Bransdale moor, North Yorks

Kevin Hollinrake MP standing next to a dodgy character – oh, it’s Nick Soames MP at a Moorland Association bash in December 2017.

Recently, Kevin Hollinrake MP, was singing the praises of grouse moor management after a visit to Bransdale Moor in his constituency.

Henry and I went to Bransdale in 2015 on a tour of shooting estates – here’s what I wrote at the time. And here is what Raptor Persecution UK wrote about Bransdale at the time.

Here’s the Bransdale area in the news again.

“Shotgun shot buzzard Bransdale Moor, North Yorkshire. National Trust land. Any info please to PC Jez Walmsley, Wildlife crime officer Malton. Yet ANOTHER”. https://twitter.com/jeanthorpeRR/status/1136225160464347136

So, Mr Hollinrake, this is the time for you to step forward with a prominent, public, forthright condemnation of illegal raptor persecution.

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9 Replies to “Bransdale moor, North Yorks”

  1. Pragmatic approach by Kevin H in my opinion showing understanding of the benefits of grouse shooting for people, wildlife and businesss. The facts are that there is a criminal set amongst all groups including animal rights and this should not mean everyone is tarred with the same brush.

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    1. S - nobody's doing any tarring here (actually, you are a bit, S) but it's interesting to see an MP wriggling when asked to condemn crime.

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    2. Obsequious MP trying to keep in with influential supporters in my opinion, right enough that may be pragmatic in terms of keeping your arse on the benches at Westminster - so far. Otherwise sod wildlife and wildlife tourism, sod any opportunities for initiative and enterprise and resulting jobs because they would conflict with getting the absolutely highest number possible of red grouse to shoot at. Sod abandoning muirburn, restoring peat bogs and targeted tree planting to reduce the businesses, better quality farmland and people's homes downstream that will be affected by flooding. They're now experimenting with beavers at Pickering (getting mighty close to the grouse moors!) one of four trials in England to see how effective they are at reducing flooding peaks. Isn't it about time we looked at trees and beavers on grouse moors where they would be the best option re flood reduction? It could be interesting to do a trial right now where while waiting for wider ecological restoration to kick at least one population of beavers could be supplied with supplementary feed and wood to see how their dam construction and activities could contribute to flood reduction and extrapolate the benefits if this occurred across full watersheds. The costs of floods and engineered flood prevention measures are just going to escalate. Maybe Kevin H can tell everyone downstream of these inglorious moors that he thinks shooting grouse is more important than stopping their homes from being flooded? I wonder how pragmatic that is politically or otherwise?

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    3. Is it blinkers you wear S or rose coloured specs or is your head mostly in the sand or somewhere more unpleasant. Bransdale has history of wildlife crime as do several other moors in the area.
      The previous MP Ann Mackintosh was allegedly very critical of this and was hence dumped by the local Tories led by that doyen of grouse moors Wynn-Darley. Holinrake is a place man doing what he is told.

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    4. Where can we see a peer reviewed analysis of the benefits of grouse shooting compared to wildlife tourism? We keep hearing about "the fact" that grouse shooting benefits the rural economy but without any actual evidence. I am sure there are plenty of landowners pocketing £millions from the fees they charge, plus the subsidies they get by fraudulently pretending they are doing something agricultural, but these are the people that hoard their wealth, overseas to avoid taxation that will help the economy. There are a few full-time jobs but most are in the gig economy - not even as flimsy as zero-hours contracts.

      Finally, I would like to see the P&L: income from shooting revenues against costs of environmental destruction, flooding, criminal behaviour etc. I suspect in the final analysis grouse shooting is a price not worth paying.

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  2. "The facts are that there is a criminal set amongst all groups..."

    In a very banal sense it is true that criminals can potentially pop up in all walks of life but it is simply not true that all groups are significantly infected with criminality. There is not a problem with crime specifically associated with most pastimes or with the industries that serve the interests of those pastimes but there is a problem with grouse shooting. There may very well be law abiding grouse moor managers and gamekeepers but there are enough who aren't to ensure that birds of prey are simply not safe on our moorlands.

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    1. To reject group criminal tendencies when talking about MPs seems a tad reckless given their tendency to spend time in prison compared to any other group of 650 citizens. Not to mention the crim(s) in the HoL who should be inside, but aren't.

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  3. I think many of us are beginning to get a good understanding of the benefits of grouse shooting for people, wildlife and business - minimal, negative, and minimal, respectively.
    Few other land uses are as damaging as driven grouse shooting.

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  4. It's actually irrelevant whether you are pro or anti grouse shooting. The point is that illegal persecution of raptors should be condemned by everyone and especially by MPs who can do so publicly.

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