of ecological practice than that of the land management practices associated with driven grouse moor shooting. It appears to me (and i've tried to back it up with evidence outlined above) that these practices can and should change. I don't believe a ban would be worse for wildlife and environment.

If the land was better managed with no illegal practice then no I wouldn't be objecting to walking up grouse shooting or falconry on grouse.

Again thanks for your input into the thread.

Cheers

Mr Ed

Mr Ed - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

An update on the situation from Mark Avery.

http://markavery.info/2014/06/03/wrong/#comment-93701
jack_44 - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

Having worked on an estate in Scotland I couldn't think of anything worse than banning shooting. The gamekeeper was sympathetic and the amount of buzzards and red kites was high, there were also Osprey and hen harriers. If shooting was banned, the estate would no longer support the farms on the estate, or manage the moorland.
Jobs and livelihoods will be lost, as well as large amounts of grouse and other moorland fauna and flora. I know this maybe stands against the general feeling in this thread, but the countryside is managed with vested interests. If Moorland wasn't managed then it would just disappear, and there isn't the money around for the moors to be managed for no financial benefit.
Choss on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to jack_44:

They dont need managing, let them go wild, and Biodiversity will increase Dramatically.
Springfield - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

I bet it's mainly 'city slickers' that think it should be banned, just like the anti hunt lobby.

Country sports are a vital part of rural commerce, not just in the country sports themselves but in all the associated wealth they bring to the countryside and the country as a whole.
e.g. someone comes to Scotland to shoot grouse, they use taxis, hotels, pubs, buy local craft items, buy some clothing etc......
ads.ukclimbing.com
Choss on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Springfield:

You do realise that consistently 75 to 80% of people Oppose hunting. Thats a lot of city slickers... plus Hang on, plenty of signs on field gates in places Like the Cotswolds saying no hunts on this Land, including my uncles farm... so, not just city slickers like the dwindling animal killers of the so called countryside alliance have people believe.
Andy Moles - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to jack_44:

> If Moorland wasn't managed then it would just disappear

Who benefits from the preservation of moorland, other than the people who shoot? It's a limited ecosystem that's artifically sustained for the benefit of a few, at the expense of natural regeneration that could support far greater biodiversity.

Tom V - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Andy Moles:

Who benefits? People like myself who enjoy the moors for their own intrinsic beauty.
I don't think I'm alone in this, even though there seems to be a significant number on UKC that would like to see the Peak District and the Lakes covered in woodland again.

jack_44 - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

The moorland areas of Britain are indeed a non-natural habitat in terms of the primeval forests that covered this Island once, but over centuries and centuries they have become a uniquely British habitat, which if not managed and left to be covered in scrub woodland and the like I doubt they would be more biodiverse. Without managed moorlands the Grouse will disappear (not just red), golden plover, merlin, dotterels possibly. Then you have all the birds that rely on moorland bogs. Then you have the loss of an ancient and unique habitat that draws tourists and revenue to an otherwise 'backwater' area. For the sake of large areas of scrub woodland of Birch tress and rowan, as the ex-moorland area is too desolate for a large range of native deciduous and coniferous trees.
I live on the edge of the NY Moors, and I know which I would prefer between the current Moors and a swathe of empty woodland.
Tom V - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to jack_44:

I'm with you, J44
Andy Moles - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to jack_44:

> I doubt they would be more biodiverse.

According to a study of the Cairngorms, wooded habitats are about 13x richer than heather moorland, and 11x richer than grassland, in terms of nationally important species. Is it so radically different down south?

Source: http://www.tsoshop.co.uk/bookstore.asp?FO=1160013&ProductID=9780114973261&Action=Book

Mr Ed - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to jack_44:

I'm not saying revert it to scrub. I'm saying obey the law and manage responsibly. If managed in a better way I think it would be much more diverse on pretty much every scale. Again look at the links I posted above (eg. SCAMP) with regard to the wider implications for catchment management etc.






