Community action after golden eagle ‘Alma’ found poisoned on Millden Estate, Perthshire

Local residents are outraged at the poisoning of golden eagle ‘Alma’, who was found dead on the Millden Estate in Glen Esk in July 2009.

Members of Inveresk Community Council are now writing to the three Estates in Glenesk (Millden Estate, Gannochy Estate and Invermark Estate), as well as the Scottish Environment Minister, Roseanna Cunningham and the Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage, Andrew Thin, to express their concern about the alleged use of lethal illegal poisonous baits in the area.

Brechin Community Council vice-convenor, David Adam, who was at the meeting and raised the issue, said: “I think we are all quite shocked about this. I think it is fairly conclusive that the bird was poisoned and that the bird was poisoned in Glen Esk. These birds are an extremely important part of our heritage”.

Inveresk Community Council chairperson, Charlie Simpson, commented: “To poison such creatures goes totally against the nature of Scotland”.

At the time of the discovery of the dead eagle, police conducted searches, under warrant, of gamekeepers’ cottages and vehicles on the Millden Estate. No arrests have been made. Tayside Police claim this is an on-going investigation, which probably means this crime will remain unsolved and the criminal(s) unpunished, like so many other reported poisoning incidents in this region and elsewhere in Scotland.

This is Alma as a chick, at her nest on the Glenfeshie Estate in 2007, being tagged by Roy Dennis
Two years later, Alma is dead after visiting grouse moors in Glen Esk

Golden eagle (‘Alma’) found poisoned on Millden Estate, Angus

Here is 2-year old Alma, dead on a grouse moor after being poisoned. Her satellite tag is visible on her back. No arrests have been made for this wildlife crime.

A two-year old golden eagle named ‘Alma’ was found poisoned on the Millden Estate, nr Brechin, Angus, in July 2009. Alma was wearing a satellite tag fitted by Roy Dennis as part of a study to monitor golden eagle movements in Scotland.

According to The Guardian, the Millden Estate is managed by Nick Baikie, a grouse moor manager who is reported to have been previously employed by Mark Osborne, an Oxfordshire-based chartered surveyor. Grouse moors run by Osborne in Scotland and England have previously been raided by police investigating alleged wildlife crime offences. Milden is one of several sporting estates in Glen Esk. It is thought to be owned by multi-millionaire investment banker Richard Hanson, who bought it in 2004:

Police searched the Millden Estate, including the grouse moor and the gamekeepers’ cottages. No arrests have been made.

Further details can be found in an article written in the Guardian newspaper: