On the telly

tellyCountryfile (tonight, BBC1, 6.15pm) will feature raptor persecution:

“The RSPB say it’s time to get tough in the fight against the persecutors of British birds of prey. But is the wider shooting industry being unfairly blamed for the actions of a criminal few? Tom Heap finds out”.

We can probably guess where this is heading, but we’ll see.

Raptor persecution will also feature on next week’s Landward (Friday 28th Nov, 7.30pm):

“Grouse shooting brings millions of pounds into the Scottish rural economy, yet it is controversial. Dougie Vipond and Sarah Mack go on a shoot to see the sport first-hand, while Euan McIlwriath investigates the impact of grouse moors on the environment. Nick Nairn prepares a traditional roast grouse for dinner”.


9 Responses to “On the telly”

  1. November 23, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Of course the grouse moor owners, just like the riparian owners of salmon rivers (I guess in many cases it’s one & the same person) have the time and the money and the connections to get their message out. I’m sure I’ll be challenged on this, but I’ve always been a bit ambivalent about where these millions that huntin’, shootin & fishin’ attract to the Scottish economy GO? OK, some goes to local shops & hotels & petrol stations & seasonal workers (such as beaters), but a lot must also go into the pockets of wealthy landowners, many of whom are not even resident in Scotland?

    • November 23, 2014 at 11:19 am

      I would also love to know if anyone will query these sums. I would like to see the BBC do some research on that or at least give a source. These millions could include the money tourists and birdwatchers spend when in the vicinity of a moorland.
      There again they could just tot up the overall wages of all the gamekeepers. That alone must come to millions.

  2. November 23, 2014 at 11:12 am

    ‘We can probably guess where this is heading, but we’ll see.’
    Yes i am sure we can.
    First we will have the standard BBC ‘balance’ à la climate change which is working so well (for the fossil fuel industry).
    If the question posed is ‘But is the wider shooting industry being unfairly blamed for the actions of a criminal few?’ then the programme is based on a false premise. Is anyone blaming those who don’t break the law?
    The point is that the only way the crimes can be drastically reduced is by severely punishing the landowners on whose land the crimes are being committed and by licensing all grouse moors. In this scenario they would not be being blamed but forced to act in order to help stop the crimes. Why wouldn’t they want to stamp out these crimes and if they are innocent what have they got to lose. It is almost as though they believe they have the right to break the law if they want.
    What the ‘wider shooting industry’ can be accused of, is the lack of support to stamp out the crimes on those estates which flout the law (minority or otherwise). The wall of silence regarding informing on criminal estates and the press releases denials of the various shooting lobbies speak volumes.
    The underlying ethos of the landowner class, criminals or ‘innocent bystanders’, appears to be ‘Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law’ (without the Crowley caveat ‘Love above the Law’). So yes in this context I would condemn virtually the whole shooting industry for this ethos and the ‘looking the other way’ which protects the criminals.

  3. 4 manning2082014
    November 23, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Re Landward (Friday 28th Nov 7.30 pm), “while Euan McIlwriath investigates the impact of grouse moors on the environment.” I wonder if his investigation extends as far as a recent study produced my Dr Lee Brown at the School of Geography, University of Leeds, entitled “Moorland Burning Study”, which for the first time investigates the overall impact of moorland burning (for Grouse management) on the hydrology- ecology of moorlands. Visit http://www.wateratleeds.org/projects-and-groups/waterleedsecology/Moorland Burning Study.

  4. 5 crypticmirror
    November 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Ah nice to see BBC Scotland gearing up to defer to the landed London based gentry yet again. Never was there a more despicable lot of forelock tuggers as there is at Pacific Quay. Countryfile will no doubt be the usual soft-soap on everything approach too.

  5. November 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I was pleased with it on the whole I expected it to be very biased towards the shooting community – and surprisingly they gave the RSPB a fair voice although I did laugh at the ‘tame’ gamekeeper ” show me some evidence RSPB have used rare incidents” there is a s**t load of evidence that the game keeping community are persecuting raptors !! The 6 point plan made me smile as well I liked the RSPB response we need to stop killing raptors and allow them to thrive before we start taking chicks from nests where the landowners think there are too many i.e. every shooting estate !!! I did expect another BBC hatchet job supporting the guardians of the countryside and their rich friends.

