Mark Osborne, the exiting shooting tenant of the National Trust in the Peak District, is a very well-known name in shooting circles. He is not a nobody, he is someone for whom ‘failure is not an option’ according to Lord James Percy in Fieldsports magazine. Mr Osborne is prone to tell people that he is a very rich and powerful man (he told me that once), so it’s likely that the parting of the ways with the NT may have given him some pause for thought.
From what we have seen in the NT statement, it seems that a difference of opinion over birds of prey might have been one factor in the NT’s decision as they put a lot of emphasis on any new tenant ensuring an increase in bird of prey numbers.
A couple of years ago I wrote of Mr Osborne as he seemed to have had something of a conversion to being a big admirer of the Hen Harrier but those in the shooting community have pointed out how unlucky Mr Osborne has been in the past to have managed land near to which birds of prey have been found poisoned. But that last article was written long ago, in 2009; surely that run of bad luck can’t have continued?
This blog, and our big brothers in Raptor Persecution UK, thought that it might be interesting to see how lucky or unlucky Mr Osborne has been on the land in which he has had an involvement over the last few years. We have a list of over 50 land holdings to work with. Watch this space to see whether we can make any sense of this dossier – but it might take a while.
We wish Mr Osborne good luck with birds of prey on all his current and future grouse moor involvements. He’s welcome to a Guest Blog here if he would like to write one.
I somehow doubt that Mark Osborne has yet signed our e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting – but that needn’t put you off.