Deja vu

Yesterday we published a map. It showed part of the East Arkengarthdale Estate in North Yorkshire where an illegal cache of poisons had been discovered in 2014. Here’s the map again:


Did anyone else get a sense of deja vu when looking at that map? Have a look at that forest block at the top of the map. That’s Stang Forest and it’s got quite a distinctive shape.

Now have a look at this map, which we published a year ago in December 2015:


Why did we publish this map last year? Well, it was to illustrate an area where a peregrine had been found shot dead on 23 August 2015 ‘on the south east edge of Stang Forest’.

An interesting area, eh?

Stang Forest shot perg - Copy


21 Responses to “Deja vu”

  1. 1 Sidney Burnett
    December 20, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    What we really need. Is a map of where the raptor’s thrive and where they don’t and the most missing are that I can send to the Scottish parliament 🙂.

    • December 20, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      That’s pretty easy, Sidney. Send them a map of the intensively managed driven grouse moors in central, eastern and southern Scotland – a massive black hole for most breeding raptor species.

      • 3 alan
        December 20, 2016 at 1:58 pm

        Do you really think its that easy?
        Sidney has a very valid point.

        Why not demonstrate it. Is it because you cant.

        Is it because the actual figures are kept secret. Not to be displayed to the public.
        How can anyone claim there is shortage of breeding birds whilst not being able demonstrate where and how many birds there are.

        • December 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm


          Yes, it is that easy. Just have a read of all the scientific papers and reports that have been published on this issue over the last few decades. The data are compelling (unless you’re a persecution denier, in which case it won’t matter what the data show).

          • 5 Alan
            December 20, 2016 at 10:22 pm

            Not a denier, but go on prove your point. If you know all estates are bad for raptors, publish the number of breeding raptors on Invermark estate. One of the estates you keep claiming is bad for all raptors on here. I’ll give you, that there is a lack of harrier. Whether through persecution or not I can’t say, but go show us the numbers, and just to prove your point, show the numbers on the best performing non grouse estate or nature reserve breeding raptors within a 30 mile radius. Personally I’m not a fan of driven grouse, or managed grouse moors. I would love there to be more trees and variations of habitat, but that doesn’t change the fact some estates are very good for raptors.

            • December 21, 2016 at 12:12 am

              You’re not very good at this, are you, Alan? You’ll find, had you paid attention to detail, that Invermark Estate has been acknowledged many times on this blog for being one of the ‘better’ driven grouse moors in the Angus Glens – certainly not as intensively managed as some of its neighbours, and pretty good for hosting breeding golden eagles. It’s strange then that Invermark should continue to align itself (a la Gift of Grouse) with some of the other moors in this area.

              • 7 alan
                December 21, 2016 at 7:08 pm

                “That’s pretty easy, Sidney. Send them a map of the intensively managed driven grouse moors in central, eastern and southern Scotland – a massive black hole for most breeding raptor species.”

                No mention of any better ones, just one simple blank statement.
                Some of the others certainly were bad, whether that’s still valid, I don’t know.

                But back to previous point, I challenge you to come up with a non grouse moor or nature reserve within 30 miles radius with a greater number and diversity of Raptors.

    • 9 Andrew
      December 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Try a map where they thrive and a map of driven grouse moors. try Ladbrokes for odds on what that would show.

  2. 10 Pete Hoffmann
    December 20, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    What is more interesting is that wild life crime officers seem to be incapable or unwilling to see this and make their conclusions, let alone prosecute…
    What corrupt piece of… is holding them to ransome in that particular neck of the woods one wonders.

    • December 20, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      To be fair, the Police did as best they could in both cases. In the poisons case, North Yorks Police passed the info on to the CPS but the CPS decided not to prosecute due to ‘procedural concerns’. North Yorks Police then revoked the gamekeeper’s firearms certificates, but these were later reinstated by a court after the gamekeeper appealed the revocation.

      In the shot peregrine case, it was a different police force (Durham Constab) and they put out a press release (albeit 4 months later) confirming the bird had been shot. Without further evidence pointing to a named individual, their hands are tied.

      • 12 crypticmirror
        December 21, 2016 at 3:04 pm

        Isn’t “procedural concerns” code for “the cops bungled the investigation”? Obviously this cannot be an accusation, just a general feeling, but when the CPS complains of procedural concerns it generally means police procedure wasn’t properly followed and would hand a gift to any defence QC. Of course, we could ask why the police should bungle such an easy investigation into an employee of people who no doubt sit on the boards of all the really good golf clubs and local charities where the wheeling and dealing are done to get that important bump up into Chief Inspector and Superintendent, but that is a question for another day.

  3. 13 Alex Milne
    December 20, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Well it’s hard to comment without getting the dreaded xxx treatment, when so many possibilities are obvious but here goes, with tongue firmly in cheek.
    It may be that the peregrine was being monitored under an NE license so perfectly legal?
    And perhaps coming to a National Park near you?

  4. 14 Gerard
    December 20, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Is it possible to pinpoint the position of the poison cache and the dead peregrine? Actually I do remember thinking, ‘ang on a minute and deciding I didn’t have time to trawl back through previous posts, so yes Deja Vu.

  5. 15 Henry Swardle
    December 20, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    “Tip of the iceberg” sadly round here and it’s an iceberg that ain’t suffering from climate change.

  6. 16 Slioch
    December 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Do you have a confidential contact point where people can inform you of the whereabouts of illegal poison caches?

  7. 18 Muriel green
    December 20, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Killing with impunity…….again. displays a continued course of behaviour.

    I welcome any loss of subsidy but I worry the police will see this as a reason why not to do a proper criminal investigation.

  8. 19 against feudalism
    December 20, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    And still the money keeps rolling in ?

    WHY is the tax payer ( in these days of ‘austerity’ for the poor and disabled ) funding Rural Development ?? for the rich?? so they can maintain their buildings, and increase the value of their property !

    Just like ‘tax havens’, WHY do we continue to allow criminal behaviour to profit, and be funded by the government.

    Reclaim all moneys, or seize the lands.

  9. 20 Roderick Leslie
    December 20, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    The Stang used to be Forestry Commission. If you mapped FC land you’d get exactly the opposite to Grouse Moors – capacity Goshawk breeding population in places like the Dean. Of course, that wouldn’t apply to moorland breeding species – except – hang on a sec – didn’t 2/3rds of England’s successful 2016 Hen harrier breed on the tiny bit of moorland FC left unplanted ?

  10. 21 Paul V Irving
    December 21, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Head keeper on East Arkengarthdale has [Ed: Thanks Paul, interesting background info but you’ll understand why we can’t publish that!]

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