Lochan Estate says it will appeal General Licence restriction

It was good to see plenty of media coverage yesterday about Lochan Estate in Strathbraan, Perthshire having a three-year General Licence restriction imposed on it after the discovery of an illegally-killed hen harrier on one of its grouse moors (see here and here).

I saw coverage of this story on the BBC News website (here), STV News (here), in The National (here), The Herald (here), and on the Grough website (here).

Strangely, I didn’t find any statements of condemnation on the websites of any of the game-shooting organisations; you know, those organisations that have trumpeted their supposed ‘zero tolerance’ of raptor persecution when its politically expedient to do so but who never seem to step up with a public denouncement when a crime has been uncovered on a game-shooting estate.

I wonder if Lochan Estate is a member of the landowners’ lobby group Scottish Land & Estates? Or whether its gamekeepers are members of BASC or the Scottish Gamekeepers Association?

[Hen harrier Rannoch‘s corpse found trapped by an illegally-set trap on Lochan Estate. Photo by RSPB Scotland]

I saw one statement from Lochan Estate, reported by the BBC News. An unnamed spokesperson is quoted as follows:

The estate categorically rejects any suggestion of wrongdoing in relation to the welfare of wildlife.

We made very robust representations five months ago and only received the notification this week, which we found surprising given the material we produced.

We will therefore be appealing this decision.”

There wasn’t any explanation about this illegally-set trap being on one of its grouse moors.

The estate’s appeal should be interesting. Let’s hope it’s as entertaining as the (failed) appeal submitted by Leadhills Estate against its General Licence restriction in 2019 (see here).

Incidentally, the information I requested about Leadhills Estate’s most recent appeal against the General Licence restriction extension imposed on the estate in 2021, is due to be released next week. Solicitors acting on behalf of Leadhills Estate have been arguing that the information should be withheld from the public (see here). Let’s see what NatureScot thinks.

4 thoughts on “Lochan Estate says it will appeal General Licence restriction”

  1. The old idiom used by most wildlife criminals when apprehended.
    ADMIT NOTHING — DENY EVERYTHING.
    Without that specific stance it would be impossible for Organisations which represent those who own and work on these criminal estates to issue the continual mendacious platitudes that they do — and are given air and print time for that purpose.

    1. That’s what’s happened previously (e.g. appeals from Raeshaw Estate & Leadhills Estate) so there’s no reason to expect anything different here. And of course those ‘lost’ months when the appeal process is underway and the restriction has been temporarily lifted, never seem to be added back on to the tariff when the restriction is re-imposed after a failed appeal. That’s something else for NatureScot to look at during its licensing review this year.

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