Bowland Brewery subjected to hate campaign for supporting hen harriers

Bowland brewery HHEarlier this year, the Bowland Brewery in Lancashire committed to donate a proportion of the proceeds from the sale of its Hen Harrier beer to the RSPB’s hen harrier conservation projects (see press statement here).

James Warburton, owner of Bowland Brewery said: “The hen harrier is a living symbol of Bowland Brewery’s intimate connection with the landscape where we produce our beers.

The very real prospect that this beautiful bird of prey may disappear from the skies above the Forest of Bowland is unthinkable. That’s why we are committing to donate a significant sum of money each year to safeguard the future of one of Bowland’s most iconic residents.

As the harriers return to the Bowland Fells to nest this spring, we hope to see nature-lovers visiting the area to marvel at their amazing skydance and celebrate with a pint of the beer these rare and precious birds inspired.

By buying Hen Harrier by the pint or in bottles, locals and visitors alike will be making a positive contribution to hen harrier conservation in Bowland – and ultimately helping the population to grow.”

bowland breweryRecently, this photograph of Chris Packham and Mark Avery enjoying a pint of Bowland Brewery’s Hen Harrier beer, was posted on the Bowland Brewery’s social media platforms (twitter and facebook). As a result, some individuals from the grouse-shooting industry have launched a hate campaign aimed directly at the Bowland Brewery.

Bowland Brewery’s facebook page was targeted with a torrent of fake reviews, resulting in a drop in their overall review rating. Comments posted on facebook by the grouse-shooting trolls included:

“Get this off tomorrow or we will hound you”.

“They drink with the devil. Destroy the business!”

“Side with Packham and the knife comes out”

“They thought going with Packham was good. Now they must feel the pain”

“Shut them down. Anti shooting”.

“You can run but not hide. Hammer em!”

“Shut down the business. Shut down, boycott, whatever. Get Bowland Brewery outed”.

“Get hold of the boss and tell him to mend his ways. Otherwise we will crush em”.

Nice guys, eh? Wonder how many of them making threats have a shotgun/firearms certificate? There are some known gamekeepers involved in this hate campaign, including the Head Gamekeeper of Millden Estate in the Angus Glens, Bert Burnett from the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (who wrote “Well done everyone”) and some of the comments have been ‘liked’ by the official facebook page of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation.

All slightly ironic from an industry that has recently accused Chris Packham of ‘celebrity bullying’ (see here) just because he’s politely asking Marks and Spencer to be transparent about their claims that their red grouse are produced ethically and sustainably (see here).

It’s also ironic that this hate campaign against the brewery comes from an industry that purports to be interested in protecting rural jobs. The Bowland Brewery is a small business, employing local people, in a rural community.

If you want to show your support for the Bowland Brewery and their ethical and charitable support of hen harrier conservation, please consider buying their beer. It’s available in various local outlets (see here) and can also be bought online (see here).

If you want to support the campaign to ban driven grouse shooting, because it’s the only way hen harriers will be allowed to thrive in the English uplands, then please join 65,000 others and sign THIS PETITION.

97 thoughts on “Bowland Brewery subjected to hate campaign for supporting hen harriers”

    1. Me too Peter. I’ve just left a 5* review/comment. It seems that Andy Richardson has been stirring again and has initiated the hate-filled posts against the brewery.

      1. Andy Richardson – oh well there’s a surprise. Not so long ago a wildlife rescue centre in Wales posted a picture of a juvenile cucloo that had come in misidentifying it as a kestrel. He had a field day mocking them for that, people who donate time, effort and money helping injured wildlife being ridiculed for a not so bad and probably temporary mistake. One of Richardson’s charming buddies added the lovely comment F***wits (they didn’t use asterisks mind). Richardson wasn’t quite so hard himself though when he posted one of his narcisstic videos in which he berated the RSPB for its supposed mismanagement of Mar Lodge Estate. A very serious criticism indeed considering Mar Lodge is owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland. We know who the real bile brigade are.

        1. Interestingly, within the past couple of hours he has changed his fb to private. Hopefully, this means the Brewery has contacted the police, they are investigating the incident and he is very worried, as he rightfully should be.

          1. Yes, I couldn’t get on it either! I would have thought that those putting fake reviews on any website would be sailing very close to committing a criminal offence.

          2. Ah, Richardson has then clearly displayed the typical behaviour of a coward – shout from afar, then do a runner and hide.

