Rattled of Peak District

Strines Inn is the PH west of Strines Res and south of the woodland.

An everyday story of shooting folk?

Some fell-runners were enjoying a run around part of the Dark Peak one day in the middle of last week.

When they returned to the Strines Inn a gamekeeper who identified himself as being from a particular shooting estate approached the runners in the pub car park. The gamekeeper was unhappy with the route the runners had taken, even though this route had been agreed with the estate.

The gamekeeper then asked if a particular named local runner was present – he wasn’t and then made it clear that the estate was telling that runner to stop making complaints about their activities.

Would you call that intimidation or just being friendly?  The runners were local to the area, but not very local.  Just imagine what similar friendly conversations go on with people who live just down the road – I’ve heard some hair-raising tales from people I know and trust and many more from people i know less well (and the fictional examples in the first part of Chapter 6 of Inglorious are all based on real examples).


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30 Replies to “Rattled of Peak District”

  1. I've a had few run ins with keepers locally most of whom shouldn't be allowed anywhere near members of the public. My other half once got caught up in a grouse shoot above Meltham ( the moor wasn't closed) and she absolutely shredded (verbally & politely) the men with guns who tried to turn her back. These guys aren't so big & tough when you give them a run for their money.

  2. If it's an anecdote competition you're after Mark, as a law-abiding shooter who shoots to put food on the table you should see some of the abuse that I have to endure. If you think the above is intimidating - you've seen nothing! Generally I like reading your blog, as it often tackles the wider conservation issues along with highlighting the abhorrent raptor persecution that's still far too common in this country (and that's not isolated to grouse moors). Of late though I've noticed it's become somewhat of a more petty, generally anti-shooting rant board. Shame that.

    1. Did Mark mention anything other than gamekeepers involved with Grouse shooting? As far as I am aware he has stated on numerous occasions that his issue is with Grouse shooting and not the wider shooting community. It may be my perspective but, from what I have read from both sides, it is the grouse shooters who persistently draw all shooting activities into the argument. Presumably they fear having to stand alone without much wide support from anyone. I have heard a number of shooters say that they also don't support the methods used on grouse moors, but until there is a complete groundswell of rejection for this outdated mode of shooting, then surely everyone will be tarred with the same brush. That's just human nature, and I feel sorry for those who do genuinely conserve areas that produce suitable habitats for a wide range of species. There are lots of them. Until the shooting world wakes up to the damage being done to it's reputation being done by a few people with great influence, then I am afraid that you will continue to face accusations as well, however unfounded they are. When fox hunting was under the microscope they tried to imply that all activities would soon be targeted including angling. That didn't prove to be the case though and as soon a hunting was banned, the pressure subsided from the majority. This was helped of course by angling's willingness to make a few changes such as barbless hooks and banning lead shot. Grouse shooting appears totally unwilling to accept that there is even a problem, let alone a reasonable solution so why don't the shooting community sort itself out, and totally divorce themselves from the activities on our uplands? Surely the solution is partly in your hands.

      1. Not entirely sure what it is you expect other shooters who don't shoot grouse (or in my case any game bird) to do Bob. I don't like the methods used to increase grouse yields, specifically the abhorrent practice of raptor persecution (I bloody hate it!), though I am mindful that there are indirect benefits to some aspects. I don't really care much for pheasant shooting, but accept that others do enjoy it. There's no legislation that dictates I have to be a member of any shooting organisation - I'm not, nor are a great deal of other shooters who I know. To use your own words, I'm as far divorced from what goes on in the uplands with the exception I am licensed to hold a shot gun (and firearm), as you are. It wasn't the angling community that banned lead shot, it was legislation. Though you do know that lead shot isn't 'banned', only certain sizes? There is no legislation as far as barbless hooks with the exception of fishery-only restrictions. Though the future public consultation of a possible bylaw introduction in Wales for salmon and sea trout may change that - I shall be supporting that process through the consultation process. So I'll ask you (and Mark), what is it you will have me do, as a shooter, not a member of any shooting organisation, not a shooter of any driven game brids, that may reduce the chances of me being on the receiving end of another verbal attack next time?

          1. Thanks Mark, yes I agree. Sadly it is seems the first approach these days.

            P.S. Bob "Did Mark mention anything other than gamekeepers involved with Grouse shooting?"

            Yes, the first line of the blog post posed a question (I hope it wasn't rhetorical), I simply wanted to share that frustration, though also point out it can be a similarly depressing reality for others too. Hopefully the message should be, it isn't just 'shooting folk' I'm sure it isn't just 'conservation folk', though I don't actually see how they're mutually exclusive.

