National Gamekeepers’ Org linked to another convicted wildlife criminal

NGO auction catalogue 2014 front cover - CopyRegular blog readers may recall us writing previously about the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation’s unwillingness to expel a member who had been convicted of poison offences (see here).

We found this interesting, especially as the NGO is an organisational member of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW UK) – supposedly committed to helping tackle wildlife crime. Refusing to expel a member with a criminal conviction for, er, wildlife crime, should surely have resulted in PAW UK booting them off the Partnership? Apparently not – the NGO is still there.

And now we have evidence of the NGO’s connection with another convicted wildlife criminal – Michael Wood. We blogged about Michael Wood yesterday – he’s the pheasant/partridge/duck breeder in North Yorkshire who was found guilty of permitting the use of a banned pole trap at his breeding facility – Westfield Farm. In fact, a total of FIVE pole traps had been found there, but two of Wood’s employees escaped a criminal trial because North Yorks Police decided their crimes only merited a police caution.

Thanks to some investigative work by one of our blog readers (Marco McGinty), it turns out that the NGO accepted a fundraising donation from Michael Wood for their 2014 auction. Now, Wood hadn’t been convicted of the pole-trapping offence at that time, but he had been convicted, along with his company Yorks Sports Ltd., of seven offences under the Wildlife & Countryside Act in 2011 – these offences related to the unlawful release of thousands of pheasants (for shooting) which caused ‘significant damage’ to a noted conservation area in the Farndale valley (see here). So why did the NGO accept a fundraising donation from him in 2014?

NGO auction catalogue 2014 Mike Wood donation - Copy

Not only that, but as we mentioned yesterday, the NGO’s PR and political advisor, Charles Nodder, is also the Game Farmers’ Association’s contact for media and political enquiries. The current Chair of the Game Farmers’ Association is…..Michael Wood.

And let’s not forget the NGO’s recent attack on another PAW UK partner organisation – the RSPB (see here).

Isn’t it time the PAW UK Steering Group is asked to justify the continued membership of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation as a partner member of PAW UK? Let’s ask them. Emails will have to be sent to the PAW UK Secretariat and ask for your message to be forwarded to the Steering Group. Emails to:  We’ll be very interested to hear what the Steering Group has to say.

14 thoughts on “National Gamekeepers’ Org linked to another convicted wildlife criminal”

  1. To:;

    Dear Sir/madam,

    PAW UK, through NGO, covertly complicit in wildlife crime?

    In the light of the continuing breaches of trust by the NGO (National Gamekeepers Organisation) regarding convictions for offences against wildlife, why is the NGO still allowed to be in partnership with the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW UK)?

    Being under the “umbrella” of PAW UK gives the NGO the guise of respectability and makes the whole Partnership appear suspect.

    I look forward to receiving a satisfactory explanation of this growing enigma.

    Also, it would be democratic if you were to ensure that the PAW UK Steering Group were kept fully informed of the wildlife abuse convictions of people that remain current active members of the NGO.

    Yours sincerely,

  2. I am also a partner in PAW and am disgusted that the NGO are allowed to remain members, they should be removed now as this is a farce, XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX. Disgraceful.

    1. I can guess what you were trying to say chrissiesowls, and I totally agree. Please keep up the very good work that you are doing.

  3. Last year I did over eighty wild owl and bird of prey rescues in Oxfordshire, this year I have already done eleven, this includes raptors that have been poisoned, shot and just the other week a Tawny Owl that had been caught in a trap, it’s leg almost severed, which our local WCO is investigating as it is very near to a shooting estate.
    I am only a small rescue and I fund it myself with the help of other people’s generousity, I am alarmed at the increase in raptor persecution and the pressure it puts on people like me who are left to deal with the aftermath of these crimes. I will continue to do all that I can and fight for these wonderful birds.
    Please sign and share my petition and help get the people who continue getting away with it locked up.

  4. My email to the PAW:

    Please forward this email to PAW steering group.

    I am enquiring about continuing membership of wildlife criminals in the National Gamekeepers Organisation. That being that the NGO suggest that they are trying to stamp out wildlife crime especially raptor persecution that is too common amongst shooting estates.

    They are clearly unwilling to expel convicted criminals from their organisation. While the criminal element continues to use illegal traps, banned poisons and shootings to kill protected birds of prey.

    Why does the NGO remain as part of the PAW, when they do so little to stop the crimes happening? It is almost as though they condone the crimes?

  5. On lighter note what is going on in that photo? Can anyone tell me what the furthest couple are up to? Are they having a wrestle? Or is he just giving her a dead leg?

  6. A response from Jane Withey, DEFRA.

    Thanks for your email.

    A number of people contacted the PAW Secretariat about the National
    Gamekeepers’ Organisation’s position in PAW. All of them were similar to
    yours. This is the first time that members of the public have contacted
    the Secretariat requesting the removal of an organisation’s membership.

    The PAW Steering Group considered this at its meeting on 4 March and
    whilst noting your concerns, requested that you send any evidence that
    you have and the reasons why you believe the NGO is behaving contrary to
    the objectives of PAW to an existing PAW member. If you can persuade one
    of them to accept your evidence/views, they can then submit this to the
    Steering Group for discussion at its next meeting. Any positive
    contribution which the NGO makes to PAW will also be considered. A list
    of PAW partners can be found at:

    Kind regards


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