More pheasants shot & dumped – North Yorkshire & Berkshire

A flurry of reports over the Xmas period detailed how gamebirds had been shot and then dumped at a number of locations across the UK including inside the Peak District National Park (e.g. see here, here, here and here).

Well guess what? This obscene behaviour continues – here are some more examples.

Thanks to the blog reader who sent this photograph of a pile of dead birds, photographed on 27th December 2020, by the roadside in between a grouse moor and MOD land in Swaledale, North Yorkshire.

On Twitter there was another report, this time by an estate manager in Berkshire whose gamekeepers had alerted him to this:

And also on Twitter, in response to David Hill’s tweet, there was another report from North Yorkshire:

As I wrote last week, there are some sensible shooting folk on social media who are condemning this behaviour, and not just because it exposes shooting to bad publicity, and who are offering solutions (like licensing schemes that limit the number of birds released and require accountability for the number shot for example, and a suggestion that if shoots are ‘gifting’ the birds then the birds should be oven-ready) but there are still many others from within the industry who are either (a) denying it’s a widespread problem, (b) accusing ‘antis’ of trying to ‘set up’ shooting, and/or (c) slagging off anyone who dares to criticise, presumably in a futile bid to stop further criticism.

Unfortunately for the game shooting industry, this is an ongoing, criminal and widespread problem, much like illegal raptor persecution is, and it’s drawing even more attention to an industry already under intense pressure to clean up its act.

Previous examples include dumped gamebirds in Cheshire, Scottish borders (here), Norfolk (here), Perthshire (here), Berkshire (here), North York Moors National Park (here) and some more in North York Moors National Park (here) and even more in North Yorkshire (here), Co. Derry (here), West Yorkshire (here), and again in West Yorkshire (here), N Wales (here), mid-Wales (here), Leicestershire (here), Lincolnshire (here), Somerset (here), Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park (here) and Suffolk (here) and again in Suffolk (here).

And it’ll keep getting attention on this blog for as long as the gamebird shooting industry demands licences to kill protected birds of prey for the purpose of ‘saving’ gamebirds.

20 thoughts on “More pheasants shot & dumped – North Yorkshire & Berkshire”

  1. Unfortunately this has been going on for years and will continue until people get that fed up with it and the people responsible are tracked down and prosecuted not only for littering but also for introducing poison (lead) into the environment but it should have been banned years ago if we had a truly caring government.

  2. The idea peddled by the likes of Matt Ridley and others that game-keepers and shoot managers are the true friends of wildlife is ever more laughable. No-one who truly loves nature would do this. It is outrageous that heavy-handed game-keeping is carried out with all of the problems it entails – legal and illegal killing of predators, releasing of huge numbers of non-native birds to compete with, predate and shit on other wildlife, etc -in order that people can shoot huge ‘bags’ of birds simply to throw them away.

    In addition to being a disgusting act it is worth pointing out that dumping these birds in this way is in itself an offence under the Environmental Protection Act and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act.

  3. I’m extremely sceptical of a lot of these so called ‘sensible’ shooters, who condemn incidents like this whilst simultaneously criticising organisations like Wild Justice, who actually seek to address the problems, at every opportunity. There’s a lot of mealy mouthed words and very little action.

    The industrialised shooting industry in the UK is completely out of control and has been for many decades. The idea that the very same people responsible for this mess are then able to ‘self regulate’ is utterly laughable. Shooting orgs like BASC and GWCT are an absolute disgrace and without fundamental changes from the top down, they will continue to treat the environment and the British public with complete disdain. The only way forward is strong statutory legislation, which won’t happen under a conservative government because they’re also complicit in this eco destruction.

      1. Let me know when England even considers licensing of driven grouse moors, let alone implements it. The SNP have been woeful in many areas, but tories exist operate on a different level to everyone else.

    1. There isn’t a Tory Government in Wales, either. Yet Wales holds the largest pheasant-breeding industrial farm in Europe (according to the League Against Cruel Sports).

      And then there’s Northern Ireland…

  4. Thank you for continuing to report and blog this issue. I am outraged at the behaviour but it is becoming difficult to sustain my anger when there are so many incidents. I just hope that the more they dump birds and the more it is reported that it brings an end to DGS – it is wrong on so many levels and for so many reasons.

    1. Sue-Why would it lead to a ban on driven grouse shooting when the pic shows pheasants?
      No wonder there is so many people believing utter rubbish if they can’t tell the difference between a grouse and a pheasant!

      1. You claim that this is “utter rubbish”, yet the truth is there for all to see. I can tell the difference. And, like all those who truly care about our natural heritage, can see straight through the lies of the shooting mob, and desperate straw clutching like your comment. DGS AND intensive Pheasant rearing are cancers on our countryside, and will be ultimately removed for the benefit of all.

        1. I do not think this is not happening nor do I think it is acceptable, however I do know that there is a lot of people who are campaigning about shooting in general who can’t tell the difference between a pheasant and a grouse and that believe all sorts of rubbish, one person lately did a television interview stating that there is thousands of grouse released each year for shooting! Come on, nobody minds criticism from people but it needs to be coming from folk who know what they are talking about. Just to be clear I know dumping pheasants goes on but it infuriates me when people comment who don’t have a clue on the subject!
          For the record I wasn’t clutching at straws.

