Posts Tagged ‘Glenogil Estate

04
Jun
15

Head keeper on Glenogil Estate rescues red kite

Glenogil RK rescuedThe head gamekeeper on Glenogil Estate has reportedly helped rescue an injured red kite that was hanging upside down in a tree after becoming entangled in string.

Danny Lawson was apparently able to shoot off the branch so the kite fell to the ground. He disentangled the bird and took it to Thrums Veterinary Group in Kirriemuir. The vets say the bird is recovering well and is now being cared for by the SSPCA.

News article here.

Photo by Thrums Veterinary Group

05
May
15

Interesting bedfellows 3

GWCT Scottish Auction 2015 cover - CopyThe Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) would probably like to be thought of as an organisation with strong leadership within the game-shooting industry and a zero tolerance of illegal raptor persecution. Noble aims indeed.

Like most charities, they undertake a lot of fundraising activities to help them achieve their aims. One such activity is their annual Scottish auction – the next one due to take place on 14th May 2015.

They’ve very thoughtfully published this year’s auction catalogue (see here) which allows us to see exactly who is providing financial support to this ‘independent charity‘.

They have several big-name sponsors, and not for the first time, one of them includes the investment bank and hedge fund Artemis. Artemis was reportedly co-founded by John Dodd, the former owner of Glenogil Estate in the Angus Glens (he reportedly sold up in 2013 – see here).

A quick scan of John Dodd’s directorships shows his current links to various Artemis companies and his resignation from Glenogil Estates Limited in 2013.

GWCT Scottish Auction 2015 Glenogil lot - CopyOf further interest is one of the live auction lots listed in the catalogue. Live auction lot #9 to be specific. This lot is for a day’s driven pheasant and partridge shooting for nine guns at Glenogil Estate. The donor is listed as Glenogil Limited. We wondered who was behind Glenogil Limited and whether this was a different company to Glenogil Estates Limited.

It turns out that Glenogil Limited is a relatively new company (two years old) whose business activity is listed as ‘Hunting, trapping and related service activities’. The registered office address and the trading office address are listed as ‘The Estate Office Glenogil, by Forfar, Angus’. Hmm. We were also interested to note that their most recently-appointed Director is someone by the name of Mr R.C. Turcan. Would that be the same Robert Turcan from the esteemed law firm Turcan Connell? Apparently so.

Fascinating stuff.

Previous blogs on interesting bedfellows here and here.

23
Mar
15

Hare-brained propaganda from the grouse shooting industry

Over the last couple of years we’ve blogged a lot about the obscene massacre of mountain hares on Scottish grouse moors (see here for previous posts).

It’s quite the hot topic these days, resulting in Parliamentary questions, public petitions, and even a call from SNH/GWCT/SLE for grouse moor managers to practice “voluntary restraint”  – a pointless exercise in our opinion (see here).

It seems that SNH doesn’t have much faith that voluntary restraint will be employed – a few weeks after they issued their plea to landowners, they asked hill-walkers to report any evidence of large-scale culls (see here).

Today, the grouse-shooting industry issued their own press release about mountain hares on grouse moors. We thought it was an early April Fools’ Day stunt but apparently it isn’t. It reads as follows:

MOUNTAIN HARES ON THE MARCH AFTER GROUSE BONANZA

(Issued on behalf of a Scottish Moorland Group)

The Highlands are celebrating a special conservation bonus following two very good grouse seasons.

Scottish moorland managers are reporting large numbers of the much loved and easily recognised mountain hare, linked to last year’s ‘best in a generation’ grouse season. The Scottish population of hares is thought to be around 350,000 and in some areas they are now at historically high levels – the hares have the red grouse to thank!

Concern has been expressed recently that hare numbers may be going down; however grouse moors in the Angus Glens, Speyside and Highlands report that their numbers have increased along with grouse levels. Heather moorland managed for red grouse is an extremely good habitat for hares to thrive on.

The mountain hare is the only native species of hare or rabbit in Britain, easily distinguished by its white plumage during the winter months and brown during the summer. It is known that its population fluctuates in 7-10 year cycles, however actively managed moorlands give this iconic Scottish species a sustainable future.