        1. It is nice to Hered from a shooter who agrees that the persecution of raptors is unacceptable. Whilst I am sure that many shooters share your opinion they are too infrequently spoken out loud. Might I make a suggestion as to what you can do about this? I will use Mr Avery as an example if I may. Mark saw that the mainstream nature conservation organisations were not really addressing the persecution of raptors going on on grousemoor's. Neither were they addressing in a meaningful way all the ecologically damage caused to the management. Therefore Mark set up a campaign to Ban driven grouse shooting. Grassroots campaign that has grown and grown. Now I am sure you are as annoyed as me when the countryside alliance or GWCT claim to speak for all shooters when defending grouse shooting. Unfortunately as I am not shooting myself I can't do anything about that. However if a grassroots shooting campaign started that challenged the perception that all shooters were united in defending driven grouse shooting. If this campaign run by shooters themselves called for an end for raptor persecution, called for moorlands to stop burning Peat. Called for gamekeepers to stop massacring hares. In short a campaign run by shooters calling for environmentally friendly shooting and not afraid to criticise practices within the shooting industry that are not environmentally friendly. This would be massive. It would help stop you being associated with the illegal practices that go on on grouse moots, whereas at the moment shooting organisations present you as all being of one mind. Just a thought

          1. Hi Neil, that's a fair point. I'll have a think about that. I don't know if I'll be able to give it the time and commitment Mark is able to give, but I think something has to be done. There's growing frustration among the shooters I know (I'm not part of any large shooting organisation etc) regarding the ongoing situation with our raptors. I simply cannot fathom the mindset of someone who doesn't revel in seeing the pinnacle of avian evolution going about its business, it's simply breathtaking. I will say though, as much as there's frustration and anger regarding the situation with our raptors, there's growing frustration at inference that all shooters are of a similar mindset as those who're responsible for their demise. As you can see from some of the comments here there's deeply entrenched views regarding the ethics of shooting, and there's a danger of the two subjects becoming entwined (I think it already has to a degree, with some ulterior agendas, sadly). Those who shoot but oppose the raptor persecution then get caught in the middle - friends of no-one - a middle ground that neither side are happy with. To all intents and purposes it looks like a lose-lose situation. The two extreme ends are as bad as each other (I don't include Mark, or many contributors to his comments section in either of those two extremities, but my initial post today was over concerns of the general direction lately). I'll certainly give your suggestion some thought. Thank you.

          2. Blue - good luck with that and if I can help in any way then just ask. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

          3. I agree it is frustrating when we are lumped together. Conservationists are equally targeted by animal rights organisations when they support targeted culling. I also dislike it when CLA etc claim o speak for rural people when they clearly don't. It must indeed be a time commitment to set up a "Shooters against persecution " group. ( I'll give you that name for free, although perhaps SAP is not the best initials to have) I'm sure Mark spends loads of time doing his campaigning, all for free. However I can't help feel it would be really useful for likeminded shooters to provide themselves with a vehicle to get the message out that not all shooters agree with the "industrialisation" of the sport. Perhaps just start with a Facebook group and see how things go? Sure Mark could offer some good pointers.

        2. Blue. I stand corrected on the angling facts, but the sentiment remains that the sport of angling has been far more willing to listen to a well reasoned argument. As far as my suggestion that the solution to abuse may be in your hands, again I was merely saying that those who don't speak out against Grouse shooting may well be presumed to support it. That's very unfair, but in a conflict that is becoming increasingly polarized people tend to get lumped together. I know for a fact that are many people like you because I have met a lot of them. As others on here have since suggested it may be interesting to see if a groundswell of opposition from people like yourself could be started online. In many ways it could be a far more powerful voice than that of birders who are often labelled as urban lefties.

      1. Blue: Nobody in the UK needs to shoot to put food on the table: we have farms, market gardeners and importers that provide food to supermarkets, butchers, bakers, greengrocers, etc. so they can be purchased.

        You choose to go and kill wild animals with your weapon: don't be surprised if some people find that choice worthy of abuse.

        1. Absolutely, that's a personal choice. Whilst it's both lawful, and I'll be honest a lot more sustainable than some of the produce you get at your local supermarkets. You can kid yourself otherwise if you wish too Simon, but the link to intensification of farming and a declining wildlife population simply can not be dismissed. I choose to put my food on the table this way, it could be argued, in further reliance on supermarket produce you're having a far more damaging impact on our wildlife than I am.

        2. Simon, while I sort of see what you're saying your logic is somewhat flawed. I grow vegetables to put on the table but "nobody in the UK needs to do that as we have we have farms, market gardeners and importers that provide food to supermarkets,... greengrocers, etc. so they can be purchased."

          Same as the people who go fishing to put something on the table. Nobody in the UK needs to do that as every supermarket sells fish these days!

          While you might not agree with Blue's personal choice, its his choice and he is clearly one of the good guys. This idea that anyone that shoots is an evil arse will do more harm than good in the long run and further deepen divides that are already deep enough. Yes, lets get rid of outdate twaddle like grouse shooting - its basically a form of poultry farming - but don't think for one moment that just because someone shoots for the table, means they are cut from the same cloth.

