Environment Minister hails Scotland’s wildlife killers

The world’s gone bonkers.

A few days ago we had Scottish Natural Heritage, the Government’s statutory nature conservation body, promoting Scotland’s dead wildlife pantry and the grouse shooting industry, claiming that red grouse are ‘healthy’, natural’ and harvested ‘sustainably’ when actually they’re anything but (see here).

And now we have Scotland’s Environment Minister, Dr Aileen McLeod, praising “the significant and valuable contribution” of the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association as she presented the SGA’s Young Gamekeeper of the Year Award 2015 at the Scottish Game Fair yesterday. Here’s what she had to say:

I just want to say, obviously, thank you very much, Alex [Hogg], and I’m absolutely delighted to be invited here this afternoon, this is obviously my first time I’ve ever been to the game fair as well so I’m really delighted to be here, the opportunity to be next to Alex and this young man as well [Duncan Seaton, the recipient of the award], so also I just thought it’d be a good opportunity just to thank the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association for all the long term support which you have provided to Scottish Government in various areas of policy, development and implementation and making sure we are implementing best practices of conservation and wildlife and wildlife management and I think to be really honest without your guys significant and valuable contribution to the management of Scotland’s countryside, we really wouldn’t have the world famous landscapes which many people from home and abroad enjoy which makes such a valuable contribution to Scotland’s rural economy“.

You can watch the video here.

No mention, then, of the hundreds of thousands of native animals that are snared, trapped and shot on an industrial scale every year by gamekeepers to ensure that an artificially high surplus of game birds (some non-native) is available to be, er, shot? And that’s just the legal killing. No mention either of the illegal poisoning, trapping, shooting and beating to death of protected wildlife, particularly birds of prey, which we know takes place on a significant scale because it affects the population range of a number of species; that doesn’t happen on that scale if it’s ‘just a few rogues at it’.

We’ve been waiting for Dr McLeod to show her hand since she first took office last November. It looks like she just has.

McLeod SGA Game Fair 2015


47 Responses to “Environment Minister hails Scotland’s wildlife killers”

  1. 1 michael gill
    July 4, 2015 at 1:01 am

    What is her doctorate in?

    • 2 Lynne O'Hagan
      July 4, 2015 at 9:48 am

      As far as I can find out her PhD was in Journalism, Media Theory and Practice taken at the University of Central Lancashire!

      • 3 Robert Moss
        July 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm

        Yes – I tried to get a copy of it online but could find only the title: “An Analysis of the Impact of the United Kingdom Print and Broadcast Media Upon the Legitimacy of the European Parliament in Britain”. I don’t know what this means but it seems to have little to do with the natural environment.

      • 4 Dougie
        July 5, 2015 at 10:07 am

        In other words a BSc in xxxxxx and a PhD in embroidery.

        • July 5, 2015 at 10:47 am

          No more sexist comments, please. Forget her gender and let’s concentrate on her words and actions as the Environment Minister.

          • 6 Jack Snipe
            July 5, 2015 at 6:03 pm

            Slagging off other academic disciplines isn’t constructive either, even if it is an attempt to illustrate why the incumbent isn’t appropriately qualified for the job. We get who we vote for in a democracy, and we have to ask why the SNP Government couldn’t find an elected member with more appropriate qualifications or experience. Perhaps we need to become more engaged politically. Groups like RPS are valuable in keeping a check on the performance of politicians who are in charge of the environment and biodiversity, but maybe we should be doing more than just moaning amongst ourselves. I don’t mean to ignore the fact that many stakeholders do contribute meaningful dialogue and actions. Let’s start by having a massive turnout on Hen Harrier Day.

        • 7 Robert Moss
          July 5, 2015 at 9:43 pm

          She doesn’t claim to have a BSc, rather an MA (Hons) in German and European Community Studies from the University of Edinburgh: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps/currentmsps/28198.aspx

  2. 8 Ron Bury
    July 4, 2015 at 1:16 am

    Dr Aileen McLeod either has no idea what constitutes a healthy environment, is so in thrall of the field sport fraternity that she doesn’t care or is caught up in a government edict to promote field sports as an aid to the economy with little thought for environmental affects. Maybe it’s all three!

    The world famous landscape she refers to is an impoverished one often referred to as a beautiful desert which has been created by generations of deforestation, overgrazing and the pursuit of mono-culture creating management for the single benefits of grouse shooting, deer stalking and sheep production. If this represents intelligent and responsible implementation of ‘best practices of conservation and wildlife and wildlife management’ then I feel there is something seriously amiss with government rational.

