29
Jan
18

Last chance saloon for Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative

Following last week’s news that the RSPB has terminated its involvement with the failed Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative (here), one of the local raptor study groups has now issued a statement on where it stands.

The Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group, which has played a central role in raptor monitoring and providing breeding data for the Initiative, has decided to give the Initiative one last chance to succeed, despite strong reservations about the intent of the local grouse shooting industry, particularly the gamekeepers and the Moorland Association.

The full statement can be read on the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group’s website, here.

The Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative is in the last chance saloon. We learned last week that the Peak District National Park Authority will be “looking for an increase in birds in the breeding season before committing to working with the other organisations in the Initiative beyond 2018” (see here).

All eyes on the Dark Peak this spring.


16 Responses to “Last chance saloon for Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative”


  1. 1 Tim Dixon
    January 29, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Nowhere in the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group’s statement can I find any justification for the decision to carry on participating. If there is one then they should tell us. Carrying on, in my view, is playing a dangerous game – it leaves the RSPB isolated and plays into the hands of the Moorland Association who will no doubt now attempt to portray RSPB as extremists who have taken their ball home whilst everyone else is still engaged. I do wish some people out there would become a bit more politically astute! PDRMP have now, at a stroke, become part of the problem and not the solution. Well done!

  2. 2 Pete Rowberry
    January 29, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    I am disappointed the PDRMG are not following the RSPB and pulling out of the initiative. I Tim’s view that the RSPB looks like an extreme organisation, when the reality is that they have a wealth of experience of dealing with a wide variety of interests and who are slow to pull out of difficult engagements, even with organisations they may not agree with. Please end unnecessary and unwanted this initiative now.

  3. 3 Iain Gibson
    January 29, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    It strikes me that the conservation organisations and specialist interest groups are not very good at getting their acts together, and now we have another example of this. Surely it is time to stop attempting to cuddle up to the shooting interests, and positively take a firm stand against their vile activities.Do we need to remind the public bodies that they are dealing with crime prevention, and engaging in talking shops with the criminal element is futile? If we are not willing to take a stance, how else is it possible to break the love affair going on between Natural England and the grouse shooting elite (not to mention the BBC!)? With respect, I think it was a mistake for the PDRMG not to immediately join the RSPB in resigning from the Bird of Prey Initiative. Would it not have been possible to continue monitoring the raptors and maintain good relations with the National Park, without having to associate themselves with clear cut enemies within the so-called Raptor Initiative. It couldn’t be clearer that the gamekeepers are simply not willing to cooperate.

  4. 4 Messi
    January 29, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    I think it’s critical that the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group clarifies exactly what it intends to do to ensure that this initiative will work; it must have a reasoned justification for thinking that miracles will be forthcoming this summer. It’s not good enough simply to say ‘We’ll stick with it but aren’t sure why.’

  5. 7 Alan
    January 30, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Just to be a bit contrarian about this, is it not rather a good cunning plan? If the PDRMG had pulled out at the same time, that wouldn’t have made it a bigger story. (If it was the other way round, with PDRMG pulling out but RSPB staying in, that would have been terrible.) But this way, it’s good cop bad cop stuff, putting the Moorland Association in a more difficult position than they already were. The PDRMG statement sets a pretty clear target for the near term. That puts the estates under greater pressure than if they had pulled out straight away. Maybe there will be less persecution this spring as a result. If there is, that’s good, something to build on (though I acknowledge all the hazards). If things go on as before, the PDRMG are hardly likely to do a Hawk and Owl Trust, and then the Moorland Association gets a double dose of negative publicity and an overt failure of their attempted cover up in the area.

  6. 8 Gerard
    January 30, 2018 at 12:49 am

    A couple of questions given the responses so far. Firstly how is it possible to not work with the MA members on their lands? Secondly: and there are a few issues about the biology of certain raptor species that I am unaware of; there are some species of raptor within the PDNP which have a very tentative foothold, there are a few birds about, but recent nesting attempts have been subject to disturbance, eg Peregrines there were no successful nesting attempts in the Dark Peak in 2017; or Goshawk; If these birds were totally eliminated within the Dark Peak area, how long would it take populations to re-establish themselves?

    It seems to me that PDRMG are saying to MA etc leave the birds alone totally in 2018 and we will see. They have up till then. I am sure that they are thinking about the birds, which they clearly care about a great deal. If this gambit fails then it actually makes no difference for the birds themselves.

  7. 9 Gerard
    January 30, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Mt question really is for people who know, are there different rates for re-colonisation and population expansion, for peregrines and Goshawk?

  8. 10 Pheasant
    January 30, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Is this a hawk & owl trust like situation.

  9. January 30, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    As a member of PDRMG I wanted to explain as much as I could where we feel we are right now.

    It has not been a straight forwards decision to continue with the Initiative but in the light of no immediate other plans aimed at resolving the issues we have decided to see what the early part of 2018 will bring, there are a number of considerations we have taken into account.

    It should be very clear from the statement that PDRMG support the RSPB in their decision to leave and whilst it might seem helpful to some to follow their lead, we need to make our own decision on our future involvement.

    i) The National Trust will have several new tenants, we have chosen to evaluate how this might impact the situation with regards to the Bird of Prey Initiative, before making a final decision regarding our involvement.
    ii) We have developed good relationships with a number of organisations due to this Initiative and the general consensus was that it worth waiting a few more weeks.
    iii) We personally invested thousands of hours into this project, by far the biggest investment of any of the groups involved in the Initiative, when it is all over we will still be the people on the ground collating population data to continue to tell the story of what is happening here.

    • 12 AlanTwo
      January 30, 2018 at 7:28 pm

      MP – many thanks for your response here.
      I didn’t quite understand the implications of your point iii). Did you mean that you would continue (or be allowed to continue) monitoring and collating BoP population data as before, even if you withdrew from the Initiative?

    • 13 Merlin
      January 31, 2018 at 12:22 am

      Well done Mike for coming on here explaining your position, you had no need too.
      from the outside looking in it appears as if the Moorland Ass has controlled the Initiative up to now, no penalties or forfeits if the initiative fails means the last few years have been wasted unless you shoot Grouse, the National Trust seemingly turning a blind eye to criminal activity on its land for the sake of money from the shooters and the Peak District National Park authority also failing to take any form of action to protect the endangered wildlife within its boundaries. this initiative will continue along these lines for as long as the Moorland Ass can keep it going, while your talking without negotiating rewards or penalties NOTHING will change
      If this initiative fails and everyone walks away what will change? NOTHING
      We need someone in there nagging away at the National trust, the Peak District National Parks authority and uNatural England, we need someone asking THEM what are they going to do about the criminal fraternity killing off protected wildlife just so they can kill more wildlife, You can not ask these questions or leak any information if your stood outside looking in through a window


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