What they say 1:

Yesterday’s Countryfile programme featured the Peak District (which is lovely – I was there on a couple of days last week) and shooting as a countryside pursuit.

Andre Farrar, RSPB spokesperson (c14mins 40 secs into the programme) talking about grouse moor management:

‘…while the illegal persecution of birds of prey is tolerated, when the uplands are being drained incredibly intensively now, when burning on deep peat is still going on and is intensifying then the overall nett impact on the wildlife of this country, and on landscapes we love is almost certainly negative.’


Interesting. Well done Andre and RSPB. The RSPB believes that the overall impact of grouse shooting, as currently practised in its very intensive manner, is almost certainly negative for wildlife and landscapes. I agree – of course I agree with the RSPB. Where we differ is in what we can do about it. The RSPB favours licensing of grouse moors, at the moment, whereas I think that a total ban on driven grouse shooting, as a response to the industry’s decades of non-cooperation and intransigence, is the way forward. If you agree with the RSPB’s and my analysis of the problem, and with my suggestion for the solution, then please sign this e-petition which passed 6700 signatures yesterday.


6 Replies to “What they say 1:”

  1. It was disappointing that it was just a string of statements that were not really tested through discussion. It also confused lowland arable farming with grouse moor management…
    But still the message came across loud and clear..so I’m of to get a shotgun to shoot the blue tits in the garden…clearly it will be good for them.

  2. I didn’t hear anything about the need to stop grouse shooting nor any mention of the so’called demise of the hen harrier – which,like the badger, is not going to become extinct. Nor was any mention made of the current proposals with regard to Defra/RSPB and the hen harrier joint recovery programme Perhaps Dr. Avery you should direct your acolytes to the GWCT website where they may find some facts based on good science. If you can show me that banning driven grouse shooting will aid the recovery of the hen harrier to the northern moorlands I may be convinced to sign your petition, However, I’m reminded of what happened in Wales when shooting and moorland management was abandoned.

    1. Sir – what happened in Wales? Hen Harriers increased in numbers? I believe they are slowly increasing.

    2. Have a wee weekend on Islay or Arran where grouse shooting was abandoned…along with the management…. you will get sick fed up of seeing Harriers, eagles and ravens…..and keep your eye open for the red grouse….its not extinct! How can that be…surely that’s not possible?
      BASC science = flat earth science.

  3. Broadly Amadeus, since driven shooting finished in Wales the number of harriers has nearly trebled and no longer to pairs of harriers display start to build a nest and then disappear, or indeed lay eggs and then disappear with no sign, nor do adult males with a sitting female disappear. Strange that, these have all been common on English and Scottish grouse moors for years. Can you give a logical explanation.

    It also seems to me that GWCT who used to be good are now more and more producing the science the game lobby wants and slanting the results considerably to suit.

    1. Paul – I agree that GWCT seems to be heading steadily down hill in terms of credibility.

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