Danny Lawson, head gamekeeper on Glenogil Estate in the Angus Glens, said: “I have seen more mountain hares this year than at any time since I came here. Our mountain hare population has been increasing along with grouse over the last three years because our heather management gives them good grazing and because of predator control over the estate and other neighbouring estates.

Good weather in the breeding season helps mountain hare numbers and the last two seasons, 2013 and 2014, have been very good for both grouse and mountain hares. Like grouse, mountain hare populations have to be carefully managed. Culling is legal and is necessary in some circumstances and such management should be done sustainably and be supported by a sound management plan.”

Tim Baynes, Director of the Scottish Moorland Group, says: “There are surprising gaps in our collective knowledge about this secretive animal.  This can lead to assumptions about population changes which are not correct and we support the research project commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage to get a better handle on how to accurately count hares on the open hill.  What does seem certain from the long term observations of moorland managers on the ground is that there is a strong link to land use; hare numbers are likely to go down where moorland is unmanaged or afforested but will increase where managed for red grouse.”

-ENDS-

Anyone convinced that grouse moor managers view mountain hares as “much loved”? Anyone convinced that hare culls by grouse moor managers are “carefully managed”?

Have a look at the photographs at the foot of this blog and make up your own minds.

What’s also interesting about this press release is the decision to include a quote from the head gamekeeper of Glenogil Estate. We’ve blogged a lot about Glenogil Estate over the years (see here). Glenogil Estate is one of several grouse-shooting estates in the Angus Glens. Here’s some information about raptor persecution in the Angus Glens, mainly gleaned from the RSPB’s annual BirdCrime reports and SASA’s annual reports:

2004 May, near Edzell: long-eared owl and two short-eared owls starved to death in crow cage trap.  No prosecution.

2004 May, Invermark Estate: peregrine nest destroyed. No prosecution.

2006 March, Glenogil Estate: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2006 April, Easter Ogil: poisoned buzzard (Alphachloralose). No prosecution.

2006 April, Easter Ogil: poisoned tawny owl (Alphachloralose). No prosecution.

2006 May, Glenogil Estate: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2006 June, Glenogil Estate: poisoned woodpigeon bait (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2006 June, Glenogil Estate: Traces of Carbofuran found in estate vehicles & on equipment during police search. No prosecution. Estate owner had £107k withdrawn from his farm subsidy payments. This was being appealed, but it is not known how this was resolved.

2006 July, Millden Estate; poisoned sheepdog (Lindane). No prosecution.

2007 November, Glenogil Estate: Disappearance of radio-tagged white-tailed eagle ‘Bird N’ coincides with tip off to police that bird been shot. No further transmissions or sightings of the bird.

2008 May, ‘Nr Noranside’: poisoned white-tailed eagle ‘White G’ (Carbofuran, Isophenfos, Bendiocarb). No prosecution.

2008 May, ‘Nr Noranside’: poisoned buzzard (Bendiocarb). No prosecution.

2008 May, ‘Nr Noranside’: poisoned mountain hare bait (Carbofuran, Isophenfos, Bendiocarb). No prosecution.

2008 May, Glenogil Estate: 32 x poisoned meat baits on fenceposts (Carbofuran, Isophenfos, Bendiocarb). No prosecution.

2008 October, ‘Glenogil Estate: poisoned meat bait on fencepost (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2009 March, Glenogil Estate: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2009 March, Glenogil Estate: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2009 April, Millden Estate: poisoned buzzard (Alphachloralose). No prosecution.

2009 July, Millden Estate: poisoned golden eagle ‘Alma’ (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2009 August, Glenogil Estate: poisoned white-tailed eagle “89” (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2010 May, ‘Nr Noranside’: poisoned red kite (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2010 September, Glenogil Estate: poisoned buzzard (Chloralose). No prosecution.

2010 October, Glenogil Estate: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2010 October, Glenogil Estate: poisoned pigeon bait (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2010 October, Glenogil Estate: poisoned pigeon bait (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2011 February, Airlie Estate: buzzard caught in illegal crow trap. (see below)

2011 March, Airlie Estate: 3 x buzzard caught in illegal crow trap. Prosecution (!) but dropped after statement from suspect given to SSPCA deemed inadmissible.

