• Muirburn in the time of coronavirus
    Muirburn in the time of coronavirus On 23 March 2020, a 'controlled' fire in Yorkshire got out of hand and damaged 200 hectares of rare blanket bog. The blaze, on a mile long front at one point, required the presence of 20 fire appliances to get under control, when all the emergency services are stretched to get the country through the Covid-19 pandemic. The West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service called for a stop to controlled burning on moorland after this incident. Yorkshire Water and United Utilities responded by imposing a temporary halt to all burning on their land, while the National Trust said it would…
    Written on Thursday, 09 April 2020 21:36 in News
  • Two hen harriers shot. Two arrests
    Two hen harriers shot. Two arrests More sad news. Two more hen harriers shot, both in Yorkshire – England's wildlife crime epicentre. The illegal persecution is relentless. But there is also some potentially good news here  – in each case an arrest. Regrettably that’s unusual because this is such a hard crime to detect and prosecute. For all the pleadings of the ‘sports’ shooting industry (and silence), it seems there are still far too many more people willing to shoot hen harriers on sight. Perhaps a couple of convictions – if that's what happens – will act as a deterrent for once.
    Written on Friday, 20 March 2020 21:06 in News
  • 12 years of illegal persecution of birds of prey
    12 years of illegal persecution of birds of prey On 13 February, the RSPB published new data on raptor persecution, and it's not good news. 2018 was the worst year in over a decade in England, and whilst recorded incidents have fallen in Scotland there is concern that this is only because the criminals have got better at concealing their crime. There is little evidence of population recovery amongst the most persecuted birds. At the same time, the RSPB’s Raptor Persecution Map Hub, an interactive map of known confirmed raptor persecution incidents in the UK, has now been expanded and updated to show all confirmed raptor persecution from 2007…
    Written on Sunday, 01 March 2020 14:04 in News
  • New MP slams grouse shooting
    New MP slams grouse shooting "The countryside in my constituency is beautiful, but it is under threat. The moorlands are on fire, burnt for grouse shooting. These acts of vandalism have made flooding more likely and are putting important risk. Across the country, peat fires have thrown millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere." Olivia Blake, the new MP for Sheffield Hallam in her maiden speech in the House of Commons on 15 January 2020.  There are both active grouse moors and defunct shoots in the constituency; some of the latter are now involved with moorland restoration projects.
    Written on Friday, 17 January 2020 13:28 in News
  • RSPB Hen Harrier ‘LIFE’ Project confirms appalling extent of illegal persecution
    RSPB Hen Harrier ‘LIFE’ Project confirms appalling extent of illegal persecution The RSPB has published its Hen Harrier LIFE Project report. It is a great piece of work, revealing much that is new about the hen harrier. Over the 5+ years of the project, it protected over 100 nests and 150 winter roosts, tagged over 100 birds, and helped raised awareness of this beautiful bird. Sadly, the report also provides compelling confirmation that the hen harrier’s main problem in the UK is illegal persecution. The project recorded 328 wildlife crimes and, adding to already overwhelming existing evidence, concludes that “...the main factor limiting the recovery of the hen harrier population continues…
    Written on Monday, 09 December 2019 10:43 in News