Interesting bedfellows

From Country Life Magazine, October 22nd 2014, page 24:

A coveted place in the butts on four of Yorkshire’s finest grouse moors is up for auction. A team of eight guns will spend the day travelling between East and West Arkengarthdale, Grinton and Reeth in late October 2015 (subject to stocks), experiencing a drive on each. The day will go under the hammer at the GWCT’s biennial game dinner on Nov 6 at Swinton Park, Masham, North Yorkshire“.

Fascinating stuff.

Swinton Park is linked with the Swinton Estate. Swinton Estate was where the shot corpse of hen harrier Bowland Betty was discovered in 2012 (see here), although that was likely just an unfortunate coincidence as there was no evidence to link her death to anybody, let alone anyone associated with the estate. According to the Countryside Alliance, she wasn’t shot at all (see here).

A different incident confirmed criminal activity by a Swinton Estate employee. Earlier this year, gamekeeper Ryan Waite was convicted of illegally setting a spring (pole) trap on Swinton Estate (see here).

What an interesting choice of venue for the GWCT to select for their prestigious event, eh?


5 Responses to “Interesting bedfellows”

  1. October 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Are they wearing blinkers or rose-tinted specs?

  2. October 23, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Blinkers, ear muffs and a gag…

  3. 3 Jimmy
    October 23, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Some things never change…and these are the people we are told we should trust with our wildlife??!!

  4. 4 paul irving
    October 25, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Interesting bedfellows indeed given that various people associated with GWCT keep telling us they are the good guys and we should trust them, but then maybe not. Lets look first at this GCWT bash at Swinton Castle the stately home associated with the vast grouse moors of Swinton Estate. 1 Bowland Betty died there and according to local rumour xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx is the most likely culprit. 2 Between 2000 and 2007 at least 8 harrier breeding attempts failed on the estate in circumstances strongly suggesting persecution ( mainly disappearing adults) 3 A peregrine site was first occupied (post DDT– remember that!) in 1980 but has never ever reared young and is now not used, the only time young hatched they were found on the ledge poisoned. 4 In the nineties a gas gun was placed in an occupied Goshawk territory. 5 In the same period a buzzard nest and birds completely disappeared. 6 The estate has a long history of raptors being seen with “lead induced moult” Buzzards, Goshawks ( when we had them) Peregrines, Harriers ( see Goshawk) and Sparrowhawks 7 Two poisoned Red kites have been found on the estate and others have disappeared there since reintroduction. 8 Two Eagle Owls have been shot on the estate, one of which managed to scar its killer. 9 A member of the public found a short eared owl in a pole trap but failed to report it promptly. 10 a member of the shoot bragged in the pub about shooting a harrier in a grouse drive. 11 A keeper on the estate has recently been convicted of setting a pole trap.

    East Arkengarthdale and Reeth have had harrier nests fail in circumstances strongly suggesting persecution, although quite a time ago. all four of the estates offering drives are esentially raptor free zones. Yet GWCT claim to occupy the middle ground and be the good guys!!! I would hate to meet the criminals the bad guys hang out with.

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