Henry’s Tour day 42: Leadhills

Thurs 11th June Copy

Henry went with an armed escort to visit Leadhills in South Lanarkshire.

He looks a bit distressed. Perhaps he was being deafened by the booming gas guns that have recently been deployed on the grouse moors of the Leadhills (Hopetoun) Estate.

Or perhaps he’d just been told about the long list of wildlife crimes that have been discovered in this corner of South Lanarkshire; 46 confirmed since 2003, but only two resulting in successful convictions (2004 – Leadhills Estate gamekeeper convicted of shooting a short-eared owl; 2009 – Leadhills Estate gamekeeper convicted of placing out a poisoned rabbit bait).

Here’s the list, all from Leadhills unless otherwise stated:

2003 April: hen harrier shot [prosecution failed – inadmissible evidence]

2003 April: hen harrier eggs destroyed [prosecution failed – inadmissible evidence]

2004 May: buzzard shot [no prosecution]

2004 May: short-eared owl shot [gamekeeper convicted]

2004 June: buzzard poisoned (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2004 June: 4 x poisoned rabbit baits (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2004 June: crow poisoned (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2004 July: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2004 July: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2005 February: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2005 April: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2005 June: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2005 June: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 February: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 March: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 March: poisoned pigeon bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 April: dead buzzard (persecution method unknown) [no prosecution]

2006 May: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 May: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 May: poisoned egg baits (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 June: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 June: poisoned raven (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 June: 6 x poisoned rabbit baits (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 June: poisoned egg bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 September: 5 x poisoned buzzards (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 September: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2006 September: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2007 March: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2007 April: poisoned red kite (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2007 May: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2008 October: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran) [listed as ‘Nr Leadhills’] [no prosecution]

2008 October: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [listed as ‘Nr Leadhills’] [no prosecution]

2008 November: 3 x poisoned ravens (Carbofuran) [listed as ‘Nr Leadhills’] [no prosecution]

2009 March: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2009 March: poisoned raven (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2009 April: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran) [gamekeeper convicted]

2009 April: poisoned magpie (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2009 April: poisoned raven (Carbofuran) [no prosecution]

2010 October: short-eared owl shot [no prosecution]

2011 March: illegally-set clam trap [no prosecution]

2011 December: buzzard shot [no prosecution]

2012 October: golden eagle shot (just over boundary with Buccleuch Estate) [no prosecution]

2013 May: shot otter found on estate [no prosecution]

2013 June: significant cache of pre-prepared poisoned baits found on estate [no prosecution]

2013 August: red kite found shot and critically-injured in Leadhills village [no prosecution]

2014 February: poisoned peregrine (Carbofuran) [‘Nr Leadhills’] [no prosecution]

Word has it from a local informant that a suspected shot raven was found on Leadhills Estate in May 2015. Post-mortem results are awaited.

Just a few weeks ago, we were sent footage of a young man dressed in camouflage who was lying on the moor holding a firearm, looking over at a plastic decoy peregrine which had been placed on top of a small mound. When he realised he’d been spotted, he removed the decoy and took off back down the hill on a quad bike. Can’t imagine who that was or what his intentions might have been.


11 Responses to “Henry’s Tour day 42: Leadhills”

  1. 1 Chris Roberts
    June 11, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    They have more than enough reason to shut the killing estates down, let the land revert to a more natural appearance, encourage the natural indigenous wildlife to return, including animals that at one time were and should be there such as the lynx, and then let the whole area reap the financial benefits of wildlife tourism that would far out way any loss, that the killing of birds and animals bring.

  2. 2 Dave Dick
    June 11, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Ah yes Chris..but that would bring benefits to the whole of the local community..and not, as at present, to a handful of keepers and beaters and the landowner, who makes thousands in rent – so its obviously a dreadful idea isnt it?!

    • 3 Chris Roberts
      June 11, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Now you’ve explained it properly Dave I suppose it is, after all it wouldn’t be fair that a majority should benefit, when a very few can have it so good.

    • 4 bill
      June 13, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      That covers probably 50+ people, how many will your wildlife tourism help? The pub owner and the shop that already had a trade from not only the shooting party’s but also a rural community working in the country side which you want to drive out. 2 or 3 years you get a boom of Foxs, stoats, crow ect then when all the grouse rabbits and hares are gone it really will be a waste land with nothing but sheep and grass.

      • 5 Les Wallace
        June 14, 2015 at 10:50 am

        You forgot to mention plague of locusts. Funny why the Swedes, Danes, Norwegians and Finns aren’t rushing to create grouse moors given their enormous benefits to conservation and rural economies eh? Oh how grateful rural Scotland should be for a few crumbs of charity from grouse shooters, keepers paid a pittance (are they taking their frustration out on BOPs?), 30 or 40 quid for a day’s beating and I’m sure the local pub’s till is ringing year round from a couple of months shooting…um, not quite. Think you’ll find general recreation – hill walking and mountain biking etc as well as eco tourism bring in more money and would bring in a hell of a lot more with more wildlife, less barrenness and fewer guns in the hills.

      • 6 heclasu
        July 13, 2015 at 10:05 pm

        Come off it! The local shop owner won’t reap that much – they bring up their own stuff from ‘Harrods’!

  3. 7 Calm Summer
    June 12, 2015 at 9:19 am

    And that list is only the ones that have been found, this tally is disgraceful.

    Killing with impunity…….DEADHILLS

  4. June 14, 2015 at 9:13 am

    The recent footage of a camouflaged man pointing a firearm towards a decoy dummy peregrine in the hope to attract ‘birds’ to it only reinforces the importance of being vigilant whilst out on the hills across the country. We can’t be sure what this person was doing or trying to attract to the decoy, but I am sure we can all guess and his haste to get away after being spotted rather than approach the person filming is pretty suspect too. So it’s not just poison bait and traps targeting raptors we should be looking out for but also unusual behaviour and activity by people that we may come across whilst out n about on them there hills.

      June 25, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      Time to name and shame the ………

      [Ed: the rest of this comment has been deleted. It’s defamatory!]

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