    Does biodiversity mean having rock and grass in the same place?

  3. 9 Mr Greer Hart, senior
    July 4, 2015 at 1:38 am

    I am not surprised that she has spoken so in favour of the very bogus industry, that has, and still is, the main anchor in holding back progress with regard to changing the management of the Scottish landscape, to becoming a more biodiverse area, over which the dead hand of an unrelenting and backward, shooting estate ownership of one-third of the Scottish landscape. What has been exposed, and it has been en shown on TV, in magazines and in the press, is that is an activity that can only produce a profitable return, if it eliminates all alleged competing life forms, by any means possible, and by breaking the law, knowing it can get away it, due to the limpness of our law enforcement and prosecution services. What is the purpose of such a tyrannous butchery of our Birds of Prey, Mountain Hares and other creatures for? Dr McLeod must be naive and badly informed to make the statement she did, when so much contrary information is out there for her to study, to prove the contrary to her speech.

    Being a member and donor to thirty different wildllife and animal welfare groups, and being in constant contact with most of them, I have found the same common concern the majority of the British public, has become very much against our countryside being such a place of mass slaughter, and under the control of a blood sports mob that has to kill animals and birds to get pleasure. We are witnessing the Conservatives wanting to bring back hunting with hounds, which would be a regressive act, and with so many people against that, there should be a national consensus taken on this issue. We cannot underestimate the power of the blood sports lobby, as their members occupy top positions throughout industry, finance and anywhere power lies that can be controlled to suit their whims. We are really two nations, with one half that is ethical/humanitarian regarding other forms of life and the natural environment; the other half contains those who want to hold tight to past activities, that are cruel and should not be used to derive pleasure. The current edition of Animal Aid magazine contains an article entitled MOORLAND GRAVEYARD, which revives the case of Richard Bannister owner of the Walmarsh Estate [Ed: Walshaw Estate] in England. That estate was accused of [allegedly] damaging a protected blanket bog, and other [alleged] environmental damage was made with bulldozed access paths, car parks etc. Natural England compiled a case to prosecute for this [alleged] gross damage, but failed to have it go to court, as the then DEFRA Minister for shooting estates, Richard Benyon, warned off Natural England, with the threat that if it failed in court, then the costs would have to be met by them.

    [Ed: Have a look at Mark Avery’s blog under the tag ‘Wuthering Moors’ – he has written extensively about the on-going situation at Walshaw – http://markavery.info/category/wuthering-moors/ ]

    That is one of many cases that have humiliated those groups and government bodies that have sought prosecutions for the deliberate and contemptuous breaking of the law. What the Walmarsh [Walshaw] Estate got was a ten year agreement with NE, and a subsidy of £2.5 million! Our efforts are like a becalmed ship, with a Government now in power that thinks it has a mandate to do as it pleases with regard to the natural environment. Meanwhile, in Scotland, where hopes rose that we could do better here, but now find we have the disillusioning praise of gamekeepers as being guardians of our countryside. Dr McLeod has lost credibility among those who have battled for years to bring justice to the Scottish countryside. She has as good as snubbed, and shown contempt for that marvellous effort by the RSPB, SSPCA and many other groups, to make Scotland a better place for wildlife, and rid our countryside of the vandal effects of those she has praised.

  4. 10 nirofo
    July 4, 2015 at 1:45 am

    The womans obviously either clueless about what’s really happening to our so-called legally protected wildlife, or she doesn’t really care one way or the other and she’s just spouting platitudes, or xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxx xxxxxx she condones it because she’s part of the blood sport set herself. Whatever the reason she could be Camerons perfect choice for maintaining the status quo of the shooting brigade in the UK.

    It’s high time we all got together and put the picture straight once and for all before it gets any worse, the RSPB are the only organisation big enough to get something moving on a large enough scale to make a difference, if only they would. If something isn’t done to put a stop to this wanton slaughter of our wildlife and the destruction of habitat soon then I’m afraid it may be too late. Unfortunately I fear it may be too late for many of our raptors already !!!

