NT statement

I have just received this statement from the National Trust Press Office after asking them about the incident of a man sitting in the heather near a model Hen Harrier on National Trust land back in February. The NT Press Office also tell me that the incident took place on Snake Moorland.


Jon Stewart, General Manager for the Peak District, said: “As part of our High Peak Moors Vision and as a conservation charity the National Trust is committed to protecting birds of prey and working closely with partners and tenants in managing the moors. We are aware of a report of a suspicious incident being investigated by the police, which took place in February this year on land in the Peak District which we own and lease out for grouse shooting.  We have been awaiting the results of their investigation before following up ourselves.  We now know the police have reviewed the footage but are taking no further action, so we will now be carrying out a full investigation of our own. We are treating this very seriously and will not be commenting further pending the results of that investigation.”


Fake Hen Harrier (1) - Copy

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15 Replies to “NT statement”

  1. Interesting that he's not offered any kind of timeframe for action so sadly it seems like the long grass .... ooops heather?

    The Police taking no further action, strong suspicion that statements by usual suspects may now flow with usual rhetoric ....

    NT members need to take up the issue of shooting on public/charity land?

  2. The Police need a number plate, decent facial recognition etc.. To be fair to them it might have been anyone - yes we all tut tut, but the bit of film I have seen is difficult to see any proof of a crime!

    A shame the digi-scope does not show person moving, Land Rover, etc..

    & don't get me wrong, I have signed all 3 petitions & re-tweet plenty of pics etc.

    1. Also if it came to court/CPS the police would also have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that an offence had been committed. Presumably NTs investigation can work from the lower burden of proof - balance of probabilities...

    2. 'To be fair to them it might have been anyone'
      You don't think they could have a word with the gamekeepers?

      I usually try to do a thought experiment. If this was a different situation and try to avoid a Godwin (even though i think that is perfectly valid).
      So say there had been a string of bank robberies with inside information and they had a tip off that another was about to occur CTV caught a bank worker in bank uniform wearing a hoody was seen casing the bank at night and in a dark alley changing into striped clothes carrying a bag with 'swag' written on it.
      And then the police say, 'could have been anyone' and don't interview all the bank workers
      I can think of various similar scenarios and in none of them would the police do nothing.
      Having said, it is obvious there is not enough evidence for a prosecution and i feel strongly this is awake up call to all the other 'stakeholders' and 'partners' (irony intended) to wake up.

      1. And as an afterthought.
        Don't interview all the likely suspects but set up a surveillance trap.
        Of course they could just tell all the likely suspects down at the pub or the lodge to be extra careful for a while.

  3. I had the same reply. It's quite guarded, but I sense deep unease and the possibility of further action.

  4. in advance of any statements from the shooting explaining away this shocking and stupid action lot let me try and explain my understanding of this legal action...

    If you want to shoot pigeons you lay out decoys of plastic and sometimes shot pigeons to attract others within range.

    If you want to shoot corvids, you put out plastic decoys, and sometimes shot birds to attract others within range.

    If you want to shoot ducks, you put out plastic mallards to attract others within range.

    And you put out a plastic hen harrier because you want to shoot a different species?

    Have I got that right?

  5. Speaking as a former English Nature land agent we used to let shooting (wildfowling) to give us control over large areas that we found difficult to warden. The point was that we trusted the wildfowlers to abide by the licence and keep non licenced people and poachers out. So there would be limits (days and bags) and records and logs kept as well as a good working relationship with our wardens on the ground. Although not everyone here may approve of wildfowling this worked pretty well and maintained birds populations for both shooters and birdwatchers alike. So if this had occurred under one of my licences I would be asking the Licensee what was going on and why his keepers were not keeping poachers off the moor. An unsatisfactory response would have resulted in the withdrawal of the licence. If a charity like NT is letting grouse shooting (which is legal of course) I would expect it to be having an extremely robust conversation with the tenant and laying down a marker about the future operation of the shoot, which would be subject to close monitoring.
    The interesting point is whether this constitutes Armed Trespass (shooting without authorisation is deemed as trespassing with a firearm and is arrestable under Section 20 of the 1968 Firearms Act). But does sitting with a gun count? I would have thought that any reasonable person would conclude that you were one someone elses land with a gun there would be strong likelihood of using it............

    1. But it's not really "poaching" is it? As I understand poaching, it is to trespass and kill something to eat it yourself or sell it to someone else who wants to eat it. Why would you want to shoot a Hen Harrier or even a Corvid to eat? So I would think it has to be someone involved with the shooting tenant or someone involved with adjacent shooting tenants. I can't see it being a random member of the public or a poacher. Otherwise what is the motive?

    2. The whole trespass thing isn't as simple as we might think. Once upon a Time I arrived at work early on a Sunday morning and spotted three blokes wandering around the gaff with a crossbow, firing at shed doors and the like. On knocking on the door of the local bobby-shop Dave the ex-Marine Commando emerged half-shaved and explained that he couldn't do anything as there was no law against wandering about with a crossbow firing at things. I returned to work to find the perps had gone, leaving only holes in doors as evidence. Dave then turned up with his peaked cap and shaving foam on and excitedly told me that there was a Law against shooting hares of a Sunday, so he could arrest them on suspicion of that. I was relieved to find that the Law had our backs on such matters

  6. I contacted the NT and have had the same reply as everyone else. I have replied saying that people on both sides of the debate believe that protecting birds of prey and driven grouse shooting are incompatible, the birds will go where they can find habitat and food and that will inevitably include grouse moors. That being the case how can the NT claim that they want to protect birds of prey (that should go without saying as they are legally protected anyway) and yet allow driven grouse shooting on its land. I have asked if they will publish the details of their own investigations and also clarify their overall position. In light of what they might say and do perhaps people might want reconsider their membership of the NT?

  7. All I can make out is a blurry figure with a white cane who has fallen into a hole near a white parrot on a stick. When the police look at the files will they also find sightings of the Surrey Puma, the beast of Bodmin, Bigfoot, Foo Fighters, the Rendlesham UFO, etc - all taken with the same 0.5 Megapixel Potato? Mott and Bailey never have that trouble


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