The government website is promoting William Powell Sporting Agency through a link on their website to Snilesworth Moor.
If you click on Snilesworth Moor in the above link you are taken to the William Powell website…
Days of up to 250 brace can be shot here which, at £150/brace comes to a cool £37,500 for the day’s shooting (over £4,000 each gun). And although this is said to be a very poor year for Red Grouse shoots, don’t sob too much for Snilesworth since in the last four years they have brought in £300,000/year through grouse shooting – and then there are all those Pheasants too.
On the William Powell website you can click on ‘Information’ and then ‘Meet the Team’ to find out exactly which members of the shooting industry are being given this public relations boost by the government website and which were the choice of our wildlife defenders Natural England for this bonding event.
The name that leaps out is that of Mark Osborne – a well known name in shoot management – indeed perhaps the most familiar name in shoot management to those of us who do not shoot. A quick search for Mr Osborne’s name on the encyclopaedic RaptorPersecution UK website throws up an awful lot of mentions of Mr Osborne; here are some;
The Mark Osborne coincidences continue – March 2010
Interesting bedfellows 4 – November 2017
There are plenty more mentions of William Powell and Mark Osborne going back years to Glenogil Estate etc etc and even some of those in the shooting community have pointed to the coincidences linking Mark Osborne to dead raptors – see this from James Marchington way back in 2009. And Mr Osborne’s name has cropped up in this blog too (see here and here).
Here is something from the shooting press ‘On Snilesworth Moor‘ from Shooting Sportsman, August 2015.
Much more recently of course William Powell are the shooting tenant whose tenancy was terminated by the National Trust in the Peak District: this year a pair of Hen Harriers nested on NT-owned land for the first time for ages and ages.
NE must have known of Mr Osborne’s and William Powell’s reputations and that must have led to NE choose this estate, managed by this sporting agency, for their bonding event with grouse shooters.
At a time when Defra Minister, Therese Coffey, is promoting round-up …
… I suppose it should come as little surprise that the Westminster government website is promoting this firm and this moor. What next – Natural England staff wearing badges saying ‘I LOVE Jimmy Shuttlewood’, ‘Mark Osborne taught me all I know about upland management’ or ‘We have shared outcomes with grouse shooters’?
I’m getting more and more cries of anguish and cries for help from NE staff stuck in this organisation that is no longer fit for purpose. Here’s one I got yesterday evening after first posting about the Snilesworth event (slightly edited to protect the sender);
‘Hi Mark, I’ve just seen your NE grouse moor tweet & I am utterly appalled by what I’ve read. When I joined English Nature it was to do nature conservation, I believed in what I was doing and think we did actually achieve something. Now under NE we have become poodles of Defra, run by a significant number of useless managers, policy wonks and a totally inadequate chair. Not a day goes by when I don’t look for a way out. Quite honestly if it wasn’t for [the need to earn a living] I’d be off. It’s ironic when our training budget has been slashed that NE has sorted out this freebie. I mean, let’s get down & dirty with the gamekeepers et al on the day we discover our native mountain hare population has crashed. Ffs to say I’m angry doesn’t even go there. Ashamed to show my face at Birdfair. Right rant over.‘