Mr Ed - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Tom V:
> (In reply to Andy Moles)
>
> Who benefits? People like myself who enjoy the moors for their own intrinsic beauty.
> I don't think I'm alone in this, even though there seems to be a significant number on UKC that would like to see the Peak District and the Lakes covered in woodland again.

Would you not enjoy it more with a short eared owl flying feet above your head? Or spotting a Hen Harrier working a moorside majestic in flight? That's what you miss when you advocate the status quo. That is what you'll never experience if you support driven grouse moor practice.
jack_44 - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

I do fully believe that they need to be managed responsibly and think that well managed moorland provides a unique habitat that, without it, we would see the disappearance of many moorland species.
jack_44 - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Andy Moles:

That's an interesting study, as I think (I could be wrong) that freshwater harbours the highest species diversity of all habitats, but I wouldn't suggest deforesting large swathes of this country's remaining woodland to dig a lake!! Diversity in habitats provides the greatest diversity of fauna and flora surely?

On the other hand, has there been a study into the richness of species diversity in out of town shopping centres and large conurbations? And how richer woodland is than your local Tesco mega-store? I believe habitat destruction is the greatest threat to this country's biodiversity, not the shooting of a few grouse.
wintertree - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Andy Moles:

> Who benefits from the preservation of moorland, other than the people who shoot? It's a limited ecosystem that's artifically sustained for the benefit of a few, at the expense of natural regeneration that could support far greater biodiversity.

Well they make a nice change - visually and biologically - from intensively farmed arable land or intensively grazed meadows. In my area there is a totally artificial border between meadows or monocrop pine forests and moorland, and if it wasn't being used for grouse I am sure that the border would move as the pines and the pastures expanded.

Like it or not, properly wild land is at a premium in the UK, and with the population growing at 550,000 people per year, there is only ever going to be less wild land as the pressures of feeding and housing everyone rise.
tony on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to jack_44:
> I live on the edge of the NY Moors, and I know which I would prefer between the current Moors and a swathe of empty woodland.

Why would woodland be empty?
toad - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

> (In reply to jack_44)
>
> I'm not saying revert it to scrub. I'm saying obey the law and manage responsibly.

This is the root of the problem, I think. Currently none of the British parliaments have a handle on how to control mismanagement of grouse moors. Neither do the regulatory authorities. Certainly NE have yet to face up (or maybe more pertinently face down the aggressive and well funded estates when it comes to the basics like inapropriate burning, never mind the actual illegal activities. despite the adverse publicity - which for a protected species issue is massive !

I think the moorland vs woodland argument is a red herring. There are many more processes at work than just the burning, and it's unlikely that a peat upland would rush to woodland succession - the climate, the inherent wetter conditions, other grazing animals would all slow the process right down.

However I don't think anyone is expecting an outright ban, but it allows the Moorland Association and its fellow travellers room to protest if they play it as such. I'd be happy with a much better regulatory regime, with controls on the fencing, the tracks, the mis management and more appropriate and proportional penalties for illegal actions. As many people have already said, it's an economic activity.

So we need to make the mismanagement and the illegal activity uneconomic.

Edited for hamfisted typing
Post edited at 16:09
Andy Moles - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to jack_44:

> I wouldn't suggest deforesting large swathes of this country's remaining woodland to dig a lake!

No, but I'm sure you see the difference!

I understand the aesthetic and ecological concerns of moorland not being managed at all. Maybe I'm being too idealistic to think it could be managed better than it is under an agenda driven by shooting? Maybe there isn't the money, as you say - or maybe there just isn't the willingness in the right places to spend it?
jack_44 - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Andy Moles:

It is an interesting topic; managing under a different agenda other than shooting. You may be right regarding the willingness, after all its not high up in the parliament's agenda to look into habitat management.

