Henry’s tour day 55: burn, baby, burn!

Tues 30 June 2015  Copy

Henry is growing increasingly interested in the management techniques used on intensively-managed driven grouse moors.

He was bemused to see this sign on the Nawton Tower Estate in the North York Moors National Park. ‘No fires’ on this designated Site of Special Scientific Interest….but what’s all that black, charred moor in the background?!

Mark Avery has today published a timely blog about the environmental effects of moorland burning – see here.

The Nawton Tower Estate is also known as the Bransdale Moor Estate, according to this parliamentary discussion. And actually, this discussion is rather interesting for another reason as it reveals details of tax breaks for grouse moor owners in return for public access rights, but after taking the tax breaks some landowners decided they wanted to restrict public access – it’s fascinating! The context of the above parliamentary discussion can be found in this Hansard report.

The grouse management on Bransdale Moor has been linked to Mark Osborne – see here, and apparently this grouse moor is ‘often described as the premier North Yorkshire Moors grouse shooting estate’ – see here.

Henry didn’t see any hen harriers during his visit but did see a lot of pheasants(?!) and a lot of red grouse.

18 Responses to “Henry’s tour day 55: burn, baby, burn!”

  1. July 1, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Interesting blog – as (almost) always!

    Yes, there were shedloads of Pheasants weren’t there?!

    • July 1, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks to the shooting industry there’s shed loads of this non-native bird pretty much everywhere. It would seem it’s almost impossible to got for a walk in the woods these days and not stumble upon a pen, complete with electric fences, poison baits, fen traps and snares. What a lovely place our countryside is.


      July 3, 2015 at 11:48 pm

      Bransdale estate is protected by National Trust who owns all farms up there bequested them to protect the shooting interests of the filthy rich bet there is fox hunting up there as well

      July 4, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      Bet NT tenants are told to keep mouth shut if they see something illegal .Its about time the membership new what they are really sighing up for..

  2. 5 Douglas Malpus
    July 1, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    When will driven game shoots be replaced with “clay” shoots. Pigeons got their reprieve in 1921, it is time for pheasants, grouse and partridges to get their reprieve!

    • 6 nirofo
      July 2, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      There’s no blood lust involved in clay shooting unless you accidentally shoot the guy operating the trap, and it’s just not that easy for them to get their rocks off shattering a clay pigeon. The method used is very similar to so-called “game” shooting, that is drive a grouse or pheasant up in front of the waiting gun, or release a clay pigeon up in front of the waiting gun, main difference is nothing is actually killed or maimed when shooting at clays, including protected raptors. Compare that to the mass slaughter and severe maiming of semi tame grouse and pheasants and the relentless persecution of protected birds of prey and we all know which they prefer.

      Having observed first hand the shooting abilities of many of the “game” shooters, it could be that the skill level involved in shooting clays is probably far too high for most of them to manage.

      • 7 Les Wallace
        July 3, 2015 at 10:35 am

        You speak true. I remember Nicki from the office who for some strange reason wanted to be part of the country set so got all the gear, wellies and tweeds and went out on a day’s pheasant shoot. Barely knew one end of a gun from another so no great surprise when she merely winged a couple of birds. Too squeamish to finish them off someone else did the job for her, but that did’t stop her posing proudly with her ‘kills’.

  3. 8 Grouseman
    July 2, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Maybe Henry should try looking for a mate on the Isle of Man where there is a plentiful supply of harriers and no driven grouse moors. Oh wait…………….by the RSPBs own figures last recorded Harrier numbers have dropped here by almost 50% in 6 years where illegal persecution is known not to be a factor! Maybe there’s more to these Hen Harrier population fluctuations than meets the eye…..,,,

    • July 2, 2015 at 8:25 am

      And do you think the Isle of Man population is self-sustaining or do you think it relies on HHs arriving from the mainland? You know, the mainland, where persecution continues to suppress the population?

    • 10 Marco McGinty
      July 2, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Ah, Grouseman with his usual, nonsensical outpourings. Have you ever considered changing your pseudonym to Strawman?

    • July 2, 2015 at 10:11 pm

      Henry could look on the Isle of Man…. where there is no driven grouse shooting…

      Or say Islay…. where there is no driven grouse shooting…
      or Mull…. where there is no driven grouse shooting…
      or the Western Isles…where there is no driven grouse shooting….
      Or arran….. where there is no driven grouse shooting….
      or Orkney…where there is no driven grouse shooting….
      or the Flow Country… where there is no driven grouse shooting…

      are you seeing a wee bit of a pattern Grouseman?

      • 12 Grouseman
        July 3, 2015 at 5:25 pm

        And what is the harriers status in all those places?……………

        • July 3, 2015 at 6:23 pm

          Oh god this is all too easy. Circus maxima -will leave this to you to respond, if you can be bothered!

          • 14 Grouseman
            July 3, 2015 at 11:24 pm

            It was actually a genuine question.

              July 4, 2015 at 5:08 pm

              Having worked / working on Four sporting estates , two driven grouse moors two walk up grouse shoots , the wildlife / birdlife curlew, golden plover, etc not just raptors was ten fold more on the walk up shoots. Two driven grouse moors / keepers have been prosecuted . TIME FOR MORE

        • July 5, 2015 at 11:44 am

          Its status? It is just as protected as it is on land where there is driven grouse shooting?

          However in these areas where they are doing better… they don’t have the benefit of keepers managing the other wildlife and habitats to help them….. don’t they understand they should be gone without the keepers??? Stupid birds eh?

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