            1. Coop, I wasn’t saying it was utter rubbish that pheasants are dumped I was stating that people believe utter rubbish as they have no knowledge of what they are campaigning, they read or listen to some things and repeat it wether true or false because they know no better. I also didn’t mention that pheasant shoots or any moors are saints, it’s just the conclusion people jump to that I’m involved with game shooting when I have no involvement at all!!
              I think any subject anybody wishes to comment on, that they should have an incline in the subject on what they are talking about. It really doesn’t look good if people make stupid mistakes when trying to raise awareness as it always gives the opposition, whoever it may be, a small amount of ammunition.

              1. I quote…

                “No wonder there is so many people believing utter rubbish if they can’t tell the difference between a grouse and a pheasant!”

                So what, “utter rubbish” were you precisely alluding to?

          1. Eddie,
            You are right in some respects and some of the issues around shooting and conservation are clouded by emotion and misunderstanding.
            But many people don’t have a clue about game shooting and it’s associated practices because they have been misled by the plethora of deceitful, dishonest, fictitious lies which have been expounded by so many involved in the game shooting industry!
            Likewise most people with some understanding of conservation realise that human activity right across the planet has impacted so greatly on ecosystems that some form of control may be necessary to ensure certain species don’t end up extinct.
            However, only when those involved with shooting accept that true conservation of wildlife and providing lots of game birds to be shot are two separate and more often than not incompatible entities will we arrive at the point when there will be proper meaningful dialogue about how game bird shooting can be managed so that it doesn’t have a negative effect on native wildlife, natural habitat and conservation in the true sense of the word.
            That dialogue has to include the wider issues of how humans manage land not only for game shooting but also for agriculture and urban areas, so that wildlife in all its forms has a place where it can co-exist alongside humans without unnecessary molestation.
            It is very difficult to understand how those who participate in shooting can have an open mind and unbiased opinion on these conservation issues when their concept of nature is something which is to be exploited, rather than something which has intrinsic value.

          2. “do know that there is a lot of people who are campaigning about shooting in general who can’t tell the difference between a pheasant and a grouse and that believe all sorts of rubbish”

            Your evidence of this is what? One or two posts? Show me any substantive proof that this is a major issue and not just pedantry on your part. Driven pheasant shooting also needs to go, so whether people get ‘confused’ over what type of bird has been dumped is completely immaterial and I’m sure you already knew that. Do you reserve the same energy for shooters who can’t even tell the difference between a linnet and a hawk? I somehow doubt it.

      2. There is a litany of ills associated with intensively managed shoots, whether it be lowland pheasant shoots or upland grouse shoots. Pheasant dumping, as in the present case, is just one of many issues. You may be right that a pile of dead pheasants does not make a case to end driven grouse shooting but unfortunately there are plenty of other unacceptable practices associated with the intensive management of grouse moors. If you are going to dismiss those as “utter rubbish” you will need to explain away mountains of evidence. Meanwhile, pheasant shoots that dispose of the shot birds in this way are adding to the case for regulation of their form of shooting.

      3. Quite right Eddie. I made a mistake, apologies for mixing up pheasants and grouse. So many awful incidents related to shooting in general, whether it’s DGS or shooting pheasants. It’s a lot of killing for what? Clearly not for consumption.

  5. Now that the whole of the UK is in national lockdown in one form or other depending on where a person lives, there shouldn’t be any more pheasant or any other game bird shooting, as this would be a breach of the restrictions.
    Game keepers are allowed to work as normal.

    The question is – are we going to see a repeat of the raptor and wildlife persecution which took place last March when much of the public couldn’t access the countryside?
    I understand under the rules in England, it is permissible to drive somewhere in order participate in the permitted daily exercise activity. However this should be within the local area where you live.

    The government rules regarding leaving home state:

    – “Exercise – You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble.
    This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.”
    – “You can exercise in a public outdoor place- Public outdoor places include: parks, beaches, countryside
    accessible to the public, forests”

    It would appear from the guidance published on the governments website that the definition of “local area” is not defined. But the fact that exercise is permitted in the countryside would appear to indicate it is permissible to drive a short distance from home if you stay within your local area. Hopefully this will give access to grouse moors for many who reside in the countryside.

    For those that can- be vigilant, as the thought of birds of prey or other wildlife being wiped out in the countryside is something that needs to be kept in mind. Especially as last year was not a good one for many grouse moors due to low grouse numbers. So there could be pressure on keepers to ensure lots of grouse this year? Most grouse moors are managed by money driven enterprises, and money is the “root of all evil”!!

    It will also be interesting to see how much heather burning takes place? Perhaps this could be reported back on this forum, in order to ascertain if this remains a widespread issue?

  6. Stop this, now! If these twats needs target practice then there are alternatives that don’t involve killing off birds or animals. Thank you.

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