6000 signatures


I’m just blown away by the speed at which people are signing the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting – thank you to all who have signed.

Yesterday, we passed 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 signatures and as we pass the 48 hours mark the total now stands at 6689 – that’s two-thirds of the way towards the 10,000 threshold that will trigger another government response (more on that later).  The campaign for change in the uplands is gathering pace.

It really is gathering pace. This is the third time that I have started an e-petition on this subject and the first time around I was thrilled that we reached 5000 signatures in about a month, last time, we reached 5000 signatures very quickly too, in about a week, this time it took little more than a day.

Such growing momentum is noticed by decision-makers – by the politicians who work for us. Don’t doubt it!

And it is also noticed by the shooting community. There are quite a lot of them in a bit of a flap on social media. They can feel the wind of change whistling past their ears.

Again this is partly a social media success  – and I like that because it means that everyone has a part to play, it’s all out in the open, and no-one can shut us up.

I wrote in Inglorious (p273):

Use social media:  it won’t last for ever but the grouse shooters are outgunned on social media.  At the time of writing the Moorland Association has only 285 followers on Twitter and the GWCT (5,250), BASC (10200) and the Countryside Alliance (15,100) all have fewer followers than me (18,800), Chris Packham (116,000) and the RSPB (141,000).  Every time you retweet or like a message then you are helping to spread the word, and the more the word spreads the more people will become activated to play a part.’

Here is an update on that:

Moorland Association – 432 followers +51%

GWCT – 9028 followers +72%

BASC – 13,800 followers +35%

Countryside Alliance followers – 20,100 +33%

me – 25,800 followers +37%

Chris Packham – 150,000 followers +29%

RSPB – 217,000 followers +53%


Those aren’t all the players, of course, nor necessarily the most important, but it does illustrate that the reach of the wildlife conservationists is rather large – provided they choose to use their power to talk to large numbers of people.

But the great asset that those seeking a better future for the uplands have on their side is that there are lots of lovely ‘ordinary’ people who take to social media and play a massive part. Thank you to all of you, some of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting, and some of whom are just familiar Twitter handles with a personality of their own – you are making a huge difference.

Eventually, the shooters might get better organised to get their arguments across – but the arguments are so poor, and often aren’t arguments at all but merely snide comments, that the social media universe is at our mercy.  Build your following – and get tweeting and retweeting. We are a movement that won’t be silenced – and we have something important to say. Ban driven grouse shooting!





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  1. Watching With Interest says:


  2. Watching With Interest says:


    (I've got the day off work, can you tell?)

  3. Jim Clarke says:

    'Eventually, the shooters might get better organised to get their arguments across'

    Mark, I've been anticipating that for some time, and it's clearly never a good thing to underestimate your opposition. But really? With no signs of anything to the contrary I'm starting to believe the buffoon spokespeople that they have put out so far are actually the best they can muster. I'm afraid to say it's all starting to look a touch unsporting. Then again, should we all be quaking in anticipation of that next killer delivery from Mr. Botham?

    • Random22 says:

      They don't need to get their arguments across, they hold power and are unlikely to change things no matter how many of us filthy plebs are against it. They won't really care if a law does get passed, the complete failure to get the hunting with hounds ban enforced (lets be honest if any of the hunts were even slightly genuine about the excuse of the hounds being carried away and just unable to prevent a fox being "accidentally" torn to shreds, then all hound packs would go out with muzzles on them) means that they will carry on regardless. I don't mean to say we shouldn't keep pressing this, if only to inconvenience them, but we must avoid getting smug about our victories here. Our online victories can only be the foundation on which direct action is built on.

      • murray marr says:

        E.g. The mass trespass of Kinder Scout in 1932.
        Just emailed Mark's petition to them although they probably have it already.

      • Jim Clarke says:

        I completely agree Random (and Murray), its boots on the ground that will decide this in the end. Still, I think a driven grouse shoot will be hard pressed to even try and pretend it is doing anything else (without the shooting bit it's just vandals lighting fires on the moors) so getting the law changed should make a huge difference in this case.

    • Watching With Interest says:

      I'd expect dirtier and dirtier tactics against both wildlife and conservationists. Now 6856 by the way.

  4. Jim Clarke says:

    PS only 8 constituencies without a signature? Not sure what's happening in Barnsley East; seriously, what you Tykes playing at, everyone on holiday or summat?

  5. Northern Diver says:

    How often is the associated map updated, do you know? Is it daily or after a certain number of new signatures or what?

    • Mark says:

      Northern - it used to be once a day but seems to be real time at the moment. I'm really not sure - but it changes a lot each day.

  6. Dennis Ames says:


  7. Lisa says:

    I'm sure you have seen this, but just in case....


  8. Watching With Interest says:

    7829! I should take the day off work more often!

    Being serious for a moment, given the dreadful news from elsewhere it is good to have something positive to celebrate today.

    And still they come, up to 7833 as I write this.

    Nighty night...


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