2011 April, Millden Estate: shot buzzard. No prosecution.

2012 April, ‘Nr Noranside’: Remains of buzzard found beside pheasant pen. Suspicious death.

2011 June, Rottal & Tarabuckle Estate: dead kestrel inside crow cage trap. No prosecution.

2012 February, ‘Nr Edzell’: spring-trapped buzzard. No prosecution.

2012 February, ‘Nr Bridgend': remains of buzzard found under a rock. Suspicious death.

2012 May, Millden Estate: satellite-tagged golden eagle seemingly caught in spring trap, then apparently uplifted overnight and dumped on Deeside with two broken legs & left to die. No prosecution.

2012 May, Glen Esk: disappearance of sat-tagged red kite. No further transmissions or sightings of bird.

2013 January, Invermark Estate: white-tailed eagle nest tree felled. No prosecution.

2013 November, Glen Lethnot: poisoned golden eagle ‘Fearnan’. No prosecution.

2014 October, Nathro: shot buzzard. Prosecution? Unknown.

Can we take it then, that as this press release was issued by the Scottish Moorland Group – a sub-group of Scottish Land & Estates – that Glenogil Estate is a member of SLE? If so, surely the partner organisations of the PAW Scotland Raptor Group will be asking questions at their next ‘partner’ meeting.

A few newspapers have picked up on this press release today, including an article in the P&J entitled, ‘Mountain hare thriving thanks to grouse management‘.

Here are some pictures of ‘much-loved’ mountain hares ‘thriving’ on Scottish grouse moors, including one photograph that was taken on, er, Glenogil Estate.

mountain-hare-cull-angus-glens-large - Copy

mh4 - Copyhares-glenshee-feb-2014-11 - Copymh2 - Copymountain-hares-deeside-2010 - Copyslry30 - Copyhares-glenshee-feb-2014-21 - Copymh3 - Copy

19
Dec
13

Golden eagle found poisoned on Angus grouse moor

A two-year old golden eagle named ‘Fearnan’ has been found dead on a Scottish grouse moor. He had been poisoned with a banned pesticide. The poison hasn’t been named but we’ll take an educated guess at Carbofuran, the gamekeepers’ poison of choice.

Interestingly, there are three separate press releases about this latest disgraceful crime:

One from the government via PAW (here)

One from the police (here)

One from RSPB Scotland (here)

Usually, we’re lucky to see anything for at least 4-5 months after the crime so it’s somewhat surprising to see the scuffle for media attention on this one. Could this be a sign that Environment Minister Wheelhouse has put his foot down and demanded that timely press statements are released? We can’t think of any other reason why the police should suddenly change their tactics from seemingly apathetic to seemingly responsive.

Of course, regular blog readers will already know that Fearnan is not the only poisoned eagle to have been found dead in the Angus Glens. In fact, there’s been a fair bit of raptor persecution over the last nine years. Here’s a list of incidents we’ve compiled from various published reports:

2004 May, near Edzell: long-eared owl and two short-eared owls starved to death in crow cage trap.  No prosecution.

2004 May, Invermark Estate: peregrine nest destroyed. No prosecution.

2006 March, Glenogil Estate: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2006 April, Easter Ogil: poisoned buzzard (Alphachloralose). No prosecution.

2006 April, Easter Ogil: poisoned tawny owl (Alphachloralose). No prosecution.

2006 May, Glenogil Estate: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2006 June, Glenogil Estate: poisoned woodpigeon bait (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2006 June, Glenogil Estate: Traces of Carbofuran found in estate vehicles & on equipment during police search. No prosecution. Estate owner had £107k withdrawn from his farm subsidy payments. This was being appealed, but it is not known how this was resolved.

2006 July, Millden Estate; poisoned sheepdog (Lindane). No prosecution.

2007 November, Glenogil Estate: Disappearance of radio-tagged white-tailed eagle ‘Bird N’ coincides with tip off to police that bird been shot. No further transmissions or sightings of the bird.