  5. 11 Marco McGinty
    July 4, 2015 at 2:39 am

    I can’t disagree with any of the statements already published (as I type, Ron Bury, Mr Greer Hart senior, and nirofo). This one action has set Scotland back 20 years, and in one fell swoop, her words have made all of the progressive actions of the past few years redundant. As she, the SNP, and the Scottish Government, have now shown a recent bias in favour of the shooting estates, I now have my doubts as to whether the SSPCA will be granted any new powers, and I now have some concerns on the delivery of Land Reform.

    I am utterly astonished at her outpouring of lies and misinformation, and she has proven beyond doubt that she has no idea whatsoever in respect to the various issues surrounding nature conservation. Recent actions, fawning over the shooting industry, has shown she is unfit for the post of Environment Minister, and if the SNP want to be taken seriously as a progressive party, she should be removed from her post immediately. If they fail to do so, it will be a clear message to the public that the SNP are simply not interested in tackling wildlife crime, especially raptor persecution.

    As for nirofo’s comment on the RSPB, I couldn’t agree more. We truly need the RSPB to be more upfront and take a hard-line approach to the ills of driven grouse and pheasant shooting, as they’ve been a bit like the Scottish Government – some decent work, but could do much, much better.

  6. 13 I C T
    July 4, 2015 at 8:09 am

    A Conservative in disguise if ever there was one!

  7. July 4, 2015 at 8:51 am

    What hope for land reform and the natural heritage if she has already had the wool pulled over her eyes by the people of this calibre? I suspect she was simply being a two faced politician… being nice to everyone. But, somebody needs to ask her to explain her comments so that she really has to think about what she is saying and fully understand the implications of her misguided remarks.

  8. 15 Pip
    July 4, 2015 at 9:42 am

    O dear, my worst fears about this useless individual have proved correct…………………what hope is there?

  9. 16 Peter Shearer
    July 4, 2015 at 9:46 am

    So it looks like her predecessor,who was beginning to take a harder line against the gamekeeping fraternity,was removed because their position was threatened. It is truly depressing how unbalanced the power is in the UK,but we have to persevere knowing what we are fighting for.It may be a long, hard battle, but one we cannot lose.We need to mobilise all those that support us and force the issues more and more into the public conscience. The SNP need to be exposed here,as we have to assume the decisions have come from the top.

    In defence of the RSPB, they are already being targeted by the opposition and we can be sure that the right-wing press will be ready to attack them further for any attempts they make to tackle the issues more aggressively.I hope the RSPB do, but we all need to be willing to fully support them against the usual suspects.

    There will come a point where the public end up on our side so we need to keep believing this.

  10. 17 dave angel
    July 4, 2015 at 9:49 am

    The SNP operate by winning over various interest groups, one by one. Once won over and seduced into nationalism their votes are in the bag.

    They’ve secured as many of the conservation sector as they’re ever going to so it’s now time to start on the other side.

    That’s what’s happening here.

    • 18 Marco McGinty
      July 4, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      You will probably find that all political parties act in this way, however I have to take issue with your wording. For many, many people, political independence is quite normal, and many countries throughout the world benefit from it. To suggest that people have been “seduced into nationalism” by the SNP is incredibly discourteous.

      I also believe if the SNP (or the Scottish Government) had continued to tackle wildlife crime, becoming more hard-line as the months progressed, they would have gained more and more people from the conservation sector, and more and more people from the general public.

      • 19 dave angel
        July 5, 2015 at 8:19 am

        This isn’t the place for an argument about nationalism. All I will say is that I will judge the SNP by what they do about the issues they have authority to deal with, issues like education, health and law and order, not by what they say about issues they do not have authority to deal with.

  11. 21 Pip
    July 4, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Marco McGinty
    July 1, 2015 at 1:45 am
    “You do realise that SNH existed long before the SNP came to power in Scotland, and SNH were pandering to the landowners then?

    As for statement that “you elected a shower of SNP nutters who haven’t a care about anything but themselves and power”, would you kindly provide us with some evidence supporting your claim?”

    ‘Nuff said…………………Pip

    • 22 Marco McGinty
      July 4, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      Taken out of context, as I was responding to a BritNat’s post that was obviously attacking the people of Scotland for democratically electing 56 SNP MPs to the Westminster parliament, and it must be stated that those 56 democratically elected MPs, along with the wishes of the people of Scotland, are being treated with utter contempt by unionist politicians.

      Anyway, Aileen McLeod was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011, along with the other SNP contingent that, until a week or so ago, had been making some decent progress in tackling wildlife crime, which is in complete contrast to the Westminster system, so that takes care of your argument.

