Subsidy penalty for East Arkengarthdale Estate?

Ten days ago we blogged about the RSPB’s Investigations Team finding a buried poisons cache on the East Arkengarthdale Estate in North Yorkshire in 2014 (see here).


Incredibly, nobody was prosecuted for this illegal stash and, despite the best efforts of North Yorkshire Police, the gamekeeper who had admitted using the poisons cache had his firearms certificates returned.

We asked several organisations within the grouse shooting industry a number of questions about this case (see here) but so far, none of them have said a word about it (in public, at least). We’ll come back to this.

What we’re interested in now is whether the East Arkengarthdale Estate will be the focus of an investigation by DEFRA’s Rural Payments Agency. Did this estate receive any agricultural subsidies in 2014, if so under what scheme(s), and does having confirmation that an estate gamekeeper was using the poisons cache constitute a cross-compliance breach of any of these subsidy schemes, and if so, will the estate receive a subsidy penalty?

According to records at Companies House, East Arkengarthdale Ltd has two Directors: Eric Axel Lennart Torstenson and Mrs Anita Ingrid Linnea Torstenson.

A search of the CAP Payments website shows that EAL Torstenson received the following subsidies in 2014 and 2015:



These documents show that EAL Torstenson received agricultural subsidies (trading as) Shaw Farm.

According to this 2003 newsletter about a Black Grouse Recovery Project, “Shaw Farm in North Yorkshire is part of the East Arkengarthdale Sporting Estate“.

Here’s a map of Shaw Farm, to the west of Hurst Moor where the poisons cache was found:


We’d like to draw the Rural Payments Agency’s attention to this case (because they have a duty to investigate anything that is drawn to their attention so by telling them about it they can’t later claim they didn’t know anything about it) and we’d like them to answer the following questions:

  1. Did the CAP subsidies received by Shaw Farm in 2014 cover the land where the poisons cache was discovered?
  2. If so, does having a poisons cache, administered by a gamekeeper, qualify as a cross-compliance breach?
  3. If so, will the Rural Payments Agency be applying a subsidy penalty?

Emails to: ruralpayments@defra.gsi.gov.uk


12 Responses to “Subsidy penalty for East Arkengarthdale Estate?”

  1. 1 Gerard
    December 19, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    First class work. Excellent.

  2. 2 Peter Gordon
    December 19, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Stick in there

  3. 3 Doug Malpus
    December 19, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Thank you RPUK, for yet more revelations against this awful industry.

    £ quarter million, subsidised fun for rich folk. This is ludicrous, yet more proof that the rich are mollycoddled by the government. The grouse moors, offer no agricultural benefits, provide killing for fun for wealthy folk, offer cruelty and criminality that is rarely dealt with by our justice system and environmental damage with impunity.

    Do you know what the poison was? If it was a banned poison this shows that banning is not sufficient. R. Benyon DEFRA minister stated that, “banning of these poisons was sufficient, there was no need to make them illegal to hold.”

    Perhaps with this case it is time to pursue the holding of these banned poisons, illegal to hold in criminal law.


  4. 5 Nigel Raby
    December 19, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Nice one, keep up the pressure RPUK

  5. 6 elizabeth snell
    December 19, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    great work keep at it.

  6. 7 Mr Greer Hart, senior
    December 20, 2016 at 1:32 am

    Let me add my praise to that of the other commenters. Without RPUK those concerned about challenging the cruel mismanagement of the UK countryside, would not have such an excellent forum on which to express themselves, and to make apt statements which add more information in many cases. What alarms me and makes me feel angry and uncomfortable, is the fact that anyone can buy land in the UK, and set up a shooting estate, on which the law can be flaunted. What we are really facing is a monstrous part of the Establishment given over to blood sports, and which knows it can afford to act the way it has been doing, as it can financially afford to do so, and know that no one is really going to serve a lengthy prison sentence for killing Birds of Prey, as the whole crime and punishment situation is in chaos at present, with our prisons overcrowded. We only have to look at the recent information about Prince Harry going off to a Germanic shooting estate owned by some minor aristocrats, and there, so the Press relates, anything that moved was shot, after the hunters had run out of Wild Boar. What is it that is wrong with such people? Why do they have to kill so insensately? How can the much vaunted concerns of this young Prince and his brother Wiliam have any credence, when they still take part in shooting parties? Have they no respect for animals and their right to live, and to be treated humanely?

    Prince Harry and his Ilk destroy any good they have done to try and save the Elephant and Rhino from extinction, when they raise a rifle and blooter a game bird, deer or boar. Harry and our shooting estate owners are in the camp of the Grand Trophy Shooter, Donald Trump, for their actions are supporting the whole edifice that is abusve of animal life. What amazes me, is that deadly poisons can be found on shooting estates and farms, and nothing effective has been done about it. There can be only one reason for that being so, and that is the collusion of those of similar interest, and the extent of their powers to have a blanket of silence thrown over the issue. I look forward to the day, when, with a righteous vengeance, a new order will be steward of our much suppressed countryside, and the discredited old order has passed away for good.

  7. 8 David Thompson
    December 20, 2016 at 7:36 am

    I have sent an e-mail to Defra !

  8. 9 Barbara McMillan
    December 20, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Have e-mailed them, hope everyone else has too.

  9. 10 David Armitage
    December 22, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Is not Arkengarthdale not owned through some foreign -owned speculators (see private Eye) ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog Stats

  • 4,157,016 hits


Our recent blog visitors