The true face of driven grouse shooting


Intensive grouse shooting depends on wildlife crime – protected raptors have to be killed in order for the big ‘bags’ of Red Grouse to be possible. Even if a particular grouse moor does not kill protected raptors, they will benefit if other grouse moors, near and far, do so. Intensive grouse shooting is underpinned by wildlife crime.

That’s why there are practically no Hen Harriers nesting on grouse moors; it’s why Peregrines are largely absent and fail to breed successfully on grouse moors; it’s why Golden Eagles are absent from those areas dominated by grouse shooting; it’s why Red Kites do not expand into our upland National Parks as they should.

It’s why our National Parks such as the Yorkshire Dales, Cairngorms and Peak District are massive wildlife crime scenes.

And it’s why the League Against Cruel Sports has produced this striking image to promote the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting ahead of the start of the grouse shooting season on Friday – the Inglorious 12th.  Please add your name to send a strong signal to decision-makers across the UK that this Victorian ‘sport’, which depends on protected wildlife being illegally killed, must end.


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18 Replies to “The true face of driven grouse shooting”

  1. Here's me thinking (toying with a splash of pessimism) 'this surge can't last forever'; nah, don't be silly; we just charged through 80,000 at a rate of 199 signatures an hour!

  2. 80,150! Wow! - at the current trajectory it will be over 90k by the end of the week.

    Well done!

    1. In fact, I'd say it must now be comfortably odds-on to beat 100k.

      I wonder what the spread should be? I wouldn't want to sell at 110 that's for sure.

  3. Heady stuff; currently 217 signatures an hour! Popping out soon for a last check on Nightjars this season; i'd be interested to see if anyone spots the rate going above that at any point this evening.

    1. Jim

      19:59 stood at 80,346, then @ 20:59 up to 80,502 so slowed a little to 156 an hour.

      So, on a good day 150 an hour for 12 hours will see us hit the magic 100k in ten days time, so even for allowing for a slow down (halving) I must get some Hen Harrier (Bowland Brewery) on ice ready for the celebrations ....

      Hope the nightjars are doing well with you Jim, NE messing things up in my neck of the woods (moors actually).

      1. Cheers, Nimby. I got back just in time for the finish of the day, which totaled at 2040 signatures. The 'steady rate' total in now down to 456 signatures per day. Daily signature totals for the last few days are;

        6th - 1924
        7th - 2598
        8th - 1958
        9th - 2040

        So 8520 for the 4 days, an average of 2130 per day.

        1. Sorry, forgot to reply, Nimby; very happy to say that Nightjars have bounced back nicely locally. After a steady decline until there were next to none in the early 1980's, a recent steady increase has taken them to around 30 churring males, with significant range expansion too. The nil return this eve was, however, not unexpected; just checking a historically occupied site to see if there was any activity. Despite ostensibly good habitat, and with 2 pairs now within about 2 miles, there haven't been any in 9 years of trying!

          Sorry to hear about your local situation, it's not 100% here in terms of awareness and sensitivity amongst land managers (I doubt I need to spell out one particular scenario!), but there have been some very positive actions in the area including some species specific funding for habitat management.

  4. The true face?

    Isn't that part of the issue, finding the face that fits the crime and on the rare occasion it happens they have friends who sort it for them (thinking of the recent non prosecution by police).

    Many faces front the sport, fair few behind big fences?

    But at this rate of knots ....

  5. Great to see that everyone else was as inspired as I was by the HH weekend. Edale was undoubtedly the best I've attended. Well done Mark !

    1. Chris - I thought it was great and that is in great measure thanks to Stewart Abbott who organised everything and everyone.

  6. If or when we reach the magical figure have we got many MP's who we can rely on to kick up a good fight on our behalf, we know already the hunting lot will have a their stooges in place?

    1. I believe Windsor Davies can sum up my reaction to that news:

  7. Things will surely kick-off big style once the Inglorious Twelfth is upon us.
    Keep up the great work Mark, and everyone else involved with the campaign.

  8. Billionaire landowner the Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, has died at the age 64.

    A spokeswoman for his estate said he had become ill suddenly on his Abbeystead Estate.

    He died on Tuesday afternoon at the Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire.

  9. We went to Ilkley Moor Hen Harrier Day and Dunsop Bridge Bowland,both events were Truly Inspiring,with higher numbers than previous Years,Luke Steeles speech was Brilliant at Ilkley,and Terry Pickford was Equally Inspiring at Bowland, TERRY PICKFORD and the NORTH WEST RAPTOR GROUP deserve Lots of Credit for over 40+Years they have toiled to bring Raptor Persecution Out From behind those closed doors of the shooting Estates in Bowland.I and many many more People have been Truly Inspired by the tireless Work they have done and it is Absolutely Scandalous they have had their Licenses Revoked for Speaking Out, And now in 2016 not one Hen Harrier Nest ,and not one Pair of Peregrines have successfully bred,Tells you Everything Dosn't it !! Let's Get This 100 000 and with it a Debate in Parliament !!

    1. Thanks Brian for speaking out on behalf of the tireless work undertaken by the North West Raptor Group. It is remarkable how politics rather than logic or common sense continues to play a role in reducing our raptors on grouse moors. I thought the position in the 1980 was bad enough, but the position today is much much worst.

      Regarding the licenses Natural England withheld in 2010, it proved to me just who's side Natural England were really supporting. But you know I have got over it now, it's water under the bridge, but look what has happened to raptors. Everything I said has been the truth and those that did not care to listen or stuck their heads into the sand have now well and truly got egg all over their faces for sitting on the fence.

      In my opinion unless there is a dramatic change in attitudes by estate owners and their gamekeepers towards protected raptors that predate grouse, I doubt very much if the Hen Harrier or Peregrine will ever be allowed back to recolonise historic nesting sites inside the Forest of Bowland. It no longer matters if the BTO are willing to reconsider issuing licenses in the future to members of the North West Raptor Group, there are no longer any active nesting sites to protect or monitor and that will never change.

      It is vital that everyone who cares about our so called 'protected' raptors signs Mark Avery's petition as soon as possible. I really believe the petition will achieve the 100k required.


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