Interesting bedfellows: 4

Every now and then we blog about who’s (figuratively) getting in to bed with whom within the grouse-shooting industry. Previous installments in this revealing series have included this, this and this.

Today’s fascinating bedfellows are the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and Mark Osborne, joint owner of William Powell and grouse moor management ‘guru’, who, according to our research, has links to at least 70 grouse and pheasant shooting estates across the UK, including some very familiar names to this blog such as Leadhills, Glenogil, Raeshaw, Glenlochy, Snilesworth, Abbeystead.

Last year in one of it’s never-ending fundraising drives, the GWCT held a raffle, with a pair of shotguns, a day’s driven grouse shooting and 500 cartridges on offer, all worth an estimated £25,000 and all donated to the GWCT raffle by William Powell. That was extraordinarily generous.

Here’s the happy raffle winner collecting his prize from Andrew Gilruth (GWCT) & Mark Osborne (William Powell) earlier this year:

A few days ago a blog apeared on the GWCT website (here) describing the winner’s ‘fantastic day’ on a grouse moor in Derbyshire called Ashop Moor.

Here’s a map showing Ashop Moor, which is part of the Park Hall & Hope Woodlands Estate inside the Peak District National Park:

And here’s a photo of Ashop Moor (photo by RPUK):

It looks lovely, doesn’t it? Just the sort of landscape where you might expect to see a pair of breeding hen harriers. But there aren’t any breeding hen harriers there.

The name of the estate and the name of the moor may not be familiar with blog readers, but you’re more likely to know it for what was filmed there on 24th February 2016 at around 11am:

A few months after we published this video, the National Trust announced it had pulled the shooting lease on this estate four years prematurely and the shooting tenant, believed to be Mark Osborne, was given notice to leave by April 2018.

Very interesting bedfellows indeed.

15 Responses to “Interesting bedfellows: 4”

    • 2 Jeff P
      November 3, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      James Marchington’s comment is particularly interesting and rather ambiguous

      “We have to be seen to be whiter than white.” with the word “seen” italicized.

      Perhaps I’m cynical but I interpret that as shooters must give the superficial impression of being law-abiding – even if they are not.

  1. 3 Al Woodcock
    November 3, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    I wonder if you could do a blog on Tim Bonner’s latest article, entitled ‘Cultural shift among the rural community is driving raptor recovery?’ He attacks the RSPB, and, rather amusingly says ‘hundreds of pairs of hen harriers breed on our shores.’

  2. 5 steve
    November 3, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    I think I’m married to someone like you!

  3. November 3, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    bloody awful National Trust again . call themselves protectors of wildlife but allow Fox hunting and shooting . sick world we live in. forked tongues and all for dosh. bastards.

  4. 8 Jimmy
    November 3, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    The mask keeps slipping!!

  5. 9 Andrew Kelly
    November 4, 2017 at 2:29 am

    Looks as if the lucky raffle winner has been handcuffed to the rear……

  6. 10 Paul V Irving
    November 4, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    One would need to be handcuffed to stand between and so close to those two odious oafs.

  7. 11 Richard Would
    November 10, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Ashop Moor is completely devoid of anything other than Grouse. I saw a Kestrel there a couple of years ago and nearly crashed the car from shock…

  8. 12 lothianrecorder
    November 11, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    You have previously published a 5th example of this linkage, GWCT chose Corsehope for their auction prize this year – repeatedly a strong correlation between those involved in xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx and automatic GWCT support https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/gwcts-2017-scottish-auction-catalogue/

    When queried Gilruth response was “we have nothing to hide” https://twitter.com/AndrewGilruth/status/852045958829363200 Absolutely right, they don’t even bother to hide their automatic support for anyone involved xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

    Another example of that here, quickly posting a press release including cleverly manipulated words about whether police had found evidence. https://twitter.com/Gameandwildlife/status/756500350618726401

    Anyone who cares about conservation and the law would be posting press releases that shine a spotlight on the persecutors rather than seeking always to defend them…

    [Ed: Thanks, lothianrecorder, some of this had to be edited though – you’ll understand why]

  9. 13 Roderick Leslie
    April 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    A model for upland management, yes, but not perhaps quite the model the National Trust hoped we’d be thinking of: a model only in the sense that it reflects the English uplands generally in the complete absence of Hen Harriers – and who is going to put money on the new arrangements producing any HH ? The NT need to realise the big truth: that what is happening to raptors in the Peak undermines everything else they are doing there, however good or bad, the national Park and the area’s reputation. It may seem unfair, but thats the way these things work and with their every growing PR departments they should surely be the first to recognise it ?

    I’m not resigning, though, – I’m waiting for the vote that will overturn these antideluvian attitudes and force the Trust to live up to our expectations.

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