  1. Aye, nice people right enough.

    They’re not content with carrying out widespread persecution, trying to get people sacked, or just blatantly lying on the whole, they’re now resorting to acts bordering on terrorism.

    Hopefully the Bowland Brewery have informed the police, and swift action will be taken against those trying to bully and intimidate.

  2. I do hope they have all use dtheir real names, as it makes it so much easier for the Police to identify them. I do hope that Bowland Brewery report each of them

  3. Forgot to mention that I was reading some nonsense recently on the shooting pages, and apparently there are people going around Scotland reintroducing Goshawks and Pine Martens just for the sake of it.

    A lot of these shooting types really are dim-witted in the extreme!

  4. I will support these and we all need to do the same to help those that make the right decisions. Perhaps at some time we should compile a list of the good and the bad-so that we can at least make an informed choice.The ethical consumer website might help us.

  5. Like Caro, I have just bought a case online and suggest others do likewise. I’ve also posted this story on FB & asked others to follow my example. In addition, I have emailed a message of support to Bowland Brewery. Anyone know who I can email in the CA?

  6. And the shooting folk behind this hate campaign refer to normal, rational people like us as the “bile brigade”…

    I’m teetotal but will buy some anyway.

  7. Bile; hate; aggression. Maybe these poor people can’t help it? If they are eating lead contaminated game, perhaps they have been affected?

    The evidence does seem to be stacking up. Thank goodness lead has been banned in paint & petrol. I also believe it affects fertility. Several of my male ancestral relatives, who were housepainters in Victorian days when paint was lead based, although married never had any children. Their brother, my ancestor, who was a miner, had a large family.

    Anyway, lets all support Bowland Brewery and hope the extra publicity, far from being damaging, results in improved sales of Hen Harrier beer. My husband likes it anyway!

    1. “Bile; hate; aggression. Maybe these poor people can’t help it?”

      It all comes down to the fact that the majority of these types are sociopaths. They regularly reveal the traits of sociopaths, including certain aspects of the MaDonald Triad, which appears to be alive and well in their adult lives.

    2. Carole, if you don’t already know, look into the history of the Hot Baths in Bath, Somerset, particularly ‘Devonshire Colic’.

      1. No, I’d never heard of Devon colic! Fascinating. It also seems the cider manufacturers tried to defend their lead contaminated product as well. Modern parallel in denying the dangers of lead-contaminated game by the shooting industry. Why is game meat exempt from the regulations that other meat has to comply with?
        Thanks SOG.

  8. For the first time in human history, there has arisen a part of humanity, represented world wide and across many cultures, that shows a deep and committed concern to save the other life forms with which humanity shares the Earth, from cruelty and death from many forms of abuse. Arraigned against that force of compassion, there are many who act harmfully towards animals, and the whole natural world. Shooting game birds on a large scale, poaching and trophy shooting endangered species, using animals in circuses and in certain badly designed and managed zoos, unmonitored slaughterhouses and factory farms, illegal pet trade, blood sports and bullfighting, laboratory experiments, and many more forms of ill-treating other creatures, have brought into existence many organisations to campaign against animal cruelty and the conservation of wild species, along with the protection of essential habitats. Surely some approach by the management of all our charities working to save from pain and from extinction, whereby, in some matter of deep concern, there could be a coming together to get those members who may have an interest in forming a common concern. That common concern would create good Samaratin attitude to epiphanise all, and henceforth, all welfarists and conservationists would coalesce and make the Government see that one area of gross and impertinent criminality requires immediate attention. That corrupting and nullifying of the law by powerful interests, who mock and threaten when some celebrity like Chris Packham or a company such as the Bowland Brewery, make a humane appeal to save our Birds of Prey, and to donate the resources to campaign more effectively. When a man like Donald Trump can become a landowner, as that man once did in Scotland’s Cairngorm area, and use it as a shooting estate, then Scotland does need a more revitalised attitude from its Governments; one that recognises, despite the blusterings that shooting estates contribute so much to our economy, that not just anyone should own or manage integral parts of our natural landscape, and do as they please. The future for any country in this world, is now painfully apparent, is to ban all excessive hunting and to eliminate poaching of wildlife. If not, then we will have created an extinction as bad as any asteroid strike would create.

