Posts Tagged ‘Glenogil Estate


Case against gamekeeper William Curr, Glenogil Estate: part 4

scales-of-justiceCriminal proceedings have continued against Glenogil Estate gamekeeper William Curr, who is accused of various snaring offences alleged to have taken place in the Angus Glens in August and September 2014.

An intermediate diet was called at Forfar Sheriff Court on 19th January 2016 and the provisional trial date of 9th February was dumped. There will now be a further intermediate diet on 12th April and a new provisional trial date has been set for 9th May 2016.

Previous blogs on this case here, here and here.


Case against gamekeeper William Curr, Glenogil Estate: part 3

Glenogil sign RPSCopyCriminal proceedings continued yesterday against Scottish gamekeeper William Curr of Glenogil Estate in the Angus Glens.

Curr, 22, is accused of several wildlife crimes alleged to have taken place on the Glenogil Estate in August and September 2014.

An intermediate diet has been set for 19th January 2016 and a preliminary trial date of 9th February 2016.

Previous blogs on this case here and here


The gift of grouse: spectacular propaganda from the Angus Glens

Gift of GrouseWe love it when the grouse shooting community produces its propaganda pieces to spoon-feed to the (sym)pathetic right wing elements of the national press. It’s usually a masterclass in foot-shooting and provides us with ample material for a good laugh.

Take this month’s latest offering –  a published, commissioned report from the University of the Highlands & Islands:

Grouse Shooting, Moorland Management and Local Communities: Community Perceptions and Socio-Economic Impacts of Moorland Management and Grouse Shooting in the Monadhliaths and Angus Glens

and a video produced by the Angus Glens Moorland Group (basically all the gamekeepers that work there) entitled:

The Untold Story: Driven Grouse Shooting’.

The publication of these two pieces was celebrated at a Parliamentary reception last week (see here) hosted by Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism (a long-standing supporter of the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association) and attended by gamekeepers and luminaries from the grouse shooting industry such as Doug McAdam from Scottish Land & Estates.

The report mostly suggests that there is great support for grouse moor management and all its ‘benefits’, from within the two communities surveyed. We’re not going to say very much about these findings at the moment other than to say that we are aware that someone has been analysing the survey questionnaire data and has discovered some fundamental flaws that basically render the report’s findings obsolete. We’ll return to this once the analysis has been completed. The report can be downloaded here: Grouse Shooting Moorland Management and Local Communities_2015

What we do want to blog about now is the hilarious video produced by the Angus Glens gamekeepers. This video (watch it here) was first published on the Inglorious 12th, timed to coincide with the opening of the grouse shooting season. It formed part of a new campaign called ‘The Gift of Grouse’, which is a one-year propaganda offensive, heavily promoted (and maybe even funded) by Scottish Land & Estates, and others, aimed at cleaning up the media image of the grouse shooting industry. Check out their website here.

For some reason, the video has now been re-launched this month, perhaps to coincide with the publication of the commissioned report. Whatever, that doesn’t really matter. This video really is a gift and an almighty own-goal.

You would think that if the grouse-shooting industry wanted to portray an image of lawful, environmentally-sensitive management, that they’d choose to focus on an area that wasn’t notorious as a massive wildlife crime scene, wouldn’t you? Well, apparently not.

This video is brilliant. It includes interviews with head gamekeepers from five grouse-shooting estates in the Angus Glens; some of these estate names will be very familiar to regular readers of this blog. The interviewees are: Jason Clamp (Millden Estate), Garry MacLennan (Invermark Estate), Martin Taylor (Glenlethnot Estate), Danny Lawson (Glenogil Estate) and Bruce Cooper (Glenprosen Estate). [Incidentally, one of these head keepers shares his name with a gamekeeper who was formerly employed on Skibo Estate in 2010 when three poisoned golden eagles were found poisoned. What an amazing coincidence. No prosecution for poisoning those eagles, natch, although the sporting manager was done for possession of a massive stash of banned Carbofuran].

The video provides a heart-warming narrative of the daily lives of gamekeepers in the Angus Glens, complete with a soothing musical backing track, where the keepers are keen to explain how they care for the welfare of all the wildlife in the Glens and how the emphasis is no longer on just the grouse, apparently.

Jason Clamp (Millden) says: “We’re not looking for massive bags of grouse” and “We’re not looking to kill thousands of grouse“.

That’s an odd statement coming from the head keeper of perhaps one of the most intensively-managed grouse moors in the area. According to the Millden Estate sales brochures (2010 and 2011) great emphasis is placed on the record number of grouse that have been killed / are available to be killed and this is a prime selling point. Record bag sizes are also apparently the main reason the estate owner decided to withdraw his estate from sale in 2011 (see here).

We’re also told by Garry MacLennan (Invermark) that the Angus Glens are great for raptors (ahem – see below) and the video bizarrely cuts to show what looks remarkably like a Gyr/Saker hybrid falconry bird….whatever it is, it certainly isn’t a native species and it certainly isn’t a wild bird living in those Glens.

Probably the most amusing thing about this video (and there is an awful lot to laugh at) is the title: ‘The Untold Story’. Oh, the irony.

Here are some of the untold bits of the untold story that, unsurprisingly, don’t feature in this film:

Known raptor persecution incidents in the Angus Glens 2004-2014 – 

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.

There’s also no mention of the massacre of mountain hares known to take place across the Angus Glens. This photo shows a pile of slaughtered hares photographed on Glenogil Estate in 2012:

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

And no mention of the “savaged, stripped and blasted land” as portrayed in this photograph of Millden Estate in 2014 (by Chris Townsend):

Interestingly, a Parliamentary Motion has now been lodged (Jamie McGrigor, Tory) congratulating the Angus Glens gamekeepers on their video and welcoming the Gift of Grouse initiative. The motion hasn’t attracted a lot of support although some of the signatories are surprising, to say the least (see here).


Case against gamekeeper William Curr, Glenogil Estate: part 2

Glenogil sign RPSCopyCriminal proceedings have continued against Scottish gamekeeper William Curr.

Curr, 22, is accused of several wildlife crimes alleged to have taken place on the Glenogil Estate in August and September 2014. His case was adjourned at Forfar Sheriff Court on 10th September 2015 and will continue on 8th October.

Previous blog about this case here.


Gamekeeper accused of wildlife crimes on Glenogil Estate, Angus Glens

Glenogil sign RPSCopyA Scottish gamekeeper is facing charges of wildlife crimes alleged to have taken place in the Angus Glens last year.

William Curr faces charges that he set or failed to check the snare that trapped a deer for more than 24 hours on the Glenogil Estate last year, and that he failed to remove it. It is understood the animal died.

The 22 year old, of Game Keeper’s House, Glen Trusta, will appear at Forfar Sheriff Court on 20th August where he will also face charges that he failed to keep a record of finding a deer in the snare at Glen Trusta between 26th – 29th August 2014.

It is also alleged that Curr failed to check another snare for more than 24 hours, during which time a fox became trapped and died of dehydration between September 24th-26th 2014.

Curr did not appear or make a plea to the charges when the case called at the court on Thursday.

Depute fiscal Jim Eodonable intimated the matter would continue without plea for three weeks, after a letter from solicitors Levy & McRae asked for more time to take instruction.

We’ll be following this one with interest.

Photograph by Raptor Persecution Scotland.


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


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.

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