‘Pheasant graveyard’ found in Devon woodland owned by Duke of Somerset

Land reform campaigners in Devon went on a ‘mass trespass picnic’ yesterday to highlight the lack of access and the public’s right to roam in England.

Their picnic was eaten next to a publicly-funded woodland owned by the Duke of Somerset but apparently it’s largely off-limits to the public because it’s used as part of a large pheasant shoot.

There’s an excellent write-up of the event in The Guardian (here), which includes this paragraph:

Those on the protest made a point of picking up litter in the woods, which are used chiefly for pheasant breeding and shooting. Plastic cartridges littered the floor, and in a valley visible from the field where the protesters picnicked, there was a “pheasant graveyard”, with at least 100 bird carcasses dumped alongside an old washing machine and a pile of wire fence‘.

Here’s a photo of the ‘pheasant graveyard’ photographed by leading land reform campaigner Guy Shrubsole and posted on Twitter yesterday evening (@guyshrubsole):

So yet another dumping incident to add to the long list of those found 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), Suffolk (here), Leicestershire again (here), Somerset again (here), Liverpool (here), even more in North Wales (here) even more in Wales, again (here), in Wiltshire (here) and in Angus (here).

Remember, this is the evidence to which DEFRA Minister (and pheasant & grouse shoot owner) Lord Richard Benyon claims ignorance (see here). It’s the usual strategy – claim it doesn’t exist and then you don’t have to deal with it, especially if you’ve got vested interests.

I wonder how Lord Newby got on with ‘pursuing‘ Benyon on this matter? I’ll ask him.

8 thoughts on “‘Pheasant graveyard’ found in Devon woodland owned by Duke of Somerset”

  1. ….wow…I ran a pheasant shoot for 14 years…..and I have certainly never seen anything like that before! That is horrendous management of our beautiful countryside…..anyone involved in blatant mismanagement like this really does need prosecuting and heavily fined! These kind of shoots clearly have no respect for anything….god knows what goes on away from the public eye😡😡

    1. And then there’s the usual ‘those birds were breasted’ crap they try out when images like this come to light. Somehow the breast meat was suitable for consumption and nothing else, and the by now rather ragged pheasant corpses might somehow look as if someone’s been at them a wee bit with a knife so it’s harder to disprove this, although it still looks and sounds extremely implausible. A desperate and pathetic attempt to bullshite away the total embarrassment. .

    2. The majority are all eaten by ‘something’. But I often wonder in what proportion? My own thoughts on the total outcome of all potentially edible meat (by weight, not birds) of shot & retrieved* birds :
      20% as human table meat
      30% bulk protein feeds for pigs, poultry, etc or dog food
      30% wild animals inc foxes, rats, mice, insect larvae ie the unusable or neglected stuff dumped into the ditch or the midden as evidenced time and again
      20 % spoilt but lawfully disposed of / legally incinerated.

      The BGA will scoff and offer their own figures, but the truth is nobody can possibly know where there is no real regulation or objective measurement.

      *excluding that is, those shot / winged / pelleted and never located, that die in the bushes after the shoot ended.

  2. I have to say that rubbish dumps similar to the one in the photograph are anything but unusual in the countryside. When I lived in the countryside on the edge of the Mendip Hills a few miles from Wells I frequently saw those kinds of rubbish dumps hidden away in corners of fields, in coombs etc. when I was walking away from footpaths. Farmers – not all of them I’m sure – do seem to be by far the worse litterers of our countryside.

  3. We are told over and over that shooters are the true ‘guardians of nature’ and that conservationists are just ill-informed townies. Once again we see that the shooters’ love of the countryside is rather like that of an abusive husband to his wife.

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