I agree with 'wintertree' that an ever expanding population will increase the pressure on the land. Unfortunately, greenbelts are fast disappearing and what has been previously wild land could look very different in ten or twenty years time.
Dave Perry - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to jack_44:

You need to keep your ears and eyes open more!

I carry out bird surveys on both moorland and woodland on the north York moors.

As any person with a passing knowledge of wildlife will tell, woodland contains far more diversity in insect, flora and fauna than species poor heather upland.
jack_44 - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:

I can imagine, but I wouldn't like to see the disappearance of our Moors for this reason!
Dave Perry - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to toad:

The grouse in the Uk is a separate species. There's no grouse in europe. It is replaced by the willow grouse. A bird which as you say, lives in willow and other scrub.
Tom V - on 03 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:

If you value diversity in the true sense of the word, you will appreciate both heather upland and woodland, regardless of how rich they are in terms of flora and fauna. I would love to experience the Sahara as much as an equatorial rain forest, and hope I would be able to appreciate the former,in spite of its lack of "biodiversity".
toad - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:
> (In reply to toad)
>
> The grouse in the Uk is a separate species.

I'm not a geneticist, but no it isn't.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Tom V - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to toad:

My book says you are both right!
Both Red and Willow are lagopus lagopus, but it does differentiate them as British and European because of their colouring.
Dave Perry - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Tom V:

Well that saved an argument Tom!!.

I suppose the real issue here isn't whether we value moorland or woodland (or desert). Its about whether those who encourage grouse shooting should be allowed to get away with killing many birds of prey including Hen Harriers and the like.

toad - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:
> (In reply to Tom V)
>
> Well that saved an argument Tom!!.
>
> I suppose the real issue here isn't whether we value moorland or woodland (or desert). Its about whether those who encourage grouse shooting should be allowed to get away with killing many birds of prey including Hen Harriers and the like.

Agreed - this is the most important point, although there are related discussions around the management of these moorlands as well, without neccessarily reverting to moorland/woodland arguments
Moley on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

Catching up on this thread, away fishing yesterday.

My comment on walked up grouse was rather tongue in cheek, but I found an Economic study of grouse moors by the Fraser of Allander Institute (2010). I haven't read it all, but of the 92 upland estates that replied to the survey, I found this for the 2009 season:

Driven days - 238
Walked days - 197
Over pointer days - 68
Other - 77 (I'm guessing falconry or ??)



Which actually puts driven days grouse shooting at 41% of the total.
For the period 2005 - 2009 driven days were only 35%.
Surprised me and food for thought if you wish to specifically ban driven grouse shooting. Obviously loads of other factors involved, but interesting. Lots of other facts and figures in there, but we could argue till the cows come home on each and every one of them!

I know the hen harriers subject always rears its head, the only thing I have never understood or had explained properly, is why the RSPB as an organisation do not have hen harriers on their moorland reserves (they must have some?) and why they do not breed on all the other moorland that is not grouse moor - there is a lot of that.
I'm not denying the impact of keepers on their persecution, I am simply a sceptic that keepers are the sole problem.

I have only ever once been on a grouse moor, some years back, a friend of ours has an estate and small moor in Scotland. He has an OBE for work in conservation around the world and worked tirelessly to try and improve his moors and grouse population by natural methods - including liasing with RSPB. There are good people out there, hence tarring them all as "bad" rather gets my hackles up!

My views on jobs are really that when you move people off the land and working on the land, they are usually replaced by people who are not of the land. My personal experience is that this is not always the best for a working country environment or community. But that in itself is an entirely different subject, leave it for another time......"Why townies are ruining my rural community"......should make for a lively thread!
toad - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Moley:

Interestingly I was trying to track down this paper (which I now have) but en route I came across a SNH summary of this research - "Assessing the economic impacts of nature based tourism in Scotland".

http://www.snh.gov.uk/docs/B720765.pdf

Only seen the summary document, but the figures suprised me in terms of wildlife tourism in the broadest sense field sports were reckoned to contribute £136million pa. Walking/adventure activities were about 3 times this - a smidge over 700millions, and if we include landscape and scenery (= coach tours?) non hunting activity was £1.25billion! which on a very superficial level means the economic argument becomes less compelling
Henrycuillin on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