2008 May, ‘Nr Noranside’: poisoned white-tailed eagle ‘White G’ (Carbofuran, Isophenfos, Bendiocarb). No prosecution.

2008 May, ‘Nr Noranside’: poisoned buzzard (Bendiocarb). No prosecution.

2008 May, ‘Nr Noranside’: poisoned mountain hare bait (Carbofuran, Isophenfos, Bendiocarb). No prosecution.

2008 May, Glenogil Estate: 32 x poisoned meat baits on fenceposts (Carbofuran, Isophenfos, Bendiocarb). No prosecution.

2008 October, ‘Glenogil Estate: poisoned meat bait on fencepost (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2009 March, Glenogil Estate: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2009 March, Glenogil Estate: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2009 April, Millden Estate: poisoned buzzard (Alphachloralose). No prosecution.

2009 July, Millden Estate: poisoned golden eagle ‘Alma’ (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2009 August, Glenogil Estate: poisoned white-tailed eagle “89” (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2010 May, ‘Nr Noranside’: poisoned red kite (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2010 September, Glenogil Estate: poisoned buzzard (Chloralose). No prosecution.

2010 October, Glenogil Estate: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2010 October, Glenogil Estate: poisoned pigeon bait (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2010 October, Glenogil Estate: poisoned pigeon bait (Carbofuran). No prosecution.

2011 February, Airlie Estate: buzzard caught in illegal crow trap. (see below)

2011 March, Airlie Estate: 3 x buzzard caught in illegal crow trap. Prosecution (!) but dropped after statement from suspect given to SSPCA deemed inadmissible.

2011 April, Millden Estate: shot buzzard. No prosecution.

2012 April, ‘Nr Noranside’: Remains of buzzard found beside pheasant pen. Suspicious death.

2011 June, Rottal & Tarabuckle Estate: dead kestrel inside crow cage trap. No prosecution.

2012 February, ‘Nr Edzell’: spring-trapped buzzard. No prosecution.

2012 February, ‘Nr Bridgend': remains of buzzard found under a rock. Suspicious death.

2012 May, Millden Estate: satellite-tagged golden eagle caught in spring trap, then apparently uplifted overnight and dumped on Deeside. No prosecution.

2012 May, Glen Esk: disappearance of sat-tagged red kite. No further transmissions or sightings of bird.

2013 January, Invermark Estate: white-tailed eagle nest tree felled. No prosecution.

2013 November, Glen Lethnot: poisoned golden eagle. Prosecution? Highly unlikely!

We think you’ll agree, this is overwhelming evidence that some people in the Angus Glens are systematically persecuting birds of prey, they have been for many years, and those same people are avoiding criminal justice for their disgusting and illegal activities. We call them The Untouchables.

Why have they been able to avoid prosecution for so long?

Now would be a good time to ask the Environment Minister for an explanation. While you’re at it, please also mention your revulsion about the continued practice of illegal raptor persecution on driven grouse moors. The time for estate licensing is here; the game-shooting industry, quite clearly, cannot or will not self-regulate.  Emails to: ministerforenvironment@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

RIP Fearnan.

posioned GE Lethnot 2013

02
Aug
13

Moy game fair: carry on regardless

The Moy Game Fair starts today. On the Moy Estate.

Moy is quite the venue. In 2010, the following was found there:

  • A dead red kite in the back of a gamekeeper’s vehicle. It had two broken legs and had died as a result of a blow to the head (see photo).
  • The remains of a further two dead red kites.
  • A red kite’s severed leg, along with wing tags that had been fitted to a sateliite-tracked red kite, hidden in holes covered with moss.
  • Six illegal baited spring traps set in the open.
  • A trapped hen harrier caught in an illegally set spring trap.
  • A poisoned bait.
  • Four leg rings previously fitted to golden eagle chicks found in the possession of a gamekeeper.

In May 2011, gamekeeper James Rolfe was convicted for possession of the dead red kite found in the back of his vehicle. He was fined £1,500. No charges were brought against anyone for any of the other offences.

If you’re heading to the Moy Game Fair, keep an eye out for ‘missing’ red kites. In May 2011, a satellite-tracked red kite ‘disappeared’ there. In August 2011, another red kite ‘disappeared’ there.

Ironically, representatives from the game-shooting industry will all be there, telling visitors how great their industry is for nature conservation. So much for strong leadership and zero tolerance (see here).

Talking of venue choice……..take a look at this! A government-approved GWCT training course being held at the one and only Glenogil Estate!

The photograph below shows the dead red kite with two broken legs and severe head injuries, lying in the back of a gamekeeper’s vehicle.

