‘Dodgy’ traps now ‘improved’ in Peak District National Park

Last week we blogged about two ‘dodgy’ tunnel traps that had been photographed in the Peak District National Park (see here).

There was some debate about the legality of both traps because the tunnel entrances hadn’t been sufficiently restricted to minimise the risk to non-target species, although one of the traps did have a twig shoved across the entrance – it was wholly ineffective but it could be argued that an attempt to restrict the entrance had been made.

Here are a couple of the images again:

sam3 - Copy

sam1 - Copy

Anyway, it appears that whoever manages the northern side of the Bole Edge Plantation (Strines Wood) close to Bradfield grouse moor, where these photographs were taken, has been paying attention to the criticism.

The two traps have now been rebuilt and the tunnel entrances are now clearly restricted:



That’s a definite improvement (the power of social media, eh?) although the issue of whether these (legal) traps should be deployed inside a National Park is still up for debate.

And even when the tunnel entrance has been restricted, that doesn’t mean that non-target species won’t be caught. Have a look at the trap in these two photographs, taken earlier this summer on a driven grouse moor in North Yorkshire. Not good, is it?

B1 - Copy

B2 - Copy



17 Responses to “‘Dodgy’ traps now ‘improved’ in Peak District National Park”

  1. 1 Marian
    September 5, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    You make the point:

    ‘… although the issue of whether these (legal) traps should be deployed inside a National Park is still up for debate.’

    Is anyone debating this with them?
    I might have missed conversations about this previously, so apologies if this has already been discussed and/or rejected.

    Please can someone let me know who is the body in overall charge of the NPs?

    • 2 JBNTS
      September 6, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Marian – English National Parks are run by what are effectively “special purpose” local authorities with full planning powers. They are core funded by Defra so it could be argued that Andrea Leadsom is in overall charge of them. They don’t have a single governing body though Defra is the nearest things that gets to it. They have representative/promotional organisations at both England and UK levels but these do not provide oversight.

      Every public body or holder of public office has a statutory duty to have regard to the purpose of National Park designation (basically conserving landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage, and promoting opportunities for the public to understand and enjoy their special qualities) when carrying out any functions that affect them.

      Scottish National Parks were established under Scottish legislation and do not have planning powers.

      • 3 Marian
        September 7, 2016 at 8:21 pm

        Thank you, JBNTS – I see the name Andrea Leadsom with dread.

        I’ll have a go, because I have to do more than wring my hands.

        The most recent posting here about the CNPA and the invitation to comment is helpful too.

        I’m never sure if submissions from out of the area are considered as much as those from within, but it never hurts to try.

        • 4 H Siviter
          November 10, 2016 at 3:50 pm

          After Leadsome’;s pathetic showing in the Grouse Moor debate you are right to feel dubious about approaching her. The words chocolate teapot spring to mind!!!

  2. 5 Keith Brockie
    September 5, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    You didn’t point out that the bird in the lower photographs is actually a Red Grouse chick!

  3. September 5, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Well, it’s always pleasing to us when improvements are made to the way things are done in the Peak District!

    But the best and quickest improvement would be if, on nearby moors owned by the National Trust, they’d accept that conservation and shooting will always conflict with one another on these Peak District moors. They should have enough evidence of that by now. Sadly the public face of the Trust here still seems entrenched in a pro-shooting attitude. Whilst we applaud their actions in evicting the current shooting tenant, we hope they will eventually take the braver decision not to re-appoint another shooting tenant at all on over 6,000 hectares of moorland estate around Kinder Scout and Bleaklow.
    To help persuade them that this would be rather a good idea, please sign and promote this petition. We think there’s a better way – we hope you do, too.


    Printable petition forms are also available, which can be downloaded and posted back to our coalition of local natural history and outdoor organisations.

  4. 7 Mr Greer Hart, senior
    September 5, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Here is another example of those in charge of our uplands and anywhere game birds can be shot, doing as they please. This is an animal welfare issue, and I see from their journals, our main organisations for that purpose are adamantly against traps, snares, poisons etc. We do need a great coming together to finally take back the land of Britain for those who wish to manage it humanely and with conservation of wildlife. Like all campaigns with revolution in mind, we should have a grand plan for the British countryside, and an exact purpose for every part of it that requires release from the cruel grip of those who are long past their time deciding what lives and diesin our countryside. Along with the plan would be a well-thought out re-use of estates and private holdings, that would involve a massive training programme that would inspire young people and those unemployed, to form a work force of restoration, and be paid a suitable wage. Our colleges and universities would be providing the skills and scientific know-how to enable sustainable and innovative industry. Pie in the sky? Yes, as long as we have the main parties being absolutely uninspired and useless, with regard to making the UK/Scotland a place where the people decide who should manage their land, and demand a clean slate on which to operate. The forces of anachronism have too much influence over our political parties, and any laws produced to improve the situation, always seem to have flaws in them for coach and horses to drive through. Like the rights of way movement, large numbers of people should occupy those estates which are cynically destroying our Birds of Prey and using our land in a contemptuous way. Donald Trump once owned a shooting estate in Scotland, and people like that should never be allowed to buy land in Scotland, indeed, public ownership should be the norm in a land reformed Britain. There is nothing more pathetic than seeing videos of shooters picking off grouse. How can any modern thinking person still cling to that way of spending time on a pseudo-sport, and spend a fortune doing so, which could be used to relieve suffering of humans and animals, of which there is a plenty on this badly abuse planet.