      Don’t get me wrong, the Scottish Government is nowhere near good enough at present, ad the SNP has created a monumental mess in the past week or so, but just out of curiosity, which of the two governments do you prefer? Can you honestly state that you prefer the war makers, the murderers and the paedophile protectors of the Westminster government? Or is the Scottish PR system, where all parties (and theoretically all voters) can have their opinions considered and implemented, a substantially better system?

  12. 23 Chris Roberts
    July 4, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Well Aileen McLeod has now shown us where she, and presumably, the SNP government stand on killing estates and Scotland’s wildlife, I am totally disappointed, angry and disillusioned. Also it is now abundantly clear why McLeod’s predecessor was removed by Sturgeon of his post. I recently left the RSPB after many years, in protest at Martin Harpers endorsement of pheasant shoots. The day they come of the fence with regard to the killing estates will be the day I gladly re-join them.

  13. 25 ian rubery
    July 4, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Perhaps we shouldn’t be too despondent. In the way that politicians can promise you the earth then stab you in the back, may be this is what is going on here.

  14. 26 Me
    July 4, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    ….”valuable contribution of Scotland’s countryside,we really wouldn’t have the world famous landscapes…..” Gosh I really didn’t pay attention in the Geography class, I thought Scotland”s landscape was formed millions of years ago ,but all along it has been the SGA.
    It would appear then that Aileen McLeod is more than comfortable mixing with the alleged “Gentry” than alleged “common people” or is she only looking out for her ( and her family’s)future “interests” as we see all too often in politics and business these days.
    Does she go ” hillwalking” ? Has she had to put up with trying to reach some more remote( non tourists)areas of Scotland by scaling ” Deer fences” after parking a couple of miles away from your desired destination because you can’t get access because there in now a ” secured” gate/fence across the single tracked road or trying to avoid being forced off the single tracked road by a convoy of 4×4’s heading back to the “lodge” with their guests.
    Has she walked for hours through parts of the Scottish countryside with no sight or sound of “wildlife” it’s flippin depressing ,so just as well the SGA had the decency to create those magnificent Mountains and Glens to take our minds of the lack of wildlife for we may as well go walking on the moon.

  15. 27 Dave Dick
    July 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    In my time I have seen politicians of every party, when faced with standing up to the endemic wildlife killers within the scottish game shooting industry..all back down…These politicians must know there are far more votes in standing up to the landowners and their henchmen…so why dont they?..What undemocratic threats, bribes and alliances are going on in the background to produce such blatant twisting of reality?..are there no good investigative journalists left out there??

  16. 28 Bimbliing
    July 4, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Can’t help but think a number of things that maybe its not as bad as painted.

    Her speech will/may have been drafted by SG officials, who are pretty much the same ones as before. They were behind Wheelhouse so they certainly know the lie of the land and the strength of feeling and depth of evidence that is contrary to Dr McLeod’s ‘opinion’.

    I’m inclined to agree with Iain Rubery. Politicians, trying to be all things to all people and facing different ways at the same time. Its the Game Fair, this also may not have been the venue to kick lumps out of the shooting lot, especially as she was there to present an award to a new gamie (I’m making no comments about the sense of attending the Game Fair and doing this in the first place tho’!).

    Lets just keep the pressure up, oh and not forget that RSPB are the good guys – its too easy to start having a go at your own players.

    • 29 Marco McGinty
      July 4, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Yes, perhaps it is a case of a politician trying to “speak” to everyone, but this is where I have a problem, as do you it would appear. If the Scottish Government want to be seen to be tackling wildlife crime and environmental degradation, then they should distance themselves from a group that is responsible for much of that crime and destruction.

      What next? Sending representatives to pro-terrorist rallies to speak on the good and great of terrorism?

    • 30 Anand Prasad
      July 5, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Surely that can’t have been a speech unless speech writers now try to be deliberately moronic, which is always a possibility (the political version of the persil advert). She repeats ‘obviously’ twice in the first 23 words, ‘delighted’ in about the same number of words and then launches into brown-nosing .
      The only way i can take any kind of consolation is that it doesn’t sound like a prepared speech. Still i am utterly depressed. I also reach for hope in the fact that this war is being fought for the minds of the electorate not for these worthless politicians.