I see, you would like to see the countryside to go to rack and ruin, see grouse die out, see deer starve to death because there are too many on the land, nice guy you are. Burning also increaces the food for other species such as pippits. There are very strict laws on burning, if your estate borders a resevoir you are not allowed to burn but instaed you have mow it and bale it, has Dr Avery ever been onto a grouse moor? Field sports in general is great for the economy, creating jobs and bringing in 136 million per year, just think before you sign anything like this.
Mr Ed - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Henrycuillin:

No I want to see responsible management and gamekeepers obeying the law and moving on from Edwardian agricultural practice. I really don't think it's too much to ask.

Dr Avery frequently visits grouse moors- please examine his blog and examine some of the links that i've put up in the thread.

I suggest you read a little more and come back with some more evidence though for someone so young it's good that you're engaging in debate.
butteredfrog - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Henrycuillin:

Rack and ruin? Why promote a mono-culture as a good thing? A managed grouse moor is as diverse as a field of Wheat. The Deer and Grouse populations are kept artificially high as targets.

Are you suggesting that bio-diversity is a bad thing? Surely a broad spectrum of Flora and the whole eco-system that it creates would be a good thing, no?

Adam
Mr Ed - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Moley:
I used to volunteer on the Geltsdale RSPB reserve in the North Pennines. Essentially the Hen harriers have nested there in the past but as they can't see the boundary between safe and non safe moor when they've strayed into neighbouring intensively managed grouse moor they've either a) been shot (balaclava'd individual on one incident apparently witnessed by volunteers) or b) strangely disappeared with a subsequent failure of the nest.

Work in places such as you mention with enlightened management practices are beacons of good practice and as such I have absolutely no issue with. I do have issue with the gamekeeping profession as a whole though because imho they haven't done enough to weed out bad practice or the 'bad apples' frequently referred to. The fact that England has space for 300+ pairs of Hen Harrier and there were no succesful nests last year speaks volumes to me. The shooting fraternity really need to get their house in order though as you say the estate you refer to and the one I think Jack_44 referred to earlier in the thread does give me a little more hope.
Post edited at 13:15
toad - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Henrycuillin:

> (In reply to Mr Ed)
>
if your estate borders a resevoir you are not allowed to burn but instaed you have mow it and bale it

Contamination of drinking water from grouse moors has the potential to be a big problem - it's related to the carbon released from peat eroded after being degraded by inappropriate burning - and the opposition to any restriction on burning is very vociferous. Come to that, we haven't touched on climate change have we? Grouse Moors can release an awful lot of carbon through draining and burning.

on the other issues - grouse wouldn't die out, it's about economics and population densities for shooting. As for deer, the estates really need to sort this one out to reduce population densities - again it's about economics, not animal welfare.
Post edited at 13:25
Lusk - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to toad:

I was reading this the other day, has some interesting points...
http://www.kinder-scout.co.uk/introduction.html
toad - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Lusk:

I've seen some of those guys at conferences - they've set themselves a big task. Although in fairness, kinder's problems are mostly due to historical overgrazing (and industrial pollution from Manchester).
Moley on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

> I used to volunteer on the Geltsdale RSPB reserve in the North Pennines. Essentially the Hen harriers have nested there in the past but as they can't see the boundary between safe and non safe moor when they've strayed into neighbouring intensively managed grouse moor they've either a) been shot (balaclava'd individual on one incident apparently witnessed by volunteers) or b) strangely disappeared with a subsequent failure of the nest.

To me, this begs the question: Why haven't the RSPB managed a moorland for grouse (and other species) and managed to rear and keep the harriers on their ground by making their moors more attractive? Surely this would be such a coup for them, to show that moorland could support grouse and harriers together?