  5. 10 Jack Snipe
    September 6, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Call me an extremist, but I can’t help but feel sadly disappointed that a site with the relative consistency of RPUK is actually expressing some comfort from the fact that these traps have been “modified,” allegedly to prevent non-target species being caught in them. I look at those photos of the traps on the dykes and can’t help thinking we’ve a long way to go before we can consider ourselves truly civilised. As I’ve engaged with various discussion groups over the past two years, I realise I’m becoming slowly disillusioned at the readiness of too many “conservationists” to compromise with the evils of shooting and hunting. Leaving aside the RSPB and its philosophical contradictions (for a moment), I really do despair at how many commentators on the various blogs seem to have confused ideas about what is right or wrong. Okay, I understand that moral opinions are subjective to a considerable degree, but I fail to reconcile the views of people who care about wildlife conservation with those same people who are not unsupportive of killing for so-called ‘sport,’ even if under the guise of food sustainability. I have had particularly hostile reactions from “rewilding” supporters, with whom I expected to be largely sympathetic, who are obsessed with the received wisdom of controlling deer, because “deer are bad for the environment.” No amount of ecological explanations as to the folly of this quasi-religious belief can get through to these people, and I usually have quoted at me that “the RSPB is in favour of culling deer,” in the same way that hunters love to promulgate the fact that the RSPB kills crows, foxes and other predators on its reserves. As a retired professional ecologist, I don’t think I’m a fool but even within the wider profession the anti-deer church exists. It is largely a hangover from forestry belief that deer threaten commercial enterprise, the so-called “damage” that they do being highly exaggerated. It’s a complicated ecological synergy to understand, and like so many misunderstandings requires good education to generate genuine wisdom. Meanwhile the simplistic model prevails. One of the biggest disappointments recently is discovering that my feelings about grouse shooting and killing wild animals are not shared by everyone who is into birding, birdwatching or whatever we like to call it. My area is way down the league table of Mark Avery’s petition signatories, and asking around to try to determine why, I find myself disheartened at the degree of apathy regarding the subject of Hen Harrier persecution. Or, to flip the coin, the degree of misunderstanding of the true nature of the problem. Too many people, while concerned about the harriers’ plight, can’t bring themselves to agree that there is anything wrong with grouse shooting per se. Hence they decide that they can’t bring themselves to sign a petition to ban grouse shooting. Without a hint of irony, occasionally I’m told that we should “live and let live”! Having said that, I believe that many such individuals are “teetering,” and could be brought into the fold without too much persuasion. Which brings me back to my favourite subject – the lack of education and general public awareness raising. I will continue to believe that the inclusive approach suggested again here by Greer Hart is the sensible way forward, but to kick off such a process requires a significant sea change by the RSPB, which currently holds the largest receptive audience.

  6. 12 I C T
    September 6, 2016 at 8:50 am

    National Parks, Cairngorns? N York Moors? Yorkshire Dales? Peak District? Certainly far removed from John Muirton vision.

  7. 13 Marian
    September 6, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I agree wholly with Mr. Greer Hart and with Jack Snipe. I am obviously an ‘extremist’ too.

    Can I raise this again?

    Is there something against asking the NPs (and/or the NT) to consider banning trapping and other forms of extermination of defenceless creatures on their land?

    As an AW/AR advocate of some 40 years, I’m used to asking for measures that are not likely to succeed, at least in my lifetime, but I can’t read about all these horrors without doing more than sign petitions.

  8. 14 I C T
    September 6, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Missed typed above….should have read John Muir.

  9. 15 AlanTwo
    September 6, 2016 at 10:50 am

    The world is that bit less depressing when I can spend a little time reading comments like those of Jack Snipe, Mr Greer Hart and Marian. I have obviously turned into an ‘extremist’ as well, but it is a huge relief to find some reassurance that I am not alone.
    I just can’t make myself believe that we will make any big steps forward in wildlife conservation until we succeed in persuading the public that we should treat wildlife with respect and that killing animals for recreation is not something anyone should be proud of.

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