    Donald Trump and his ilk have made the USA a horror story for its wildlife, with many species under severe threat, such as the Grizzly, the Wolf, Mountain Lion, Wolverine, from an obsessive hunting lobby that wants all opposition to their killing deer. Our shooting estates are their counterparts here, with pogroms of Mountain Hares and Birds of Prey. Trump was eventually persuaded to sell up through the efforts of Olympic runner and rambler, Chris Brasher, and his former estate is now part of the Cairngorm National Park. Scotland has an opportunity to become the first country in the world to eradicate industrial scale slaughter of game birds, and to effectively reduce in size, if not eliminate, if nonconformity to the law is experienced, the centuries old grip of excessive hunting has had. Our politicians have been woefully lacking, in the main, in seeing the need for the teaching of humane education and respect for life, in our schools and further education. If the Government can attain targets to cover the land and seascapes with wind farms to make Scotland free of fossil fuel use, then surely it can use similar fervour to challenge and overcome the “industry” that appals all humane thinking people, the cruel suppression of our wildlife. Those who support the various political parties should pressure their respective representatives on this subject, as should those of religious persuasion to help save the creatures of God’s wonderful creation. How can all our wonderful conservation charities ask other countries to save their willdlife when we have such an anomaly here in Scotland and the rest of the UK, of our law enforcement not being able to effectively deal with protected species? How can anyone derive pleasure from the mass killing of birds and other animals, without conscience? It exhibits a contempt of Life. The Bushman can hunt to survive, but the trophy hunter kills for perverse pleasure and ego enhancement.

    1. I love your posts! I can see no reason at all why the present government should worry about the livelyhoods of those involved in work on estates, after all, they would sacrifice a much higher number of jobs at Faslane at the drop of a hat!

      1. Very few jobs, if any, would go at Coulport and Faslane. Considering the MoD has admitted that only 520 civilian jobs in the area are dependant on Trident, it doesn’t seem as bad as UK media regularly make out, with their wildly exaggerated claims of 11,000 jobs being lost, whilst at the same time explicitly ignoring the fact that in an independent Scotland, the area would be the major base for the Scottish Defence Forces.

        Of course, with the removal of nuclear weapons in an independent Scotland, this would open up the Clyde oil fields for exploration and extraction, leading to many more jobs than Trident or its successor can provide.

        1. ‘ the Clyde oil fields’

          Oh my giddy aunt.

          It’s ages since I heard anyone mention the secret oil fields.

          It’s good to know there’s still one true believer still out there.

          1. I think you will find that there is wide recognition that there is oil in the Firth of Clyde, or at least there is great potential for the area to hold oil.


            Of course, in your mind, it’s all in my imagination that BP sought exploration rights for the area in the 1980s, and that the Tory government of the day blocked any moves to drill in the area.

            Another wonderful dividend of being shackled to the corrupt, dysfunctional union that you so strongly believe in, the very one that doesn’t give a damn about Scotland and its people.

            1. I think you’ll find that the secret oil fields are mostly in the Central Belt and require fracking to exploit them.

              That’s a bit prosaic for the moon howlers, but there you go.

              Regarding your last sentence, replace the word ‘Scotland’ with ‘England’ or ‘the UK’ and it could have been written by Nigel Farage.

              And would have been just as daft.

              1. That’s right, just ignore the evidence, and keep on spouting your nonsense.

                In all your time as a contributor to this site, have you actually contributed anything that could be considered worthwhile? Or is it your sole aim in life to troll websites?

                1. You seem to have confused this site with one whose primary purpose is to spout nationalist claptrap.

                  You are the one who has been posting about secret oil fields on a thread related to the behaviour of the shooting fraternity.

                  1. Deliberately ignoring the evidence again, and deliberately manipulating the history of the conversation. That is incredibly discourteous of you, but then again, it wasn’t unexpected given your past trolling history.

                    My initial reply to heclasu was designed to counter any fear or worry about job losses at Faslane, whilst at the same time putting across the case that with the removal of Trident (and the cancellation of its successor programme), the west of Scotland could possibly see far more jobs created in the long term.

                    However, it is plain for all to see, that you refuse to accept evidence, even when it’s placed right in front of you, and that makes you no better than the criminal apologists from the shooting industry.

  9. I note you reported Burt Burnett of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association wrote supporting the hate campaign. What an odd thing for a member of the SGA to do when the SGA is a members of PAW, whos members are supposed to be working together to stop the serial persecution of birds of prey on grouse moors!

  10. Ignore these ‘arseholes’ and keep up the donations, most people will know these ‘dickheads’ are not worth listening to.

