Do you remember back in April, during lockdown, Scottish Greens MSP Andy Wightman secured an amendment to the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill (Emergency Bill) that meant that ALL muirburn was banned (temporarily, until the emergency regs were revaluated on 30 Sept 2020) (see here). This temporary ban was intended to relieve pressure on emergency services, who frankly had better things to do than attend wildfires that had resulted from poorly-managed muirburning on grouse moors.
And do you remember the Leadhills (Hopetoun) Estate in South Lanarkshire? You know, Lord Hopetoun’s gaffe with it’s very very very long history of people finding illegally poisoned, shot and trapped birds of prey, illegally-set traps and poisoned baits on the estate? A history that continues and has resulted in the estate currently being the subject of a three-year General Licence restriction after Police Scotland told licensing authority SNH there was ‘clear evidence’ of ongoing wildlife crime, although insufficient evidence to identify an individual suspect (see here).
Well, that information provides the backdrop for the next few blogs about Leadhills Estate.
Jaw-dropping audacity on every level.
First of all, take a look at this. It’s an application from well-known grouse moor manager/agent Mark Osborne to SNH, made on 15th July 2020, asking for an out-of-season licence to set fire to parts of the grouse moor on Leadhills Estate.
Have a read of the licence application details, consider the necessity of the proposed work, consider the estate’s current status of being sanctioned, and consider whether it would be appropriate for SNH to approve this application.
More to come…..
UPDATE 6 October 2020: What happened next with licence application for out-of-season muirburn on Leadhills Estate (here)
UPDATE 19 October 2020: SNH considers appeal from Leadhills Estate to undertake out-of-season muirburn (here)
UPDATE 11 November 2020: SNH grants licence to Leadhills Estate for out-of-season muirburn (here)
UPDATE 13 November 2020: Political questions being asked about out-of-season muirburn licence issued to Leadhills Estate (here)