I have seen hen harriers here in Wales (lovely birds), which are nowhere near grouse moors and very few wild grouse about. I'm only mentioning this as I consider myself lucky enough to have see them.

More questions than answers, but interesting non the less and debated in a civilised manner.
Mr Ed - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Moley:

Thanks for your continued input into the thread.

The RSPB have done exactly what you mention. Much of the data for Hen Harriers and grouse moors come from a study at the Langholm estate in Scotland which allowed Harriers to live on the moor while number of grouse were monitored.

http://www.langholmproject.com/

Unfrotunately the enlightened approach demonstrated by the project hasn't had much trickle down. Many of the Langholm Harriers disappear when the reach the North of England grouse moors.
Moley on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

Yes of course, the Langholm project, I am aware of it but not in depth. Thanks for mentioning it again.

Funny how these problems are also mirrored in the world of fishing to a certain extent. Predators coming into conflict with fishing interests (especially highly commercial ones, a more modern phenomenon).

Cormorants are seen as a big problem inland now, increased goosander population on upland rivers (salmon, seatrout, trout spawning areas) and even otters are coming under some serious pressure for culling. Not in the remit of this thread but I think the same principals apply - conflict, money.

Pissing down with rain here, but time to force myself out the door for a short run, a wet Welsh countryside is still better than a sunny town in my book!
Henrycuillin on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to butteredfrog:

The deer populations are not kept high due to the fact that creates unhealthy deer, if there are a lot of deer there is not enough food for them and so they become unhealthy and therefore they cannot make money. Grouse numbers are kept high, but some peoples livelihoods depend on that. Grouse moors managed for grouse are also beneficial for local wildlife because vermin numbers (such as foxes and crows) are kept down which increases the opportunity for ground nesting birds to breed. Bio-diversity is not a bad thing, anyone knows that, but grouse moors and estates in general are places where animals of all types can live. Regeneration of trees is becoming increasingly popular with estates and more trees that ever are being planted, creating more habitat for animals such as capercaille and black game.
Springfield - on 04 Jun 2014
> You do realise that consistently 75 to 80% of people Oppose hunting. Thats a lot of city slickers... plus Hang on, plenty of signs on field gates in places Like the Cotswolds saying no hunts on this Land, including my uncles farm... so, not just city slickers like the dwindling animal killers of the so called countryside alliance have people believe.

In reply to Choss:

That stat came from a survey of 1900 people that was carried out and reported in the guardian, it established that 76% of people they asked were against Fox hunting, your stats are bollocks.

In the US, for example, 76% of people support legal hunting- and in the US the survey was massive - millions of people asked

I live in the Cotswolds and your ascertation that there are plenty of signs saying 'no hunts here' is total nonsense. I have cycled thousands of miles all around the cotswolds and have only seen 2 in all that time. In fact in most rural pubs up and down the Cotswolds there is still a lot of anger that 'city folk' are running rural communities from London
Choss on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Springfield:

plenty more surveys done over Decades, not just one.

Whats the US got to do with it? Those savages still have Legal bear baiting in some states. Do you want that here as well?

Hunters are a dying breed. Thank god. The anger in rural pubs you Talk of Stems From impotence in the face of Decreasing public Acceptance of their Legalised Barbarity and, and increased Opposition to cruelty.

Tally Ho :-D
Springfield - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Choss:

> plenty more surveys done over Decades, not just one.

I haven't found a single one that supports your claims - with enough respondents to class as credible.

> Whats the US got to do with it?

not a lot, it's a relevant statistic though

> Hunters are a dying breed. Thank god. The anger in rural pubs you Talk of Stems From impotence in the face of Decreasing public Acceptance of their Legalised Barbarity and, and increased Opposition to cruelty.

No, it stems from townies not liking the realities of country living.