  11. I am always keen to look for redeeming qualities in people, however, I have never come across a group of folk like them.
    Their base emotion is to hate.
    All you have to do is look at their internet presence and it becomes clear that raptors and conservationists are not the only subject of their hatred. Religion, homosexuality, politics and women are all subjects of their unbridled scorn. I have no doubt that some of them will form the subjects of police scrutiny for their public hateful behaviour, it looks like they ignore more than wildlife laws.

    1. Spot on it’s very disturbing. The raptor persecution goes way beyond a simple, selfish belief that it will mean more game birds get shot for fun. Are they jealous of predators, pissed off because they are better hunters than them? If the general public who get force fed the Countryfile guff about custodians of the countryside caring for wildlife saw what gets written on their fb pages, shooting fora or in this case what they are doing to a brewery that posted a picture of two people they don’t like, any positive public image would irredeemably shatter. The pictures Angus Moorland Group post of their keepers looking after a sick swan (lead poisoning?) would become a sick joke. Throw in the stories of intimidation and aggression in rural areas towards those who don’t quite tow their line (which in the light of this seem believable and inevitable), the fact these people are responsible for how huge areas of our country are ‘managed’, that they have firearms and make remarks like ‘Syrian refugees would make good targets on the rifle range’ and there must surely be a need to air this issue publicly.

  12. Despicable behaviour, an unbelievable abuse of the brewery, I’ve just order a pack of bottles online.

  13. Never been particularly bothered by grouse shooting but if this is how the bullying bastards behave I am happy to sign the petition. Let’s put those twats out of work.

  14. I have a bit of a soft spot for the Bowland Brewery living close to the Trough of Bowland as I do. I am even more impressed now that they have taken such a strong stance against the persecution of the Hen harrier. I would go as far as to say that I am a fan of the Hen harrier in both it’s forms, frothy and feathery.

  15. will have a couple of bottles this weekend whilst soaking in my bath with my Lush Hen Harrier bath bomb.

  16. This beer will taste even better in the knowledge that we’re supporting the brewery’s initiative. All good promotion of the case against driven grouse shooting, so amply illustrated by their appalling behaviour. Cheers.

  17. ye gods! What has Britain come to! I went to sign the petition (cos I don’t drink beer!) and discovered that I’d already signed it!

  18. The more they show their true colours like this the better. Having had the pleasure (irony) of the company of gamekeepers and gentle (more irony) countryside folk for most of my life, I can testify that if anything a certain element are even more horrible human beings than most people might imagine. At the age of 14, one of my early encounters with the local fox hunt was when I made a passing remark about how sick it was, a whole pack of humans and hounds chasing a small fox and ripping it to pieces. The response was “that’s what we did to the German bastards at [insert name of World War I battlefield],” as they smeared the dead fox’s blood on the face of a young girl. On a later occasion when a good friend of mine attempted to block the way of “the terrier men” to get at an earth which a fox had just escaped into, he was so badly beaten with spades that he was hospitalised and nearly lost an eye.

    Unlike most birdwatchers I know nowadays, I used to spend most of my spare time wandering freely across the countryside, through farms and woods looking for all sorts of wildlife. During those years of my life, I frequently met farmers, gamekeepers, poachers and others, many of whom seemed intent on inflicting cruelty on animals. In the starkness of the countryside, these were the apprentice gamekeepers and countryside alliance types who seemed to represent the majority view and underground ethics of those who like to portray themselves as “guardians of the countryside.” At times my friends and I despaired at the level of cruelty we encountered. Now most birdwatchers visit ‘birding hot spots’ and nature reserves, often in pursuit of rare migrants. This is not particularly my bag, as they say, but there is no harm in it, and the more people who take an active interest in wildlife which involves caring for its welfare are to be encouraged. However in my experience it leads to a sort of naivety, because most of these people rarely come across the inherent cruelty that is endemic to rural life.

    Raptor Persecution UK does a tremendous job in making sure that the truth becomes more widely understood. Despite all the testimonies to nice people that shoot, I believe it o be undeniable that the vast majority only portray a superficial politeness and decency. At heart they are a cohort of sadistic killers of wildlife, for the sheer pleasure and feeling of power it provides. Their arrogance knows no bounds, and their thrill at boasting of how many grouse they’ve shot, or even better having bagged a Peregrine which flew overhead, is nothing short of pornographic. Their sense of humour is sick, reflecting their sadistic pleasure. They love noting better than getting together after a shoot and indulging in an evening of ‘RSPB-bashing’, or joking about the latest blog written by one of their xxxxxxxxxxx allies like Ian Botham and his nutty ‘They Forgot the Birds’ pressure group.