          And no, I'm not a shooter before you ask, but I do prefer to treat people as people rather than get out the big tar brush because I assume my take on the world is correct.

    2. Blue, you could simply give up shooting for the table, and never have to lift a gun again. Accept that shooting wildlife, for food or pleasure, is unnecessary in the modern world and is actually unsustainable. To be sustainable it would have to pass the test of 65 million people in the UK surviving by shooting their meat rather than purchasing it as farmed produce from the local butcher. Can you imagine the disruption to a nice pleasant walk in the countryside if we were all out blasting away at wildlife? It would certainly make birdwatching far more challenging, never mind a threat to one's own life. The reality is that shooting is violent, unpleasant and highly selfish behaviour, not appropriate in 21st century Britain.

      1. Iain, yes, your correct it wouldn't be sustainable if everyone did it! But then, farmed meat isn't sustainable by any stretch of the imagination, especially in the way the majority of the 65 million people in the UK currently consume it, now is it? So I'm not exactly getting where your coming from with that?

        The again I know a lot of people who think that the reality is that eating farmed meat is violent, unpleasant and highly selfish behaviour, not appropriate for us to eat meat in the 21st century. Something to do with animal suffering, needless death, resources etc?

        Still, cows and sheep in the fields etc make for a nice view on a county walk though.

      2. Iain,

        Shooting rabbits and deer is certainly necessary - we're overrun with deer in particular with all sorts of adverse consequences for other wildlife and for the deer themselves. Better to eat them than leave them to rot.

        And there's also an economic aspect you're ignoring. Friends of mine in Scotland get most of their meat as venison from a local marksman at a very cheap local price. You might wish to force all poor people to become vegetarian but since they like to eat meat sometimes eating cull deer means they can afford to.

        Its just not as black and white an issue as you make out. Being rude to people who share our concern about birds of prey suggests that you, for one, really are just "using" HH etc to further your own agenda. We need allies and goodwill, not exclusive self appointed ideological purity.

  3. Here in North Yorkshire ever since open access came in under the CROW act there has been friction between folk wishing to avail themselves of that access and gamekeepers. Initially it was not unusual to be told that the access did not apply in " the breeding season". The Blubberhouses keeper was apparently prone to using this lie. In other areas people were told" It doesn't apply here, when it quite clearly did or that the moor was closed ( When it wasn't) but both put people off from using the access. I had one keeper give me a stunning object lesson some years ago when I climbed a fence into a moorland access area ( near Grimwith Res) because the gate was wired shut, I hadn't realised that the "F" word could be used quite so frequently in " conversation", needless to say I ignored his remonstration. In the early days I was even told by a Nidderdale AONB volunteer a moor was closed when it quite clearly wasn't--- I complained about him. I jumped over a fence recently only to be told by a very irate keeper I had to use the access points-- you don't. Remember if access is closed there will be official closure notices posted and except for fire risk closure they cannot keep you off at weekends in May, June and July whatever. Don't be bullied, know your rights, be as forthright as they are if need be and then treat them with what my father called" loads of ignore"

    1. Paul - well, funnily enough I once met someone who said they were a Blubberhouses 'keeper (and he looked as though he probably was) who told me I wasn't allowed on a moor and when I asked where the notice was posted and that I had checked the website that morning he asked me to phone next time I was coming but seemed reluctant to give me his number.

      1. I have a recollection of that too Mark and yes he was certainly the somewhat notorious keeper. He was just a little cross wasn't he, I cannot think why!

  4. great post Paul Irving. My strategy is always to ask them to show me exactly where the closure notices are posted - online or on the ground. With the exception of the Duke of Devonshire Estate around Barden Moor and Barden Fell - they never can.

  5. Crap ,you are just a wee boy who hasn't grown up you think you are a big man handling a gun and you enjoy killing .Don't try to intellectualise your behaviour. You and your like are the problem.

    1. Although you don't say so, I'm presuming that your comment is aimed at Blue.
      It ill behoves you to reply in this vein. This sort of tone is hardly likely to change hearts and minds. If you don't mind me saying so, mindless, knee jerk rhetoric is also the problem.

  6. I'm still wondering why anyone should be pleasant to people who think killing for fun is an acceptable way to pass ones time... That I'm afraid is just the mentality of the idle rich or mentally unstable. Stop pandering to these sick individuals, once and for all.

    1. Michael king - because being polite is better than being impolite?

      And because demonising anyone for a difference of opinion, or even a definite failing in one area of their life (let's say), is unwise if you do not know anything else about them?

      And because it appears nasty and prejudiced which is unlikely to win others over?

  7. What about (bla bla bla) the fact that society in general 'kills for fun'?
    The majority of us eat meat . The majority of that majority constantly eats far more meat than is physiologically necessary. Therefore we nearly all eat meat for fun. Therefore we nearly all kill for fun by proxy. Bla bla bla.


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