SNH reveals reasons for general licence restrictions on Raeshaw & Burnfoot Estates

Raeshaw Corshope GL restriction map 2015Last week we blogged about the implementation of General Licence restrictions on parts of four properties: Burnfoot Estate & Wester Cringate Estate in Stirlingshire, and Raeshaw Estate & Corsehope Estate in the Borders (see here).

At the time, SNH did not reveal the reasons for the General Licence restrictions, other than to say “There is clear evidence that wildlife crimes have been committed on these properties” [since 1st January 2014, when the new regulations were enacted].

We speculated that the General Licence restrictions at Burnfoot and Wester Cringate in Stirlingshire were related to the poisoning of a red kite (July 2014), a poisoned peregrine (Feb 2015), and the illegal trapping of a red kite (May 2015).

We had no idea why the General Licence restrictions had been implemented at Raeshaw and Corsehope in the Borders, because there hadn’t been any publicity about any recent raptor persecution crimes in this area.

However, last Saturday (7th November 2015), a bit more information was revealed during an interview with SNH Wildlife Operations Manager, Robbie Kernahan, on the BBC Radio Scotland Out of Doors programme.

Amongst other things, the presenter asked Mr Kernahan directly about the reasons for General Licence restrictions on these four properties. Here’s what Mr Kernahan said:

Stirlingshire GL restrictions:Relates to some issues associated with poisoning birds of prey, birds of prey being found poisoned in that location, and illegal use of traps“.

Borders GL restrictions:There are issues about the illegal placement of traps“.

No further explicit detail was provided, although there was a general wider discussion about the use of General Licence Restrictions and their deterrent value in tackling raptor persecution.

The interview can be heard here for the next 26 days (starts at 02:15; ends at 09:06).

12 thoughts on “SNH reveals reasons for general licence restrictions on Raeshaw & Burnfoot Estates”

  1. Very interesting to listen to this radio interview and how it will affect the future for birds of prey on these estates that have been notified that their general licences are being rescinded.

    Another matter of interest is relating to an individual on these estates applying for a general licence as they seem to be entitled to do.

    In previous blogs you mentioned that SNH said that anyone applying for such a licence would be closely monitored. The question was asked then about what that actually meant?

    Can you clarify that it just doesn’t mean that the ‘application’ will be closely monitored by SNH or does it imply that the individual’s actions in their place of work will be monitored?

    1. “In previous blogs you mentioned that SNH said that anyone applying for such a licence would be closely monitored. The question was asked then about what that actually meant?”

      Closley moniotred by who exactly. Its the lack of monitiring that has allowed these estates to kill wildlife with impunity for manay many years.

      Removing the OGL is a welcome step in the right direction but lets not lose sight of all the wildlife crime s committed that have gone undetected. Ask yourself what incidents have led to the removal of the OGL.

      Dont lets kid ourselves that the removal of the OGL will stop them committing further offences…… wont, and why not. Because both these estates need to produce surplusses of grouse and killing predators or perceived predators is what they do.

      The history of Raeshaw in particular is an absulute disgrace.

      Dont for a minute listen to the absolute nonsense that SNH spouts from behind their centrally heated offices………………………………… many places have they “closely monitored”?

      Its partly because of them that we are in the situation

  2. We can only hope that the “snares” are catching the criminals now. The noose is tightening. Or will they just carry on as normal, killing willy nilly with total disregard to the law?
    Monitoring will be difficult without frequent unannounced spot checks.

  3. Doug, they will simply carry on as normal until one of them is jailed for the maximum period the law permits. Sadly I am now far too old to believe in miracles any more! Seems a long time since we sat in a hide together watching and photographing our Barn Owls. Happy days!

    1. Hi Tony, Sad but unfortunately the estates will continue to live in their Victorian ideals.
      I still get great pleasure from bird watching and the odd photograph. On the Western Isles and coast of Scotland, Hen Harriers and both species of eagles entertain me, along with so much else. It is great to see such birds without the fear of their imminent death if they lived in Bowland etc.

      1. Have to agree. Practically every ‘conservation’ step emanating from the field sports sector has to involve predator ‘control’. Hedgehogs in trouble kill badgers, salmon in trouble kill seals, otters, goosanders, mergansers, cormorants, capercaillie in trouble kill pine martens etc, etc, etc. The Bert Burnett school of ecological management – a species in trouble then comprehensively slaughter anything that happens to feed on help wildlife by murdering it !?! Never the problem of course that the land is knackered, too few trees and due to aggro from the deer stalking estates if you want to restore forest on your land you’ll probably be pushed into expensive deer fencing – limiting the area that can recover and causing fatal bird strikes. The same characters that are bemoaning supposed loss of black grouse and caper to predators are the ones pushing for deer fencing which is fatal to them. The Victorian attitudes never went away and are obviously being inculcated into a new generation with extreme vigour.

  4. Raeshaw and Corsehope are in the Heriot Community. There is a Heriot Community Council meeting on 18/11/2015 @ Macfie Hall 7pm all welcome to show our disgust at the situation. I will certainly be there, however the community council has another landowner on it and an officer of the GWCT, I expect the situation at Raeshaw and Corsehope to be brushed aside and forgotten about. Please get in touch if I can help in any way.

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