  6. November 23, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    As for the wealth developed by the grouse moors, I believe (as does Fiona Cameron) that most of the money goes into the pockets of the land owners.
    They will then send it to a tax haven or similar tax dodge. So, it is no benefit to the nation!

  7. 8 Mr Greer Hart, senior
    November 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I love reading the comments on RPS, as they give succinct and apt explanations of what is going on in the strange world of shooting estate domination of a good part of the Scottish landscape. Various wildlife conservation groups that I am a member of, tell stories of what is happening world wide by the hunting and shooting sorts. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) report on Tanzania makes sad reading, along with that of the outrage being shown by Survival International (tribal rights). 30,000 Maasai pastoralists are being obliged to move off traditional lands to make way for a private shootings estate, being created for the Royal Family of Dubai. The EIA also related the sheer greed and cruelty shown by politicians, game wardens and Chinese gangs, with support from the latter’s Government, in conspiring to flaunt Elephant conservation laws, by concertedly acting to supply a large tonnage of ivory, taken aboard by a Chinese navy vessel and taken to China. A similar story is told about the Botswana Government clearing the Bushman population from areas where special conservation is to take place for the tourist industry, and possibly trophy shooting. These two cases exhibit the ignoring of indigenous peoples who have lived for centuries, if not thousands of years relating to the Bushmen, on such territories, during which wildlife did not become extinct. Another nonsense is taking place in Namibia, where two Black Rhinos were to be shot by two USA trophy shooters for $350,000 each; the purpose being that the animals are old and the money will be ploughed back into conservation.

    If such precedents are followed throughout Africa and elsewhere, every wild population of animals will become “managed” to suit the international trophy shooting elites. China is moving into Africa big way, and African economies could become very pliant to its wants. This would bode more destruction of wildlife and its habitats. Does anyone, other than the grossly naive, believe that revenues from shooting wildlife will be used for the benefit for the economies of those nations allowing it on the present industrial killing scale?

    Scotland lost much of its natural tree cover and concomitant wildlife due partly to the introduction of sheep and creation of deer shooting areas, along with the clearance of the human population from such areas. We preceded the Bushmen and Maasai, but we have the option to turn on those who have given us a deficit countryside, by bringing in changes that will subdue those who have made it that way. We have to have greater powers of control of what is being done with the Scottish landscape, and challenge the possibly specious figures adduced to support the maintenance of the present situation, whereby that land so used for grouse shooting must be so in perpetuity. Our politicians must come to realise that we do not harbour such protective feelings for wildlife/birds of prey, solely as our humane interest in life, for we all have actions and opinions in our histories that have embraced povery eradication, consequences of the spread of dangerous diseases, famine, thirst, equality, diversity, child welfare etc. No, and emphatically No, we see all of them as part of the same problem, and that is the domination by those who will not change from some form of wrong doing or thinking, and make way for the progress of compassionate action to alleviate all forms of cruelty and suffering. The elite of my world is the one that sees the interconnection of all the world’s problems, and that wants them to disappear through humane thinking and action by those in political power and in the enforcement of law and order.

  8. 9 Marco McGinty
    November 28, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    I’ve just watched the episode of Landward, and I cannot believe how biased that episode was. Somewhere, in a parallel universe, the BBC do act in an impartial manner, but sadly in our world, the BBC are a corrupt institution that are only concerned about portraying grouse shooting as a fantastic pastime that provides enormous benefits to Scotland.

    About two minutes of the programme was dedicated to persecution, with zero representation from conservation organisations. An impartial organisation would have had representation from the RSPB, the SSPCA, or OneKind, but the pro-establishment mouthpiece only seemed capable of having representation from a moorland owner, a gamekeeper, and Tim Baynes from SL&E.

    However, I’m quite sure our hosts will be developing a suitably scathing article on this whitewashed, BBC trash.

    [Ed: Yep, Marco….will be writing about it this weekend…]

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