  17. 31 Mike
    July 4, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Well if that quote is verbatim she clearly isn’t a natural at making speeches and as someone with a media/ journalism interest she clearly hasn’t taken much care in what she has said in public. Unfortunately
    She obviously has little background knowledge regarding the natural environment – so it was a bit of disastrous outing from start to finish!

  18. 32 Sebastian
    July 4, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I share the initial outrage, but also the assessment of Bimbliing. I have just taken some of the best arguments of these comments and put them in a personal letter of concern, with a request that Dr MacLeod should issue a “public statement and a clear response to either endorse and explain the position (she) presented at the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association, or to unequivocally clarify and deny it”. All of us should do the same, as she will learn from it and ensure that her officials will, too!

  19. 33 bill
    July 4, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Don’t get your knickers in a twist, she is a slimy politician and would’ve said the complete opposite at one of your ” if it’s not got a hooky beaks we don’t care” meetings.

  20. 34 keen birder
    July 4, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Very good chance totally missed, she could have given much support to our hopes and to wildlife legislation, and warnings to those who break the laws, perhaps she has been brainwashed by you know who, or she just has not a clue about whats really going on in the countryside, or perhaps shes a keen supporter of shooting, or finally perhaps she has seen the short Hitler film on you tube called, More Wildlife On Keepered Ground, I urge you all to watch this, I thought it was very amusing.

  21. July 4, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Just watched the video clip…. what a shambles…. wee Alex’s face just after she stresses “implementation of good practice”…. priceless! Heres yer prize son… oh shit I was supposed to pass it to the Minister to gie to you… ah better hang on to it.. nope shes talkin noo so a cannae get her to present again… naebody’ll notice if a jist pass it in front o the minister while shes talkin… there you go son its yer prize again….. just smile!

  22. 36 Jack Snipe
    July 5, 2015 at 6:16 am

    I expressed serious concern at the consultation stage of the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill (now enacted), because I could see, not very well hidden in its legal wording, a charter for the hunting lobby to influence (some would say sabotage) progress made in nature conservation legislation up to and including the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004. My concerns, which were shared by others who submitted comments, were completely swept aside. Disappointingly, the consultation presentation of the Bill included a glowing foreword from the RSPB, apparently mainly due to the inclusion of the offence of vicarious liability. It appears however that the chickens are now coming home to roost. It is my belief that the leading conservation bodies in this country have been duped, but I’ll leave that for others to judge. There appears to me to have been an ethical sea change in Scottish Natural Heritage’s approach (particularly since the integration of Deer Commission Scotland), which few nature conservationists and practitioners seem to have noticed so far. I feel sorry for the many dedicated conservationists working for SNH who are having to cope with the unethical direction that body has taken in recent years. If we don’t do something about it, it will get worse. It would help if wildlife charities weren’t so obsessed themselves with killing “unwanted” non-native invasive species, which is a spill-over of gamekeeper mentality into the general consciousness.

    Dr McLeod’s statement might seem naïve, but that’s because it is. It’s easy to personalise our criticism, but her falling for what is, in effect, propaganda suggests she may not be fit to hold office. However we need to remember that the true policy makers who wrote her speech are civil servants in SNH, which now has a unit specialising in “species management”, which the layman might interpret as posh gamekeepering. Watch out for SNH and others quoting from Dr McLeod’s statement in justifying future policies.

  23. 37 Anonymous
    July 5, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Hooray! At last there is someone in the public eye who speaks the truth and supports the good work which gamekeepers do in maintaining a sustainable habitat for the well being of a vast array of wildlife and the breathtaking landscapes we have come to know and love in Scotland!
    Do none of you people like Scotland’s image? What would you suggest these habitats be replaced with? Who would manage them? And how would they be funded?

    • 38 Jack Snipe
      July 6, 2015 at 1:11 am

      Dear Anonymous, your first paragraph comes across as a piece of clever satire, but then you reveal that you seem to believe it! Or am I falling for some sort of double bluff? Assuming not, I’d say I have mixed feelings about Scotland’s image. I love the scenery and wildlife, our culture and most of the people, but I’m ashamed of the upper class snobs who think they’re intelligent but behave like ironic imbeciles in their pursuit of killing wild creatures in the name of tradition or indulgent amusement. I’m ashamed of the cruelty, lack of compassion, and the extreme arrogance shown by many of their kind. I’m ashamed of bullies who act out their primitive displays of machismo towards defenceless wildlife. I’m ashamed that our Scottish Natural Heritage quango has been infiltrated by a handful of managers and advisers who are sympathetic towards those who exploit and abuse nature, and I’m ashamed of gullible politicians who fall for their propaganda.