    Thanks to RPUK, Mark Avery and other important wildlife protection and conservation groups, we’re raising awareness and gaining a better insight to the way these people’s minds work, and realising that the real enemies of conservation are the shooting set and the Countryside Alliance. There’s even a faint hope that the RSPB might engage in a wee bit of radicalism, something I never expected to see in my lifetime.

    1. It’s amazing that commentators like Jack Snipe and Mr Greer Hart regularly manage to convey so many of my own thoughts and emotions very accurately, and often much more vividly than I seem to manage myself. I’m very grateful – please keep it up!
      On a bit of a tangent – why do so few people comment on Raptor Politics? I’ve just been watching the video by Terry Pickford over there, and he was urging people to comment and show that they were interested, but very few seem to do so.

  19. Good work Chris they will wish they had kept their poison to themselves…….no pun intended! Just about to order a case myself :)

  20. When I looked at the Bowland site yesterday morning their satisfaction rating was 2.3 largely thanks to a spiteful campaign by the hunting fraternity to lower their score. Once RPUK put out the news of this scurrilous campaign the rating began to rise – by early PM it was 3.1, by the evening 3.9 and this morning it was respectable 4.1 (and still rising). Well done!

    Many, like me, have also put their money where their mouth is and bought some beer.

    Abuse, the threat of a boycott and demanding a ‘statement’ only generates wider publicity which seems to be working splendidly although not quite in the way intended. You’d have thought that after the 82:5 rout in the “battle of petitions” (Re. Chris Packham being sacked by the BBC) earlier this year, the hunting fraternity would avoid both publicity and appeals to public sentiment. Their strengths reside neither in logical argument nor broad public support but in the wealth, access to power and corrupting influence of their elite. It’s ironic that it is they who most often decry ‘class warfare’ or ‘class hatreds’ who are most adept at deploying and using precisely the class based advantages their position and wealth gives them.

  21. Absolutely disgusting that these bullies only care about making money and not the environment. I’ll be making sure I drink as much beer from Bowland Brewery as possible and will urge as many people as possible to do the same.I’ve never eaten grouse and will never do so.

  22. Thes so called ‘countrymen’ carrying out this campaign against Bowland Brewery are a disgrace to the honest hardworing rural community and whether they like it or not they are reviled by the majority of the right thinking people of this country

  23. I’ve been a conservationist quietly beavering away in my own little patch of Cornish wilderness for several decades but as I get older I get more and more depressed about the decline in care for our natural world. And then someone like Chris Packham comes along and inspires me to keep plugging away, cheers me up no end, and makes me think that all is not lost, and persuades me to buy beer! Well done Bowland can’t wait to try it.

  24. Confused?

    I can’t see why calling for a boycott is seen as unreasonable

    Aren’t they just doing exactly the same as Packham and the Fat Controller have been doing with Marks and Spencer?

    1. Very true Rattyman.

      Messrs Avery and Packham are behind a bullying campaign to see the sale of grouse stopped in Marks & Spencer, Iceland, etc, based upon scaremongering regarding lead content, and not for the first time!
      I find it very strange they concentrate on the apparent dangers associated with consuming game, yet choose to ignore the fact lead is naturally occurring and present in many root crops!

      Equally strange, they, and judging by the comments here, others support the consuming of an alcohol product with a well established affect on health, which costs the NHS millions, and is responsible for many deaths!

      1. The word ‘bullying’ is being thrown around far too much. I do not think it means what you think it means. The definition of ‘bully’ that I can find is: “use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something”
        Now, Packham’s video addressed to M&S was fairly polite, well worded and asked fair questions due to an underlying concern due to the ethics behind the produce.
        In contrast, the false reviews left to the Brewery were intimidating, rude, and downright nasty towards all involved, because they support efforts to help harriers, and they posted a picture of two fellas enjoying their produce.
        Tell me; which case sounds more like bullying to you, going by the definition above?

        Basically the motive behind all of this is to stop our birds of prey being killed and to increase populations of rare species such as the HH. The gamekeepers and estates and their representative organisations claim to also want this outcome. And probably a percentage of them do. But the overall actions and the evidence points towards the opposite. So can you perhaps see why 65,000+ people are fed up trying to work with people who will not be worked with and have signed the petition?

