Wuthering Moors 79 – are these some new grouse butts?

Photo: taken on 31 December 2018

I hear that there is a lot of activity on Walshaw Moor these days – and also these nights. Locals have heard that there are some more grouse butts going in to the moor. No doubt Natural England would be aware and would have consented this activity if it is to occur on the SPA/SAC?

This is what they can look like when in situ

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14 Replies to “Wuthering Moors 79 – are these some new grouse butts?”

  1. I know I do bang on about this, but because they are level with the ground, amphibians can jump into them but find no way out. It may not seem that important but it bloody is if you are a frog!
    On our visit to the moor with ‘Ban the Burn’, there were eight butts in a row and each one had dead amphibians in the bottom. Not pretty.
    When thinking about, or discussing DGS, please don’t forget the frogs!

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    1. Just like rabbit drop traps catching whatever walks across the trap door - predator and prey in the same chamber, amphibians, mammals. Disgusting.

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  2. Thank goodness digging out the deep peat to bury these pre-fab units does not damage the integrity of the blanket bog..... oh but it will have a damaging impact!

    Its an engineering operation.... inside an SPA/SAC permitted development rights are suspended so this type of activity needs a planning application... its beyond the power of Natural England to grant a consent under SSSI rules.
    The planning authority will need to run the proposal past the Natura tests.

    So what about the EU tests....

    Well its not necessary for the conservation management of the natura interests. It will lead to a loss of habitat, direct and through disturbance. The disruption of the peat will affect the integrity of the mire.

    So basically it can only really go ahead if its in there are no viable alternatives and its in the national interest.

    Hard to see that it could pass the test? I suppose the answer will be in the appropriate assessment...wherever that is?

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    1. If these new structures are replacing previous structures, they are still not off the hook. They will still need to go to the planning authority. Any advice to the planning authority from Natural England must be based on the conservation objectives for the site along with the general principles of the EU directives. The underlying objective of all management can only be to restore the site to favourable conservation status. So NE England (if they are honest advisors) would have to advise that existing structures which are having a negative impact on the features of interest should be removed and the habitat restored.

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  3. It appears that some Grouse moors are stepping up their predator control due to the poor Grouse numbers in 2018.( even though predators were not to blame for this !)Its seems like a knee jerk reaction to me to attempt to gain control in a year of major set-backs for the industry.The poles in the foreground look like they may be used for more Fenn traps and others look like Crow traps. So another year of killing and damage to peat bogs .Those photographs are of Grouse Butts set into peat bog which must surely act as pit fall traps for other animals too.

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    1. I presume you are referring to the opening photograph?
      The ‘poles’ in the foreground are fence poles to support ‘wall-topping’ netting, which prevents sheep jumping over and damaging the walls. And where are the ‘crow traps’? Or am I missing something?

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      1. I believe those posts are ready to have Fenn Traps fitted like the multitude that are already in place up there over the many streams and ditches,since 2002 the traps and snares have more than Doubled on this Estate,And the slanted sections on the left look like the ready to assemble large Walki-in type Crow Traps ,which are already in operation up there .

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    2. Fenn traps are being banned according to http://www.antisnaring.org.uk/news/nasc/fenn-type-traps-to-be-banned-by-2020/ and the 'GWCT' website. I hope this is true, does anyone have any more info?

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  4. You need an "angry face" button on your blog Mark, though those can be ambiguous. For instance I could be angry about you posting on this subject, or angry about one aspect of the subject of the post. Btw, The Mickleden Beck track (in the PDNP), which was installed without planning permission, is still an ongoing issue. That track has been made more robust with wooden poles laid over the route since the absence of planning permission for the original track was raised with the planning authority.

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  5. I know these sunken 'bathtub'-style butts oh too well and they are absolute death traps to small mammals and amphibians. On several occasions I have rescued frogs from them and on numerous occasions have found the remains of dead rodents that have stumbled in.

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  6. Quite right about these shooting pits acting as a death trap for amphibians and other small wildlife. It is quite incredible that not only do they kill our wildlife for the fun of it but they also kill it inadvertently with their ambush traps.

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  7. There is an edge of cool, calculated nastiness about these sunken butts. I naively imagined that shooting butts stood proud of the ground and hadn't realised there were sunken versions. They echo the depths the so-called "sportsmen" (and women) come from in driven grouse shooting.

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  8. Oh blimey.
    I’d assumed they were some sort of discreet, eco-friendly rainwater toilet.
    Have been using them for years!

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