Moy kite 2a

08
Apr
13

John Dodd sells Glenogil Estate

Sunday Times 7th April 2013 Glenogil saleJohn Dodd, the multi-millionaire owner of the controversial Glenogil Estate, has ‘quietly sold up’, according to an article in the Sunday Times.

The new owner is reported to be Baron Ferdinand von Baumbach, someone we know little about. Although we’re not sorry to see Dodd leave, it’s not so much who owns the estate that interests us, but rather whether (a) they intend to maintain it as a driven grouse moor and if so, (b) who will be advising on grouse moor ‘management’.

It’s been widely reported that Dodd took management advice from ‘grouse wizard’ Mark Osborne (e.g. see here) and indeed Glenogil is promoted on Osborne’s William Powell Sporting website as ‘one of the finest shooting estates in Scotland’ (see here), as well as on the William Powell Country website (here). It’s not just Osborne who rates this estate: last year The Field magazine included Glenogil in an article called ‘Britain’s 50 Great Shoots’ (see here) and in 2008 The Telegraph described it as a thriving grouse moor (see here).

However, for those of us with more of an interest in the area’s wildlife rather than with the artificially-high number of grouse that can be killed, you have to look elsewhere for information. A good place to start is the RSPB’s annual persecution reports. Below is a list of confirmed incidents recorded at Glenogil and ‘Nr Noranside’  from 2006-2010, sourced from these reports and also from Scottish Government data. Not one of these reported incidents has resulted in a criminal prosecution and Dodd has repeatedly and strenuously stated his staff are innocent. Dodd had his farming subsidy cut by £107,650 in 2008 when the Scottish Executive suspected that poisoned baits found on and near to the estate in 2006 were being used to target birds of prey (see here).

2006 March: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran)

2006 April: poisoned buzzard (Alphachloralose)

2006 April: poisoned tawny owl (Alphachloralose)

2006 May: poisoned rabbit bait (Carbofuran)

2006 June: poisoned woodpigeon bait (Carbofuran)

2008 May: poisoned white-tailed eagle (Carbofuran, Isophenfos, Bendiocarb) [‘Nr Noranside’]

2008 May: poisoned buzzard (Bendiocarb) [‘Nr Noranside’]

2008 May: poisoned mountain hare bait (Carbofuran, Isophenfos, Bendiocarb) [‘Nr Noranside’]

2008 May: 32 x poisoned meat baits on fenceposts (Carbofuran, Isophenfos, Bendiocarb) [‘Nr Noranside’]

2008 Oct:  poisoned meat bait (Carbofuran) [‘Nr Noranside’]

2009 March: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran)

2009 March: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran)

2009 August: poisoned white-tailed eagle (Carbofuran)

2010 May: poisoned red kite (Carbofuran) [‘Nr Noranside’]

2010 September: poisoned buzzard (Chloralose)

2010 October: poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran)

2010 October: poisoned pigeon bait (Carbofuran)

2010 October: poisoned pigeon bait (Carbofuran)

John Dodd was the co-founder of Artemis Investment Management Ltd., a company that has sponsored the GWCT’s Scottish Game Fair (see here).

The Sunday Times article can be read in two parts:

Part 1 Glenogil sale Sunday Times 7 April 2013

Part 2 Glenogil sale Sunday Times 7 April 2013

02
Jul
12

Britain’s 50 great shoots: oh how we laughed!

In the latest edition of The Field there’s a big spread on what they consider to be Britain’s top 50 pheasant and partridge shoots. Here’s the opening paragraph to explain their selection:

While there will be many familiar names in The Field’s Top 50 Shoots for pheasants and partridges for 2012, there will be some new names, too. All are recognised as outstanding; either they show reared game very well or they show wild game well. And it is possible to take a day at most of them. Attention to conservation and woodland and land-management also stand at the forefront of these shoots“.

We only got as far as page 1 of the list; it’s hard to read when you’ve got tears of laughter flooding your eyes. The cause? Seeing the names of two estates: Edradynate and Glenogil. Regular readers will be familiar with both names and the ‘outstanding’ attention to conservation that’s at the forefront of their activities.

Well done to the editorial team at The Field – you clearly know your stuff!




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