Convicted shooting agent no longer listed on tourism website

Some of you may remember back in December 2016 and January 2017 we were blogging about an organisation called the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group (SCSTG).

The SCSTG had been awarded funding from Scotland’s national tourism agency, VisitScotland, to help develop an initiative called ‘Game for Growth’, aimed at boosting the value of shooting, stalking and fishing to the Scottish rural economy.

This raised eyebrows, and even a parliamentary question, when we pointed out that a convicted wildlife criminal’s business (Dunmhor Sporting) was being promoted on the SCSTG website and yet this Game for Growth initiative had been launched at a parliamentary reception at Holyrood (see here, here, here).

Photo from parliamentary reception, December 2016. L-R: Tim (Kim) Baynes from the Gift of Grouse, Malcolm Roughead from VisitScotland, Edward Mountain MSP (host), and Sarah Troughton from the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group.

We also noted that two sporting estates (Invercauld Estate & Glendye grouse moor) were being promoted on this website (here), despite the recent discovery of illegally-set traps on both landholdings, although nobody has been charged in relation to the Invercauld incident (here) and we understand the Glen Dye incident is still under police investigation. (Well done to the local police wildlife crime officer, by the way, who reacted quickly when he was alerted to the traps at Glen Dye and has been fast to respond to subsequent correspondence on this matter).

Some of our readers, and us, contacted Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs, and Malcolm Roughead, Chief Exec of VisitScotland, to ask whether they were aware that tax payers’ money (via VisitScotland) was being used to promote the business of a convicted wildlife criminal and whether they thought this was an appropriate use of public funds.

So far, the responses from both have been unsatisfactory (e.g. see here) and further correspondence via a number of local MSPs is currently being undertaken.

However, after a quick look at the SCSTG website this morning, it would appear that Dunmhor Sporting is no longer listed. Whether the Minister and/or VisitScotland has had this listing removed, or whether Dunmhor Sporting has removed itself, remains to be seen.

However, Invercauld Estate and Glen Dye are both still listed.

We’ll be returning to this when we find out whether SNH intends to invoke General Licence restrictions on either of these two estates, assuming GL restrictions are still possible after the findings of the recent judicial review are made public – any day now.


6 Responses to “Convicted shooting agent no longer listed on tourism website”

  1. 1 Alex. Milne
    March 8, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I have little doubt that the spotlight put on this by RPUK has been a major influence here.
    Without RPUK the convicted criminals, the organised criminals and their supporters would have been able to carry on regardless.
    Let us hope that your 7 years of campaigning leads to a situation where non criminal activities such as wildlife tourism can replace the present disgraceful situation.

  2. 2 Bob Keltie
    March 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    You might guess a bloody xxxxx
    Tory millionaire would be behind the project!!

  3. 3 George M
    March 8, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Well done the local wildlife policeman. More power to him.

  4. 4 Dave Dick
    March 8, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Well done!

  5. 5 J .Coogan
    March 8, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Well done RPUK, keep hounding the …….’s

  6. 6 Stewart Love
    March 9, 2017 at 12:01 am

    Yes well done. Keep up the pressure.

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