        Lead is indeed naturally occurring in soil, but as Silva (2007) – should you be interested enough to look it up – has found, normally in nowhere near high enough concentrations to be at all dangerous. Many root crops actively prevent lead from building in their tissues as well (Lima, 2009). But pumping a bird full of unregulated amounts of lead, which is highly toxic should you need reminding, and sending it off for public consumption? I think that warrants some concern, and answers from the retailer, don’t you think!?

        Are you telling me, Mr. Whyte, that you do not support the consumption of alcohol, and would like to see it banned? Personally I don’t drink myself so am not bothered either way, but judging by your comment I now expect you to come out and say that you are for the banning of alcohol. Just imagine trying to ban a harmful pastime that lots of people love, tsk tsk tsk!

        1. There is also concern for arsenic in rice and, as in any possible lead to be found in food products, or the facts regarding alcohol consumption, it’s all down to personal choice.
          Food labelling contains the wording “This product may contain lead shot” so the consumer is made aware, and the FSA issue guidance on consumption of game meat.

          If the effect of “pumping a bird full of unregulated amounts of lead, which is highly toxic” is true, kindly provide the statistics which indicate the number who succumb to this toxic poisoning annually.
          In addition, a bird pumped full of lead shot would hardly be likely to reach the shelves!

          1. “Food labelling contains the wording “This product may contain lead shot” so the consumer is made aware, and the FSA issue guidance on consumption of game meat.”

            Yes, but the labelling doesn’t mention how excessive the lead content can be, especially in relation to permissible levels for other meat products, so the consumer is not fully aware of the issues.

    2. It is, of course, open for anyone to call for a boycott of any organisation with whose policies they have an issue. Boycotts per se are not necessarily unreasonable what matters is the tone, focus and intention of the complaint. In the case of Messrs Avery and Packham, they have asked M & S to substantiate specific claims about the provenance, sustainability and safety of a product in a polite language without any resort to abuse or threatening language. They have made it clear that their problem is about policy, not personality. It is also clear why they are calling on others not to shop in M&S and what can be done to reverse their position. Not only that there is no declared or implied intention to put M & S out of business for their support of grouse shooting. In short, their demands are reasonable and proportionate.

      The contrast with the shrill demands of those angered by Bowland Brewery embracing the cause of Hen Harrier conservation could not be more stark. In nothing I have seen does Bowland Brewery call for drinkers to support of Mark Avery’s petition. The focus is entirely on supporting the conservation of the Hen Harrier so what exactly do the boycotters want? They are not asking specific questions just indulging in abuse; all personality and no policy. Neither is it entirely clear what they want since nobody has articulated anything much beyond insult and tantrum. Do they want Bowland to severe all links with Avery & Packham? Condemn the petition? Stop supporting Hen Harrier conservation? Actively support driven grouse shooting? Certainly from what I have seen some appear to want to cause significant financial damage to the brewery.

      The difference in the two positions is painfully clear and reflects ill on the hunting industry for whom bullying seems the first resort (cf “You forgot about the Birds” campaign).

    3. Obviously, you didn’t read some of the comments.

      Yes, calling for a boycott is a perfectly acceptable method of protest, and Chris Packham has offered his personal opinions on why he is choosing to boycott Marks and Spencers. Meanwhile, the shooting industry’s bullying and intimidatory attacks on the Bowland Brewery and its staff, are clearly aimed at trying to shut the business altogether, with the loss of local jobs.

      If you can’t see the differences in the two approaches, then you need help.

  25. And they give muppets like these people gun licences? Absolutely ridiculous. What is wrong with them? How can some people evolve and improve, while others seem to go backwards?

    1. I agree, and when the hate crime charges are brought… I think that the police are highly likely to take a different view on the suitability of these gun licence applicants.

  26. I’m staying anonymous but ………This is written from a keeper to all other keepers out there: we all know how much ill feeling there is between different groups but come on lads is there any wonder we are getting such a bashing? The traditional gentleman keeper is no more ( in most cases) it is our own fault that the headkeepers are letting young lads away with everything they do now a days, there’s no respect for anything anymore- keepering is now a bragging competition , we shot xxxbrace in a day!, oh well we all have brand new pick ups, ah but we get ££££ bonus.
    The true people who care about the countryside in general are now gone along with the people like myself that have a passion for working so closely with nature in all weathers. Sometimes it really gets my goat when I hear keepers in general being slated ( only because of how I am and behave) and sometimes I think oh well the idiots deserve what they get, sometimes I even contemplate signing the petition to ban driven grouse shooting!
    Come on lads get some respect back by managing moorland how it should be managed , loose the biggest dick competition approach and get on with being custodians once more. It’s all about BALANCE – a little bit of everything not all about one species and f##k the rest of it !

