Moorland Association ‘should no longer be treated as equals’ in raptor protection schemes

The fall-out from the failed Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative continues.

Following last week’s news about how the Moorland Association had blocked an official press statement about the extent of raptor persecution in the Dark Peak region of the Peak District National Park (here), how the RSPB had terminated its involvement with the failed Initiative (here), how the local gamekeepers had tried to frustrate any progress on the ground (here) and how a former Moorland Association representative had allegedly tried to get the Peak District National Park Authority to ‘dis-allow’ police raids on the homes of suspected gamekeepers (here), now the Northern England Raptor Forum (NERF) has issued a statement.

NERF is the umbrella organisation representing a number of regional raptor study groups across northern England, including the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group which has been closely involved with the Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative.

In a statement published last night on its website, NERF reiterates its frustration with the failed Initiative and identifies the Moorland Association as being central to the on-going problem, not just in the Peak District but also the role it plays in other bird of prey protection partnership schemes:

What will it take for those in authority, including the Government, to wake up to the fact that the Moorland Association is a lobbying organisation committed only to benefitting their members’ interests?  Of course it is not just within this group where they seek to spread their influence, they are members of PAW and use the same tactics in that forum. It is NERF´s opinion that unless they demonstrate a change in attitude towards species’ protection they should no longer be treated as equals in Bird of Prey protection fora“.

NERF’s full statement can be read here

Well said, NERF. It’s what we’ve all been thinking for years and the more people who are prepared to say it out loud, and often, the better.

5 thoughts on “Moorland Association ‘should no longer be treated as equals’ in raptor protection schemes”

  1. At last, maybe the right people will start to take some notice now of what we all know has been going on for years, whether they do anything about it remains to be seen, I won’t hold my breath !!!

  2. It strikes me as ironic that the very schemes which are supposed to heal the rift between the raptor killers and their bosses is actually just highlighting the rift to the point that the so called ‘partnerships’ are falling apart.
    In the context of the brood persecution scheme and to a slightly lesser extent the lowland re-introduction scheme it appears to me that it is actually doing the exact opposite of ‘conflict resolution’.
    One could argue that shining a light on darkness is a good thing but not when raptors are the sacrificial victims.

    Apart from the ‘conflict resolution’ aspect of the HHAP being inapplicable to raptor persecution crimes it is also stretching the IUCN translocation guidelines which state that academic research is not a reason in itself for translocations. I would argue that as the scheme is doomed to fail due to lack of will and obstruction from some so called partnership parties, all that is left is the academic data.

  3. I think the problem is that the only people this godawful government will listen to are DEFRA / NE , the CA, MA GWCT and anybody except the conservationists. The yare much more likely to blame the conservationists for being “obstructive” and “unhelpful” than put the blame where it rightly belongs: wit hteh criminals and their apologist organisations.

  4. As retiring chair of NERF I of course wish my colleagues in the PDRMG well in their endeavours to monitor and hopefully find an improvement in the fortunes of raptors in the Dark Peak. Like all raptor workers they would much rather be involved in successful fieldwork and looking at the data than arguing the toss with the MA/ NGO or anyone else, however we are perforce forced into the “political” arena to defend our actions, the birds we love and improve ( hopefully their lot). In those various political arenas one thing is a constant the MA will obfuscate, deflect and argue black is white if anything else does not favour their membership. Amanda Anderson may be less obnoxious to deal with than Martin Gillibrand who as MA secretary did a similar job before her but the results are the same.
    We must always be seen to be prepared to talk in whatever for a we are asked to attend, the frustration for all of us is that the MA do not change tactics or arguments, in a sense they are the apologists for wildlife crime although I’m sure both they and their membership would deny that. The keepers do what they are told and are told what it is felt they need to know by their employers, with wildlife crime always in the minds of those of us on this side is it any wonder that without real change they treat raptor workers with suspicion and suffer a considerable degree of paranoia. After all if we were to have direct suspicions we would report it appropriately and they know it.
    As I retire I will no longer have to talk to these people with a fixed bland expression, my tongue or cheek clamped between my teeth whilst they say something deliberately provocative or outrageous.
    Sometime ago NERF said this about the game lobby at PAW perhaps it should be universally applied. ” NERF expects the representatives of the industry to work tirelessly with their members to assist both local Police Forces and the NWCU to build the intelligence picture and assist with prosecuting offenders when they are put before the courts.
    NERF proposes that members of the RPPDG who cannot demonstrate compliance with this action should forfeit their position on the Group. “

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