It’s good to see environmental journalist Rob Edwards following up on SNH’s pointless General Licence restriction imposed on a grouse moor estate in the Scottish Borders for alleged raptor persecution crimes.
Read his article in today’s Sunday Herald here
We’ve blogged extensively (see here) about the General Licence restriction on Raeshaw Estate, near Heriot, which is currently subject to a judicial review (see here). We’ve argued that SNH’s subsequent issue of ‘individual’ licences, which permit the estate to continue the activities supposedly blocked by the General Licence restriction, is utterly ridiculous (see here). In Rob’s article, RSPB Scotland agrees with our view and calls the whole affair “farcical”.
SNH has responded by claiming this is “robust regulation”. Mark Avery has an amusing interpretation of ‘robust’ on his blog this morning (see here).
SNH has also told Rob that its staff has so far carried out two unannounced visits to check that Raeshaw has not breached its specific individual licences. We’re very interested in this. When did those visits take place, how long was each visit, and what actually happened during the visits? Are we expected to believe that SNH staff searched the whole 9,000 acre estate (and the neighbouring Corsehope Farm), twice, to look for unlicensed traps? Or did they just call in for a quick coffee and a chat? We’ll be asking SNH about the ‘robustness’ of these checks.
Rob’s article includes a quote from Raeshaw Estate (owned by an offshore company registered in Jersey and managed under the direction of Mark Osborne) which includes the line:
“Responsible game management practices are at the heart of what Raeshaw and its staff do”.
Here’s a reminder of some of the raptor persecution crimes that been uncovered in this part of the Scottish Borders over the last 15 years, none of which have ever been attributed to anyone.
Photo of Raeshaw Estate (RPUK)