Henry’s Tour day 30: Abbeystead Estate, Bowland

Mon 18 May Copy

Henry’s in Bowland, Lancashire, pondering whether he should visit the Abbeystead Estate.

The vast Abbeystead Estate is owned by trusts on behalf of Gerald Grosvenor, the 6th Duke of Westminster (another former vice president of the Game Conservancy Trust [now GWCT]).

Eleven years ago, Abbeystead Estate was one of several grouse-shooting estates that refused to sign a pledge to accept laws protecting the hen harrier. Abbeystead’s Estate Manager gave the following explanation:

The Abbeystead estate’s view is that we already had the English Nature hen harrier recovery unit running for two or three years and we had been very supportive. Our police came to see us with this declaration to sign, which I was not going to do. We thought the whole thing very heavy-handed” (see here).

Martyn Howat, the then chairman of English Nature’s hen harrier recovery project, said: “On the Bowland fells, English Nature have a good relationship with the gamekeepers and managers of privately owned grouse moors, particularly the Duke of Westminster’s estate“.

For an eye-opening example of the good relationship between English Nature (now Natural England) and the Abbeystead Estate, here is a fascinating read.

Talking of Martyn Howat, that name rings a bell. Ah yes, here he is.

7 Responses to “Henry’s Tour day 30: Abbeystead Estate, Bowland”

  1. 1 NorthernDiver
    May 18, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    More information about the situation in Bowland here:-

    [Ed: URL removed as information is defamatory]

  2. 3 Douglas Malpus
    May 18, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Dangerous area! Hen Harriers are regularly abducted by ALIENS! At least that is what the gamekeepers would have us believe and who can doubt such upstanding people????

  3. 4 Kevin moore
    May 18, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    good luck Henry you will need it [Ed: in Bowland] not much with a hooked beak and talons survives there

    [Ed: comment edited to remove defamation]

  4. 5 paul irving
    May 18, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Back in the late eighties and early nineties in most years one harrier nest on the estate was xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx successful, however since xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx arrived not only has this quite clearly stopped but all medium and large raptors have disappeared off the estate and within 1 or 2 km of the boundary on neighbouring estates too!

    [Ed: Thanks, Paul. We’ve had to edit, as you’ll understand!]

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