Raptor persecution highlighted as key concern in Yorkshire Dales National Park

Earlier this year the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority opened a public consultation to inform its next five-year Management Plan (2018-2023).

Residents and visitors were invited to submit comments on three open-ended questions:

  1. What do you love about the National Park?
  2. How do you think the National Park can be improved?
  3. What do you think are the three most important issues for the National Park Management Plan to tackle over the next five years?

Yesterday, the initial consultation results were published. Download the report:


Grouse moor in Yorkshire Dales National Park (photo by Ruth Tingay)

As you’d expect, a variety of concerns were raised relating to access, public transport, planning, farming, affordable housing and community services/sustainability. Two other concerns featured high on the agenda of residents and visitors alike – illegal raptor persecution and land management (with a particular focus on grouse moor management).

It’s no surprise. North Yorkshire (which includes the raptor persecution hotspots of the Yorkshire Dales National Park & the neighbouring Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) is consistently rated as one of the worst counties in the UK for reported raptor persecution crimes (e.g. see here).

Separate to this consultation, we were recently provided with an interesting bit of news from a local resident. Following the 2016 case of the Mossdale pole traps, where a gamekeeper employed on the Mossdale Estate in the National Park was filmed by the RSPB setting three illegal pole traps on a grouse moor (here) and who was erroneously let off with a police caution (here), the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority apparently received around 2,000 emails of complaint/concern. Not only that, but many local traders also contacted the Park Authority to express their concern about how the Park’s persistent reputation for illegal raptor persecution may damage their businesses.

It’s clear that people have had enough and are looking to the Park Authority to lead on this issue.

Is the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority up for the challenge? Well, we’ll see. The results of the public consultation will be used by the Park’s Management Plan Steering Committee to draft specific objectives for the new Management Plan, which should be published early next year.

12 Responses to “Raptor persecution highlighted as key concern in Yorkshire Dales National Park”

  1. 1 Dave Harrison
    September 9, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    About flipping time!

  2. September 9, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    The notion that the local grouse moor is essential for the survival of the community, is being challenged here by local people. That should worry the grousers, as it is one of the mainstays of their convoluted argument. Another coffin nail driven home.

  3. September 9, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Yeah ! Bit of a joke really – where have they been for all those years when raptor killing has been rampant there & well known by all ?
    Like all NP’s they are dominated by vested interests and in any case have no real power to do anything positive.
    They are after all just a planning authority responsible for yet another piece of over grazed upland.
    Sorry but we’ve seen it all before & just what has the result of all the hand – wringing by other NP’s been ? ……zilch !
    I wonder what their board members links are in the land owning & shooting world ?

    I’d love to be proved wrong but only real policing / prosecution & control will change things.
    Since driven grouse shooting is unsustainable & only possible through criminality, it has no place in NP’s or anywhere else.

    Keep up the pressure !

    • 4 Northern Diver
      September 9, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      Well one of those on the YDNP Management Committee is Adrian Thornton-Berry. Just “google” him!

      • September 10, 2017 at 8:03 am

        Just Googled his company website…………..”Lastly, we recommend that all of our clients try to eat as much game as possible this season, as you will know this is an area which we as an industry need to pull together and act on now.” …….. desperate times indeed.

  4. 6 Jimmy
    September 9, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    NP’s in the UK need to get real about the carry on of these shooting estates within their borders – time this criminal entity were shown the door so that the UK’s wild lands can reach their full potential

  5. September 10, 2017 at 8:00 am

    The official recognition is helpful…..but what can they do… our NP’s are toothless talking shops.
    There’s no harm in the report going to the National Trust to help them along the road to change.
    The report could also go to DEFRA and EN with the comment “people have noticed”.

    What else could they do?

  6. 8 Chris Dobson
    September 10, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    The most hopeful thing here, is ‘the average punter’ (all of us, outside our special interests) is beginning to notice!

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