    1. It is all too easy to negatively stereotype all gamekeepers and often hard going trying to persuade others, at times even yourself, that there really are decent “good apples” out there so many thanks for this reminder. A pity that you feel you have to remain anonymous.

    2. I have been reading through the comments and was intending to make a comment about how this post is stereotyping all shooters and gamekeepers and paradoxically some posts are exhibiting almost as much vitreole as that being condemned.

      I haven’t shot since the 1970s but I know there are many shooters who are happy to walk round their patch, enjoy the countryside and come back happy and with an empty bag. If it contains a rabbit, pigeon or pheasant it adds to the day.

      However, more of these reasonable people need to stand up and be counted.

      Another tee teetotaller off to purchase a few bottles.

  27. I see you are discussing Andy Richardson-a vile man who on Twitter sent me a tweet which read ‘Will send you smashed fox photos later’ due to my anti hunting stance. I have a screenshot of this as well as a dead deer photo he sent me with a bloody dog and a shotgun. A very nasty man who boasts about abusing wildlife and claims he ‘made his fortune’ killing animals abroad and is prone to the most cringeworthy boasting. If this man is at all representative of those supporting driven grouse shooting then I need add no more.

    1. Of all the unpleasant people I’ve ‘encountered’ through trying to do my bit for wildlife, he stands head and shoulders above the rest, if only because the equally obnoxious remain anonymous. I never lose an opportunity (and to some that will be repetitive..sorry) to let people know he mocked staff/volunteers at a wildlife rescue centre and made a total fool of himself re ownership of Mar Lodge Estate as he was in such a hurry to do his automatic and predictable slagging off of the RSPB. He regularly gets the thumbs up from Bert Burnett as one of the ‘good guys’. He and Bert have both praised a book on the western isles written by a man with an anti conservation agenda. That ‘author’ without any genuine evidence or examples repeatedly tried to paint wildlife organisations and their field staff as being indifferent to local communities, putting wildlife before people blah, blah, blah right up to the point he made the predictable, but preposterous comparison between conservationists and the Third Reich. But it appears this wonderful writer conveniently left out the parts of the interviews with local people that were positive about conservation projects, and people who were very positive were left out altogether. No surprise there if you’ve read the book, but what is is that he despite his supposed dislike of the nazi’s when a group of black musicians were due to visit his Island he wrote into the local paper referring to them as s****r eyed s*****s. They really are a nasty, incestuous bunch – need exposing, wonder if Countryfile would do that?. Richardson recently produced a video to show how wonderful grouse moors are for waders. Lots of shots of lapwing etc in what appear to be farmer’s fields and the sound of waders calling was almost deafening when he spoke to one of his buddies on a grouse moor. To me though had a feeling the calls had been dubbed on. Would be good if it were possible to prove that.

      1. In one way these disgusting people are useful: it is simply incomprehensible to those with any decency that grown men behave in such a spiteful, threatening and dishonest way. They really prove that bloodsports enthusiasts as a group are usually hideous human beings. Richardson should not have access to firearms or wildlife-he is a danger and a horribly cruel man who I wouldn’t trust to be near any living thing. Scumbag.

        1. “They really prove that bloodsports enthusiasts as a group are usually hideous human beings.”
          Sorry but it does not prove that. You will find that the majority are decent generous people but there is a loud core of idiots in certain areas of shooting that do match your description.
          Tar them all with the same brush and you will have no hope in generating support from the moderate and sensible amongst them.

          1. I phrased that carefully as I’m aware that it could be generalising too far. However, I live beside a shoot and see first hand the horrors of bloodsports: no animal is safe from the snares and many obsessive keepers who care only about maximising the numbers of pheasant & partridge that are then blasted from the sky by people who apparently enjoy killing huge numbers of birds. The numbers are sickening-soon my garden will be overrun with birds-many of whom will wander into the road and become roadkill-in a few months there will be none. Dead birds not retrieved or perhaps just surplus are regularly found all over the fields and bridle paths. Yet hardly a fox, badger, hedgehog or raptor is to be seen. These are not the actions of decent people in my mind. The foxhunting thugs are even worse-trespassing, threatening and clogging up the roads whilst blatantly indulging in criminal activity. It’s an open secret that they ignore the law and hunt exactly as before the ban. No wildlife is safe from these people-a muntjac was mauled by hounds last year and an elderly half blind horse in the field beside my house was horribly traumatised by hounds tearing through her field.
            Again-people need to ask whether this type of attitude defines decency.