      As to your other questions, it’s not clear which habitats you refer to, but if you mean grouse moors then there’s no need to “replace” them with anything. They just need to be managed differently, so that they can genuinely support “a vast array of wildlife.” That would help to protect Red Grouse at sustainable population levels, rather than treating them as fairground targets for the super-rich elite. Your question as to who would manage the habitats cannot be fully answered without going back to basics and reviewing the whole issue of land ownership, but an interim arrangement could be to grant aid existing landowners or tenant farmers in the way they are at present on Special Protection Areas, which should belong to all of us, not in the hands of millionaires or foreign hedge funds based in tax havens. Commercial sheep farming could be compatible and sustainable, even beneficial to wildlife if sensibly stocked and managed effectively. Gamekeepers may become redundant, but could be redeployed and trained as conservation managers and estate workers to manage habitats sustainably, with a view to supporting a rich range of native wildlife in a balanced natural ecosystem. Ecotourism could be developed further to help sustain the rural economy. Undoubtedly, radical measures are required to meet our responsibility as a society to enhance and conserve biodiversity, and to protect the precious natural heritage of our land, sea and waterways.

    • 39 nirofo
      July 6, 2015 at 1:55 am

      Do you live in the same country as the rest of us, have you not seen the relentless degradation that is taking place on the majority of our uplands at the hands of the grouse shooting estates, or have you grown so accustomed to seeing the sorry state of it for so long you’ve forgotten what it used to be like. Have you not realised that the moorlands are only kept in the state they’re in for one purpose, to make sure it’s overpopulated with semi tame grouse. Don’t you realise that in order to maintain these unnaturally high numbers of grouse something else has to pay the consequences, the gamekeeper makes certain that the moorlands are manipulated to extreme lengths to suit the grouse and that highest consequences are paid for in blood by the illegal persecution of our so-called legally protected birds of prey.

      Do you think our new Scottish Environment Minister, Dr Aileen McLeod has been told the real truth about the plight of our upland / moorland environment and it’s protected birds of prey, do you think if she knew the real truth she would perhaps have a different outlook and opinion as regards the shooting brigade and their gamekeepers, or do you think she’s seeing it just the way she would actually like it to be and doesn’t care too much about SSSI’s, SPA’s and protected birds of prey if they get in the way of so-called “country sports” !!!

      Why do you think these habitats need replacing and why do you think they need managing. Nature is a great healer and can take care of itself if given the chance, get rid of the grouse shooters and their gamekeepers and that’s all the management it needs.

      • 40 Chris Roberts
        July 6, 2015 at 9:38 am

        Most definatly get rid of the unnatural, ugly eyesore that muirburn create, it is a blight on the British uplands.

    • 41 Anand Prasad
      July 6, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Spend a few days hiking on the Hardangervidda plateau in southern Norway and then you will see how ridiculous is your claim about Scottish moorland’s natural beauty.
      You will also see hoe beautiful Scotland could be.

      July 14, 2015 at 11:04 am

      So why do gamekeepers not stand as one and say to there masters if you want raptors reduced you do it Have Gamekeepers never herd of constructive dismissal, its a crime to expect an employer to break the law

  24. 44 David
    July 6, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Somewhat related: the Scottish Government recently published ‘Scotland’s Biodiversity – a route map to 2020’. Big Step 1 is Ecosystem Restoration (peatland, woodland, freshwaters). Big Step 4 is Conserving wildlife in Scotland and one of the priority projects is Conservation of priority species: ‘Under PAWS (Partnership Against Wildlife Crime Scotland), implement action plan for hen harriers involving intelligence sharing, enforcement and awareness raising to combat wildlife crime.’

    There is a so-called The Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) Initiative on page 27: ‘encouraging best practice and demonstrating how sustainable game and wildlife management can deliver multiple benefits, including wildlife conservation, and wide society and rural community benefits.’

    Can be downloaded from here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/06/8630

  25. 45 keen birder
    July 6, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Tremendous letters, has no one seen the short film yet thats starting to do the rounds on facebook, also can be seen on youtube, called more wildlife on keepered estates, Hitler clip, it is a satirical comedy attack on the likes of us and the RSPB, it is very funny.

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