Details, details

The following letter appeared in the Press & Journal today:

Wind turbines affecting wildlife – Sir – I congratulate Lyndsey Ward for her excellent letter on windfarms and wildlife. There is absolutely no doubt that the raptors found dead or seriously injured at wind turbines are only the tip of the iceberg. For political reasons, the true figures will never be released. While I fully support Lyndsey’s call for an independent study into the decline of all vulnerable species in areas where there are windfarm developments, I would suggest the study should go further to include the impact protected predators have on species that are in serious decline. The RSPB and Scottish Government would do well to remember and pay heed to the wise words of King George VI: “the wildlife of today is not ours to dispose of as we please. We have it in trust. We must account for it to those who come after”. Peter Fraser, Catanellan, Crathie.

Fascinating, isn’t it, how a discussion about the potential impact of wind farms on raptors is suddenly turned into a dig at the RSPB and an unrelated discussion on ‘the impact protected predators have on species that are in serious decline’?

Perhaps not so surprising when you realise that the author, Peter Fraser, just happens to share the same name and address as the Vice Chair of the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association. The same Peter Fraser who recently retired after 43 years as a gamekeeper and stalker on Invercauld Estate and whose views on who is responsible for illegal raptor persecution are not supported by actual evidence.

In light of Peter Fraser’s background, it’s interesting to re-read the letter and see how highly it scores on the brilliantly-devised Lagopus’s Delusion Index.

SGA Our team


15 Responses to “Details, details”

  1. 1 Peter Cosgrove
    November 12, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    It appears to score a 4.5 on the don’ts and 4.5 on the do’s. Thus, I think it scores 9 points on the Sandringham Score. It forgot to mention town and country – must try harder to get maximum points.

  2. November 12, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I can’t believe he actually quoted this sentence: “the wildlife of today is not ours to dispose of as we please. We have it in trust. We must account for it to those who come after”. … This, coming from a man who spent his life disposing of all manner of wildlife & a member of the Gamekeeping Profession, which is widely regarded as being responsible for the extinction in the UK of certain Birds of Prey like the Goshawk & the near extinction of various others, including today, the Hen Harrier in England! … As for his expression “tip of the iceberg” .. now where have I heard that before, in relation to Birds of Prey.

  3. 5 Dave
    November 12, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    He gave it away with ‘protected predators’

  4. 6 nirofo
    November 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    There’s no doubt that windfarms are grossly undocumented killers of many forms of wildlife, including protected Raptors. It’s also well known that many of the windfarms are built in places where they should never have got past the planning stage, deaths to protected species found around them are rapidly brushed under the carpet to avoid becoming an unwanted statistic for the government to talk its way out of. However, the windfarms are just another factor to be added to the decimation of our UK wildlife and are by no means the main cause. By far the biggest and well documented threat to our protected birds of prey is no doubt at the hands of shooting interests, in particular driven Red Grouse shooting.

    The gamekeepers are so obvious in their attempt to muddy the waters by pointing their grubby fingers towards wildlife deaths at windfarms, it just goes to show they’ll try almost anything to make themselves out as the true ambassadors for our wildlife and the countryside, while in reality they are in denial that they are one of the main reasons our protected birds of prey are persecuted to almost extinction on the grouse shooting estates and many other places. They would love the general public to believe everything they say, especially when they try to make them believe that it’s only a few rotten apples in the barrel that are making it look bad for the rest of them. Well, the general public are not so gullible as they would like them to be, it’s well known that a few rotten apples can soon turn the whole barrel rotten. How many times have you heard the same old rhetoric put out by the likes of the SGA that the few rotten apples who are illegally killing Raptors doesn’t mean that the rest of them are doing it. Well OK then, but, and its a big but, if that’s the case why doesn’t the SGA and the rest of the so-called good apples come out into the open to condemn, name and shame the rotten apples spoiling it for the others in the barrel ???

    • 7 Chris Roberts
      November 12, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      Well said nirofo. Windfarms most certainly do kill birds, however gamekeepers kill many times more, not only birds but protected and unprotected mammals as well. The wildcat was nearly driven to extinction, historically due to their actions.

  5. November 12, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    I think he implies that the Pine Marten, a protected predator, is causing a problem for species in decline. Pine Martens raid tree and ground nesting birds like the Capercaillie which is in serious decline. In a local forest with a large population of Pine Martens, one Osprey’s nest was tunnelled through and eggs removed down the tunnel and disturbance to prospective White-tailed Eagle nesting is possible. Peter Fraser’s old beat on Invercauld is home to Golden Eagles and they were and are left undisturbed.

  6. 10 George Murdoch
    November 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    “Protected predators?” … is he referring to gamekeepers?

  7. 11 John Thatcher
    November 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Whenever the argument vis-a-vis wind turbines and bird-strikes is raised, I wonder about the purpose of those that raise it. I am a lifelong (over 50 years) enthusiastic observer of the natural environment (both as a “Townie” and a “Rustic”) and have ever been fascinated by the environment’s ability to adapt to so manifold corruptions that mankind presses upon it. Albeit it’s recovery mechanisms are being sorely tried by our collective behaviours.

    When I see the question raised about analysis of the impact of wind-farms on migratory birds, etc., I remind myself of the absence of equivalent studies of the impact of extraction of fossil fuels, the destruction caused by, mining, drilling, spillage, disposal of waste and the environmental Armageddon that using those fuels has on the survival of all wildlife. On balance I am certain that wind-farms have the lower body count on all species.

    I don’t expect, either, to see an in-depth study of the death toll on all native wildlife from “land management” including industrial farming, the burning off of moorland heather, suspension of plant progression and control of “nuisance species” during the last 140 years, or so, that the pampered rich have been queuing up to play organised “let’s blow holes in game-birds” in Great Britain.

    The wind-farm gambit is diversionary – the main argument about why our wildlife is endangered is the mismanagement of our countryside by those who see it as a resource rather than a living ecosphere.

    • 12 Jimmy
      November 13, 2014 at 1:18 am

      The point is that wind power has and will not replace fossil fuels to any great extent. This has been the case across Europe since it is unreliable and requires conventional power sources as back up.

  8. 13 Kevin moore
    November 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    It always makes me smile when people like fraser try and xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx, him and his xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx cronies care about grouse and grouse only .

  9. November 13, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Pine martens co-existed with Scotland’s natural wildlife for thousands of years before game keepers persecuted them almost to extinction. Pine martens still co-exist with capercaillies, ospreys & all other wildlife on the Continent.

  10. November 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    While people like Fraser represent the SGA who could ever trust that organisation..

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