Bowland Gull Cull 23

Received from Natural England this afternoon.

So this confirms that someone called ‘Trustee of 4th Duke of Westminster 1964 Settlement’, which I take to mean the Abbeystead Estate in this instance, committed offences in late June and early July 2017 in the Bowland Fells SSSI, to wit the bumping off of juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls and activities likely to damage the fauna.

There is a list of things that have to be done in future attached to this compliance order, some of which look quite interesting to me and I’ll be phoning a friend about them, or perhaps looking out for some experts at the Bird Fair.

No fine. Just a letter. A slap on the wrist saying ‘You broke the law, don’t break it next year’. The ‘Trustee of 4th Duke of Westminster 1964 Settlement’ must be quaking in its/their boots. Although I expect that NE are seeking to recover their legal costs against the offenders.


4 Replies to “Bowland Gull Cull 23”

  1. Just imagine, as Thomas Berry wrote about, if these birds (now dead!) were possessed of bird-rights and their legal guardian/trustee could sue for murder or civil damages on their behalf. Even as a lawyer I’m sure this would get laughed out of court, but one day we might see animal rights protected in this way. Or, certainly, that’s my avowed wish.

    Best wishes



  2. I wonder why it took NE a whole year to send their Final Compliance Notice to his lordship’s estate.

    The fact that NE took a modicum of action in the end wouldn’t be anything to do with the persistent pressure that you brought to bear on this issue would it?

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Dear Mark,
    I wonder if Natural England (NE) informed the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) of this breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act and CROW Act?
    I wonder if the RPA would consider this breach of legislation relating to an SSSI and SPA, also a breach of the Estate’s Single Payment cross compliance requirements, namely its Statutory Management Requirement (SMR) 2, which states:
    ” If you have a SPA on your land you must:
    1. get Natural England’s consent in writing before carrying out, causing or permitting any specified operation listed in an SSSI’s designation documents, or listed within a ‘special nature conservation order’. This consent is not needed if that operation is carried out according to a management agreement, scheme or notice;
    2. comply with all management notices and stop notices served by Natural England;
    3. comply with the terms of any restoration order served on you by a court. This applies where the purpose of the notice or restoration order is to protect or restore the special interest features of the area or otherwise restore the land to its former condition as may be so specified.
    You must not:
    intentionally or recklessly destroy or damage the special interest features of the area or disturb any bird that is a special interest feature. This rule can apply to actions that take place other than on the SPA itself but which have the same consequences for the SPA.”

    If NE has not informed the RPA, I would suggest that it would be reasonable for a concerned member of the public to e-mail the RPA and forward the information provided by NE with a few helpful pointers.

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