(see articles about increased livestock attacks and losses attributed to fox numbers)

> Tally Ho :-D

M0nkey - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Choss:

i LiKed YoUr usE of Capitals at RandoM

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Mr Ed - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Springfield:

I have a bit of an issue with this in relation to the thread

"No, it stems from townies not liking the realities of country living."

Why should any person condone the illegal poisoning of protected status wild raptors with banned pesticides because it is

"the reality of country living"?!

No it's criminal and outrageous and it should stop.
Mr Ed - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Henrycuillin:

> (In reply to butteredfrog)
>
> Bio-diversity is not a bad thing, anyone knows that, but grouse moors and estates in general are places where animals of all types can live.

Sounds like a utopia! Except that's not my experience in North Cumbria. Hen Harriers and numerous other species that are thought to impact negatively on brace numbers are exterminated. Illegally.
Post edited at 16:57
Choss on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Springfield:

Tough, the townies are Coming!

And Better than that, every year organisations Like the League against cruel Sports, and RSPB buy up more and more of your Precious countryside and actually manage it as countryside, not some sad Monoculture denuded Habitat.

And guess what, its the rural folk themselves thats selling them, and the townies the Land and homes. Its no good Lining your pockets with townies money, then nipping down the dog and duck Having a parochial moan about it.
toad - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Springfield:
Drifting way off topic, but I don't think the townie/ bumpkin argument is particularly helpful. Most people are on a sliding scale - lots of country people have bog all idea of how parts of the countyside work - farmers who can't tell a daisy from a dandelion if it isn't a combinable crop. Similarly many "townies" have an excellent understanding of the dirty end of country life. It isn't just about wise country dwellers and supermarket shoppers not knowing what blood is.

eta
I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. Isn't part of the problem with grousemoor management that the people who own them live in the Cotswolds?
Post edited at 17:08
malk - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to toad:

who owns these Moors anyway? what right do they have to set traps etc?
Dave Perry - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Henrycuillin:
"
"The deer populations are not kept high"

Sorry, but I think you are wrong Henry. One of the principle reasons for the poor or non existant regeneration of caledonian pine forest is deer browsing. There are so many Red Deer in Scotland that they regularly graze on the mountainsides, despite normally being woodland creatures.

"Grouse numbers are kept high, but some peoples livelihoods depend on that"

Does that make it excusable or acceptable to destroy birds of prey??


Aren't you contradicting yourself Henry by saying, ..."grouse moors and estates in general are places where animals of all types can live", just after stating..."Grouse moors managed for grouse are also beneficial for local wildlife because vermin numbers (such as foxes and crows) are kept down which increases the opportunity for ground nesting birds to breed".

Where do vermin fit into the biodiversty bit then?

Clearly grouse moors don't benefit 'vermin'. I assume by which you mean, Hen Harriers, Short Earred Owls, Golden Eagles, Red Kites, Buzzards, Crows,Magpies, Ravens, Stoats, Weasels, Foxes, Wildcats, Tawny Owls and anything else that threatens grouse numbers.


Henrycuillin on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:

Only very few game keepers kill birds of prey on purpose, they know it is illegal to do so however, some irresponsible ones do it. Unfortunately, these create a stereotype which clueless people seem to love. I am strongly against this practice as I love to see birds of prey, my mother used to keep them. One of the best experiences of my time outdoors has been a golden eagle taking flight from six feet in front of me (while I was deer stalking). I would also like to point out that actual vermin, foxes and rats, are only kept low and not totally eradicated like people think they are.
Fiskavaig on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

Done
Choss on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Springfield:

Bye bye hunter boy, youve already lost

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQtmPqVerys

Mr Ed - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Choss:

Thanks for your input Choss but i'm not sure that the video you posted encourages positive debate and discussion.

toad - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Ed:

yes, I think the debate is a mite more nuanced than that (and the fox in the song is a meta-fingy, not a real fox)
Mr Ed - on 09 Jun 2014
Just bumping this up really. Is there anyone else I can try and convince of the benefits of signing this?

Cheers

Mr Ed

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