Press release from NatureScot (8th March 2023):
GENERAL LICENCE RESTRICTED ON ANGUS ESTATE
NATURESCOT HAS RESTRICTED THE USE OF GENERAL LICENCES ON MILLDEN ESTATE, IN THE ANGUS GLENS, FOR THREE YEARS
The decision was made on the basis of evidence provided by Police Scotland of wildlife crime against birds.
This evidence included three shot buzzards found on the estate in 2019, and incidents relating to trapping offences.
Donald Fraser, NatureScot’s Head of Wildlife Management, said: “The discovery of three shot buzzards on Millden estate, two of which were found within a bag at an estate house, as well as trapping offences and ongoing concerns relating to general licence compliance, have resulted in the suspension of the use of general licences on this property for three years until March 2026.
“NatureScot is committed to using all the tools we have available to tackle wildlife crime. This measure will help to protect wild birds in the area, while still allowing necessary land management activities to take place.
“We believe this is a proportionate response to protect wild birds in the area and prevent further wildlife crime. We will continue to work closely with Police Scotland and consider information they provide on cases which may warrant restricting general licences.
“The estate may still apply for individual licences; however, these will be subject to enhanced record-keeping and reporting requirements and will be closely monitored to ensure adherence with licence conditions.”
General licences allow landowners or land managers to carry out control of common species of wild birds, such as crows and magpies, to protect crops or livestock, without the need to apply for an individual licence.
In addition to this restriction, there are currently four other restrictions in place in Scotland: on Moy Estate in Highland, Invercauld Estate in the Cairngorms National Park, Lochan Estate in Perthshire and Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire.
I’ll be writing more about this later today….
UPDATE 16.20hrs: Millden is yet another grouse-shooting estate to be sanctioned after police find evidence of raptor persecution (here).
UPDATE 10th March 2023: Millden Estate says it will appeal General Licence restriction imposed after evidence of raptor persecution (here)
11 thoughts on “General Licence restriction imposed on Millden, a grouse-shooting estate in the Angus Glens, after evidence of raptor persecution”
Good. It’s a start and the direction of travel is in the right direction. Let’s hope for more action like this…
Yippee! Great news!
Such a bad outcome,the start of the end to wildlife in Scotland if you want to look at how un managed ground looks look at wales it’s a desert of wildlife.
Look at rspca wildlife reserves it’s that embarrassing they won’t even do a bird count .
NatureScot do not impose a GL restriction for no reason.
The statement from NatureScot makes this very clear and simple to understand,-
“NatureScot is committed to using all the tools we have available to tackle wildlife crime. This measure will help to protect wild birds in the area, while still allowing necessary land management activities to take place. We believe this is a proportionate response to protect wild birds in the area and prevent further wildlife crime.”
So just which part of this statement are you struggling to understand???
And if you want to understand just what a wildlife desert looks like- I can take you some intensively and badly managed grouse moors where we can spend a whole day looking at empty skies, and listening to silence, except for the occasional grouse wandering about in a badly scorched landscape accompanied by the loud bangs from gas guns. Is this apocalyptic vision your idea of how wildlife should be managed??
Someone calling themselves ‘Mr Wrong’ (he’s right, there:-) posted in response to this comment that there was no wildlife in Wales(!) and no birds on RSPCA reserves. The RSPCA do not have any reserves. And there is a lot of wildlife in Wales. I guess that Mr Wrong is someone who has been banned, and trying to troll again under a different pseudonym? But the system issued the post to other commentators.
Yet again the apologists for criminals reveal not only their complete dishonesty, but also their rank stupidity.
If that is all they can do in the face of such clear evidence of criminal activity then they should be lobbying the government to give them more effective powers: like the power to ban shooting on the estate for a minimum of 3 years, but unrestricted until they can demonstrate that they have provided an appropriate increase in predator biodiversity and numbers and reformed working practices.
This was the work of SSPCA and without the necessary powers.
Also convicted a gamekeeper on the estate who was jailed.
Good news from the point of view of highlighting xxxxx dodgy goings on to the general public, but practically – what is the confidence it will be enforced effectively? If I was a predatory or scavenging bird in that region, I would still steer well clear of that estate rather than place my faith that an “on-paper” restriction is followed.
“We believe this is a proportionate response to protect wild birds in the area and prevent further wildlife crime.”
I don’t. It is pathetic. They will simply apply for individual licenses, and then continue with business-as-usual:-(
Millden Estate is easily accessible with various convenient parking spaces within, or adjacant to it’s boundaries. Many people walkj in Glen Esk. It would seem to be a good idea to encourage folk to walk more frequently on this estate over the next three years, while keeping a camera handy just in case anything untoward comes into view. I, myself, have reported them for illegal traps a number of years ago and watched as they indulged in burning practises which took no notice of the guidelines that had been issued. On one occasions the whole hillside went up in flames with Fire Appliances called in from all over the Tayside Rregion.
Given the weight of illegal acts on Estate land over the years involving dead raptors, badger baiting, illegal traps and a poisoned sheepdog any more contraventions of the law or guidelines would make it almost impossible for the relevant authorities to ignore — possibly all the way up to Holyrood Level.
Brush up on environmental laws and regulations first and keep in mind that social media is a great place to publish photographs.
This should not cause any problems to the smooth working of the estate and would pose no problem at all for them if they worked within the law. These is no intention at all to harrass them in any way, only to enjoy the access guaranteed to us in our legal code.