It’s been two weeks since the news emerged that a gamekeeper on the Mossdale Estate in the Yorkshire Dales National Park had been filmed setting three illegal pole traps on a grouse moor where a female hen harrier had been observed hunting (see here).
It’s been 12 days since the Moorland Association admitted that the owner of Mossdale Estate was a member of the MA (see here) and how disgusted they were that these crimes had taken place, but not quite disgusted enough to kick the owner out of their organisation.
It’s taken them a while (perhaps because they were still recovering from being “very sad” over the National Trust’s decision to terminate the lease of a grouse moor tenant in the Peak District National Park (see here) but now the Moorland Association is in full damage limitation mode.
The following statement has just appeared on their website:
Illegally set traps – final statement
15th June 2016
Statement from Moorland Association Director, Amanda Anderson:
“The MA has formally reviewed the incident on Mossdale Estate where an underkeeper admitted to setting traps illegally. The keeper is no longer employed by the estate. Mossdale has also resigned its membership of the MA”.
So, still not quite disgusted enough to expel this member, then?
And what of the gamekeeper, ‘no longer employed by the estate’? Was he allowed to resign or was he sacked? And is/was he a member of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation? We did ask this question 12 days ago but the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation hasn’t yet responded. Perhaps they too have been ‘very sad’ about recent events and haven’t yet been able to face the world. Let’s ask them again. Emails to: firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s some other unfinished business also relating to these crimes. We’re still waiting to hear back from Acting Assistant Chief Constable Amanda Oliver of North Yorkshire Police, who 15 days ago promised “a full review” of why this criminal gamekeeper was let off with a police caution instead of being prosecuted (see here). To be fair, she was on holiday when she made this promise so we’re happy to give her a bit more time to publish her findings.
Photo: one of three illegal pole traps found on the Mossdale Estate. (Photo by RSPB Investigations).