Bradford Council gives go-ahead to Ilkley grouse shooting consultation

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Bradford Council gave the go-ahead to a public consultation on the future of controversial grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor at City Hall last night, a move welcomed by campaigners.

There is only one way to manage moorland for grouse shooting and that’s through intensively burning away and draining precious habitat, at the cost of our region’s wildlife and natural flood barrier’, says Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor Spokesperson Luke Steele. ‘With some protected species, including hen harriers and peregrine falcons, now completely absent from Ilkley Moor it is clear grouse shooting and conservation cannot work hand-in-hand. We welcome the decision to send this matter to public consultation.’.

Ilkley Moor is the last municipal moorland in the country where grouse shooting is allowed, with other local authorities, including nearby Sheffield City Council and Peak District National Park Authority, already prohibiting the practice on their upland estates. Bradford Council is facing unprecedented pressure to follow on, with a number of cross-party Councillors, conservationists and actors, including Springwatch presenter Bill Oddie OBE, Emmerdale’s Nick Miles and Downton Abbey’s Peter Egan, lending their support to a ban.

Parish Cllr Henri Murison (Labour, Ilkley South) says: ‘I do believe a strong case has been made that shooting on the moor should come to an end.

Parish Cllr Claire Darling (Green Party, Ilkley South) says: ‘I oppose grouse shooting for its detrimental effect on ecosystems.

District Cllr Cath Bacon (Labour, Keighley West), says: ‘I am not in favour of grouse shooting or blood sports and if there is a legal way of terminating the contract I am happy to support it.

Cllr Dominic Fear (Liberal Democrat, Idle & Thackley), says: ‘I oppose Council land on Ilkley Moor being leased out and managed so grouse shooting can be staged on it.

District Cllr Brian Morris (UKIP, Keighley West) says: ‘I am totally against any blood sports on any grounds.

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11 Replies to “Bradford Council gives go-ahead to Ilkley grouse shooting consultation”

  1. I notice that The local paper (Telegraph & Argus) says; "There was no debate of what would happen beyond the 2018 shooting licence date though it was noted in the report that keepers' presence on the moor provided additional protection by spotting outbreaks of wildfire, unauthorised camping and other unwanted activity." Do they report themselves, then, do you think?
    I can't find where the quotes are in your piece - are there none in favour?

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  2. Fantastic news.

    I live in West Leeds, so it's just a few miles from me, I've only ever seen 1 Hen Harrier in the area. Fingers crossed the consultation goes the right way (I will ensure I respond if I'm able).

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  3. Another wee nail in the coffin of driven grouse shooting? They seem to be coming at a faster and faster pace. I wasn't impressed by wildlife or scenic value when I tromped across Ilkley Moor, there wasn't any. A plan for a future after DGS on the moor would be very good, but just getting rid of it is a positive step. This group has been relentless and determined, very well done to Luke Steele and friends, think the consultation will go your way.

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  4. Great news. Couldn't help noticing that a UKIP councillor is opposed to bloodsports!! Except shooting foreigners maybe? :o)

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  5. Great stuff, and very well done to all who campaigned. I'm a Bradford resident so I'll be keeping a keen eye out for the opportunity to comment.

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  6. Its one thing to be consulted on whether to continue with the licence for grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor after 2018, it is another - and the real situation - to be consulted on a fully written 10-year management plan that has been passed by the council department that oversees a Countryside Service wedded to pursuing agri-environment funding on every bit of open space land that is publicly owned within the Bradford District. As is usual in matters of conservation, it is never a clean sheet in the consultation, but a set of prescriptions designed to pander to the funding agency, and which will not be modified by the consultation for fear of not obtaining the money.

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  7. Look at the spin BASC are putting on it:-

    https://basc.org.uk/blog/press-releases/latest-news/ilkley-moor-decision-a-triumph-for-sense-over-extremism-says-basc/

    I have heard some say that allegedly the Countryside Manager for the moor, Mr Jackson is in the pro-shoot camp?

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  8. If the consultation is on the plan..... is there a link to the plan so that we can provide reasoned input?

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  9. Well I have had a poke around the Bradford council website and the Friends of Ilkley Moor web sites and have not found the draft management plan?
    I did find the councils code for grouse shooting. It clearly shows tha that a handfull of people prepared to walk up and down the moor on shooting days would cease to make grouse shooting a worthwhile effort.

    "Grouse Shooting

    The Council currently allows neighbouring moor owners onto Ilkley Moor on up to 8 days per season to drive and shoot grouse, as part of an agreement between the two parties. Consequently, between 12 August and 10th December in any year (whilst this agreement is in place), visitors to the moor may occasionally encounter grouse shooting on the upper parts of the moor (above 300m). Shooting does not take place on the lower slopes and around popular areas like the Cow and Calf, Rocky Valley, White Wells etc. The shoots take place during the week and do not operate at weekends or on public holidays. It will be apparent that this is taking place and all the drives are marshalled. If you are in the vicinity of a drive or shoot, you will be notified by employees and asked to wait until they have gone through. If you do not wish to wait, the drive will be halted and you will be able to pass through until safely distant."
    The last sentance clearly shows that the Council intend walking to take priority over shooting. A walker, setting off towards the oncoming drive, every 15-20mins would seriously encourage the grouse to increase their contribution to the wider ecosystem. In addition, the guns would get so drunk waiting around that they would be incapable of doing any damage... So six walkers and somebody to video from a distance.

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