      2. A friend of mine, who has recently completed her Masters in film production, undertook an analysis of the sound on that film a few weeks ago and confirmed that in her opinion the bird call was dubbed onto the film.

        1. Yes it sounds dodgy doesn’t it? Imagine if a conservation organisation did something like that and they were caught out, what would the Richardson’s and Burnett’s make of it? Andrea could your friend please pm me on facebook (profile pic me as a wee boy reading) or email me – I’ve been in touch with a researcher who was involved in a study of a endangered Scottish bird that has responded very well to better habitat management – it was stressed that this was done without predator control and the increasing range of predator species in the study area competing and preying on each other avoided the need for any culling. You’ll guess how well that’s went down in certain quarters with the result the researcher has been getting some stick on social media. What an appalling bunch.

  28. Chris P was making a nuanced argument which was seized upon by the gutter press in an attempt to twist his point. More people and animals will die due to abuse of the environment than to cancer, yet the investment in one is huge. Chris P could himself get cancer: it’s a philosophical argument which those with an agenda deliberately misinterpret.
    Whereas charming Richardson also sent a message to another guy who screenshotted it which read:’Ever seen a woman so badly beat she’s bleeding from every orifice? I have’. He is a disgusting and dangerous man.

    1. His obnoxious statement first came to light in an interview with Radio Times in May 2014, before being seized upon by the “gutter press”.
      If you think the shooting lobby were the only critics of his comments, you’re deluded!

      1. No-I’m sure many were outraged. We appear to live in a time where people seek offence: it’s the easiest way to discredit. I am, however, certain that CP did not intend to insult or offend-nor is he a cruel man. Sometimes difficult propositions will offend but listening to the proposition with an open mind may be more helpful rather than leaping gleefully on a chance to have a go at the person raising the point whilst ignoring that there may be a valid point being raised.

  29. I’ve emailed the Brewery asking then where they sell their wares in Edinburgh and, if not, I’ve asked to get a case delivered.

  30. I will be getting some delivered here – suggest we all do who don’t live near their NW delivery area.

    Hi Harris,

    Thank you very much for your email!

    We don’t currently supply anywhere in Edinburgh unfortunately, however we supply in to Booths, Co-Op and Spar stores all over the North West of England.

    Thanks for your support, it is much appreciated! Please feel free to order a case, you can order online at or give me a call in the office, on 01200 443592.

    Kind Regards

    Lauren Killcross MAAT
    The Bowland Beer Company Ltd, Holmes Mill, Greenacre Street, Clitheroe, BB7 1EB

    T: 01200 443592

    From: Angela Edney
    Sent: 01 August 2016 15:38
    To: Lauren Killcross
    Subject: FW: Beer in Edinburgh

    From: Harris Keillar
    Sent: 01 August 2016 15:17
    To: Sales
    Subject: Beer in Edinburgh


    Have just heard about the appalling abuse that you’ve suffered at the hands of the pro-killing-of-hen-harriers lobby. Do you sell your beer in Edinburgh? If you do then I’ll pop something on the Good Beer in Edinburgh FB page

    If not, could I order a case to the office? I’d never hear of your brewery before, though hope you can take action against the false reviewers

    Best wishes

  31. Aside from Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson, Chris Rackham becomes another personal hero. A guy who puts the value of life before the god of money & refuses to put a price on any birds life.

  32. It is with delight that I announce the petition has just crossed 73,000! Well done to all who have highlighted and spoken out about the silent slaughter of our iconic birds of prey. Please sign the petition and share. Thanks.

  33. Disgraceful that natural England issue licences to kill buzzards.
    They mainly predate small rabbits and eat worms!
    Pheasants are raised just for people to kill anyway and have the audacity to call it ‘sport’.
    Depraved human beings.
    The same as who kill foxes .
    Harriers are our natural birds not so called game ..what game?…birds.
    Just the rich trying to black mail the country.
    Keep strong, Chris. Good luck.
    Sally in our Alley, ex

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