20 thoughts on “More hen harriers on English grouse moors than people attended Trump’s inauguration. Fact. Or something”

  1. I recently spent 3 days raptor monitoring on Grouse Moors in the Peak District, apart from 1 Peregrine & an Osprey passing over I didn’t see any others. The other thing I didn’t see any of was people, not one. People flocking to the Grouse moors to see wildlife is a joke. Let’s get the truth out there, there is no wildlife on the Grouse moors, the ground is dead. Step off the moors and within the first tree you see a very different story, mosses, bilberry, lichen along side heather. Within that you start to see insects and small birds feeding. What a wasteland they are, apart from Red Grouse of course.

    1. Driven Grouse Shooting is hardly a spectator sport is it? The vast majority of potential domestic and foreign visitors to our ‘glorious’ moors have that experience seriously compromised by a form of so called management that turns them into an outdoor production unit to make one species of our native wildlife a semi domesticated feathered clay pigeon substitute. For what can never be an activity that involves more than an absolutely tiny minority a very significant percentage of our country is a wasteland for wildlife and rational people. In 1997 me and my good mate Dave were traipsing over Ilkley Moor when he turned round to me and said ‘aren’t moors shite hardly anything lives on them’ thanks for that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes moment Dave. This winter the Angus Glens Moorland forum on Facebook posted a picture of a whole flock of waxwings crowded into a solitary Rowan tree on one of their grouse moors. I should have pointed out the irony at the time, but it was nearly Christmas.

  2. A few weeks ago 3 of us were walking the western caringorms above glenfeshie, as we dropped down into the glen one of my friends commented on the lack of wildlife. Cue me to bore then regarding the intensive management that shooting estates indulge in.

    1. For info. There is an enthusiastic endorsement of what WildLand Ltd are aiming to achieve in Glen Feshie at – http://www.scotlandbigpicture.com/Index/the-glen-essay. There is some muirburn west of the glen, but if you were on high ground east of the glen, the apparent lack of wildlife just reflects the habitat and season. There is very intensive land management for red grouse in parts of the western Cairngorms, just not in Glen Feshie.

  3. Yes, we all know this is risible tosh, but we need to find better ways to communicate the truth of criminality on grouse moors.
    Until we collectively find ways to achieve this aim, these criminals will carry on the 200 ? years of raptor destruction & ecological vandalism.
    I am simply a raptor worker so those with other abilities need to get the message out to the wider public otherwise we are just pxxxxxx in the wind.

    Keep up the pressure !

    1. Exactly ,we can whinge and tut tut all we like, but how do we get the truth out there to the ordinary Joe? The public need to know what we know, then we can effect real change.

  4. We all look forward to the time when hen harriers are back on our moors in sustainable numbers, alongside driven grouse shooting.’
    Sustainable Hen Harriers in the same way that Red Grouse are sustainable.
    No thanks.

  5. But there aren’t any Hen Harriers ! Not one single pair on an English Grouse Moor (last year at least – and any returning birds are sadly taking their life in their hands) And I’m pretty sure that RSPB and the Forestry Commission – who are working hard for Hen harriers – are not members of the Moorland Association. As we enter the breeding season once again the only question is will Grouse Moor owners once again achieve a clean sweep in England ?

  6. This is, of course, the same Amanda Anderson who said: ‘if we let the hen harrier in, we will soon have nothing else’ a very revealing, unintentional comment when she was clearly off guard.

  7. She seems to have sort of given up really. Cranking the handle without even troubling the brain any more. Perhaps she’s planning a job-change too.

  8. Pure sophistry from the Director of The Moorland Association. Next time I’m personally flocking across my local grouse moor in a futile attempt to locate breeding Hen Harriers, I can while away my time enjoying the remarkable wildlife spectacle supported by these ecological havens. That’s if I can see anything for the hordes of wildlife enthusiasts blocking my vision. What a joke. The truth is that the intensive management of these places, as all readers of this blog know, is designed to maximise Red Grouse numbers, and to hell with this thing called biodiversity. My experience over fifty years has led to the realisation that even the act of removing those predators we don’t seem to feel passionate about (crows, foxes and mustelids for example) causes an imbalance and creates an unhealthy state of biodiversity that completely messes up the ecosystem. The ultimate truth is that moorlands supporting a combination of upland dwarf shrub heath, blanket bogs and a variety of mires and rough grassland, can actually support a rich community of wildlife if left alone to nature, or nurtured sympathetically. All this talk from shooting interests is utter nonsense and downright lies, in an attempt to bluff to the general public that they are truly the “guardians of the countryside.” Gamekeepers are falsely depicted as superior in their knowledge to trained, educated ecologists, or even more so to highly experienced naturalists who have studied wildlife for most of their lives, and who see the bigger picture, rather than animals simply as targets to be shot or hunted mercilessly for selfish, sadistic amusement. We need to do more to raise public awareness and appreciation of wildlife, in a way which the shooting community can’t portray as narrow selfish interest. This perception exists even in the minds of ordinary birdwatchers towards raptor elitists, which doesn’t help our cause. I suspect most readers of this blog will disagree with me, but I feel a need to get our own house in order. I’m not alone.

  9. Does she really believe all the deluded guff that she’s forever peddling. I challenge her to come up with a single instance of a case where a shooting organisation has played a significant role leading to a raptor persecutor being charged with an offence. What are her views are on the despicable state of affairs in the Nidderdale AONB, as recently publicised by RPUK here: https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/killing-red-kites-is-de-rigueur-in-nidderdale-aonb-north-yorkshire/
    Comments from the MA on such issues are conspicuous by their absence, maybe because they do not concur with their carefully scripted representation of what they would have us believe.

    1. The comparison doesn’t end there – the name Kellyanne Conway springs to mind, although I’m concerned that may be taken as complimentary – this is a serious business – let’s keep it that way and beware the blatantly obvious untruths that are really only “put out there” to re-calibrate perspectives. Anything less than hard facts should have to be justified without exception.

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