Well-deserved awards for two police officers fighting illegal raptor persecution

Big congratulations to Sgt Stu Grainger (North Yorkshire Police) and Superintendent Nick Lyall (Chair, Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group) who have both been recognised for their work fighting illegal raptor persecution.

At the Wildlife Crime Enforcers Conference last weekend Stu Grainger received a Superintendents Commendation from Nick Lyall for his ‘tireless and outstanding commitment’ to this field.

[Stu Grainger receives his certificate from Nick Lyall. Photo by Mike Crockford]

Stu has been actively involved in Operation Owl since it began as a regional awareness-raising campaign in 2018 and this year he coordinated the roll-out of the national campaign. He’s been involved in the organisation and delivery of raptor persecution training events for national park rangers and others across North Yorkshire as well as giving talks to local interest groups. He also turns up to support other awareness-raising events that aren’t even in his patch, in his own time and at his own cost.

North Yorkshire Police are lucky to have him and we’re lucky to have such a dedicated and committed officer looking out for birds of prey. Well done and thank you, Stu.

Nick Lyall needs no introduction to the readers of this blog and he received the WWF Wildlife Crime Operation of the Year Award for his vision of turning Operation Owl from a regional to a national awareness-raising campaign.

[Photo by Ruth Tingay]

Nick’s written a blog about his and Stu’s awards here.

Nick’s brought an unprecedented level of energy, enthusiasm and transparency to his role as Chair of the RPPDG this last year and that’s been very, very welcome. It’s also meant he’s drawn unwanted and defamatory attention and harassment from some within the game-shooting sector. His first meeting of the RPPDG was boycotted by the tantrum-throwing BASC, Countryside Alliance, Moorland Association, National Gamekeepers Organisation and others (see here) and then his personal integrity was publicly questioned by the National Gamekeepers Organisation (see here), leading to further abuse from individuals on social media.

Most others would have thrown in the towel by now. Who’d want to put up with that sort of abuse, especially when volunteering to do this role in addition to full-time duties as a police superintendent? Fortunately, Nick Lyall is a resilient bugger and he’s also determined to make a difference for birds of prey in the UK.

Thank you, Nick.

5 thoughts on “Well-deserved awards for two police officers fighting illegal raptor persecution”

  1. The good hardworking wildlife officers up here in Scotland, in the past [?] had to put with abuse from the shooting community, as well as working long hours on wildlife cases..unfortunately, all too often their worst enemies were their own bosses. Lets hope thats changed?

  2. Bloody fantastic! These commendations are a tremendous way of saying thank you and hopefully a morale booster for those who receive them. The quantity and degree of abuse those fighting raptor persecution have to deal with is shocking – way beyond that from the almost inevitable social inadequates you get in many walks of life – clearly it’s often co-ordinator behind the scenes, that’s why it’s not ‘just’ the work of a few pathetic individuals it’s a ‘culture’. That’s significant and has to be made clear to the public. I’m sure Stu Grainger is as thoroughly decent as Nick Lyall is, and it’s infuriating that they’re getting any form of abuse at all. The fact that they do when they are both serving police officers indicates how rabid the bastards behind it are. Well done and thanks Stu and Nick!!

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