Press release – Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire Moors

Grouse shooting industry suspends burning season following major blaze on Meltham Moor

Friday, 27 March 2020

Grouse moor burning season has prematurely ended from today after the Moorland Association requested its members stop the practice.

It follows more than 200 hectares of rare blanket bog being damaged in a major blaze on Meltham Moor, West Yorkshire, on Monday, when planned grouse moor burning got out of control. Such burning is meant to remove old heather and promote younger, more nutritious shoots for the grouse, which are then shot for sport.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service criticised landowners after 20 engines and 100 firefighters had to respond and ordered grouse moors in the area to stop burning “with immediate effect.”

The call was echoed by Peak District National Park, North York Moors National Park, Forest of Bowland AONB and the National Fire Chief’s Council.

Luke Steele, Spokesperson for Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors, said:

“It speaks volumes that it has taken grouse shoot operators sparking a mile-long fire on Meltham Moor during a national emergency to persuade the Moorland Association to call off the burning season.

“Burning moorland on sensitive peatland degrades ecosystems, releases climate-altering gasses into the atmosphere and worsens flooding and wildfire risk.

“With more than 550 burning incidents recorded on Yorkshire’s moors since the season opened in October, it’s time for the government to ensure the burning season now ending is the last.”

Moorland burning is condemned by environmentalists and the Environment Minister, Zac Goldsmith, has promised to put an end to grouse moor burning with a new law. He said legislation is necessary because a voluntary approach had not worked.

The Committee on Climate Change, which advises the government on environmental issues, has recommended legislation outlawing grouse moor burning is introduced within the year.

– ENDS –

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26 Replies to “Press release – Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire Moors”

  1. Has anyone run the numbers on the viability of grouse moors with and without burning? That will instantly give you the answer on whether the practice will be banned or not.

  2. Still promoting Mr Steele's dodgy propaganda for your own purposes Mark?

    1. Stig - still throwing mud for your own purposes?

      I'm reporting on something that has happened.

      Do tell which part of the press release is dodgy. Don't you mean that you just don't like it? That's rather different isn't it?

  3. Steele's first comment is simply not true (ask the organisations involved). His second claim is also arguable - there is no common ground on the claims he makes. As you well know. You could quote one report, I could quote another and we all go round in circles.
    I'm more concerned why you feel it necessary to promote the claims of a convicted criminal, a man whose integrity has been questioned by judges on more than one occasion, and is a well-documented extremist. After all, your 'readers' tend not to like those who break the law, do they?
    Some may call themselves conservationists or even campaigners. Fair enough. Steele is neither, he is a ***** and an ******* and by continuing to echo his pronouncements, I think you're playing a dangerous game. I'm not 'throwing mud for my 'own purposes', (I wonder what you think they maybe?), it's just a personal opinion.

    1. Stig - you are playing the man not the ball. Anyone reading this comment and the press release to which it refers would find it hard to hang the extremist label around any other neck than your own.

      I notice that the Moorland Association has nothing about this matter on its website - its 'latest news' is over 2 weeks old.

      The second para is arguable in the same sense that 'the earth is round' is arguable - any old fool can disagree with anything. But let's say that it is arguable - that's OK for Luke Steele to argue it then? But actually, if it's arguable - then argue it. Play the ball, not the man.

      Your comment adds up to disagreeing with one comment which is not checkable on the website of the organisation concerned nor on their social media as far as I can see, because they are remaining silent on the subject. their prerogative. Amanda can send me a press release any time...

      The rest of your comment is simply nastiness.

      Off you go vrooom vrooom!

      1. Not really much of an answer Mark. The fact is, and despite your censorship, if any of your readers entered Steele's name into a search engine, *************************. You seem to deny that and, on your blog, censor any comment that implies that. Why is that?
        And why mention the Moorland Association? I'm not a member and I don't speak for them. I'm not a member of any political party or any other organisation. I was a union official for many years until I realised I was paying hundreds of pounds of years for nothing.
        If you want to associate yourself with a ***************************, then own it but is it wrong for others to point it out? This is a man ************************. Do you support that?

        1. Stig - you ought to get to bed earlier rather than staying up into the early hours being unpleasant.

          As such a senior journalist you should appreciate that reporting on news is not the same as associating oneself with anyone. It's a bit like the fact that I publish your comments except the bits that are so over the top that they may be libellous and are certainly rude. I feel a bit bad about being associated with you in this way but in allowing free speech that's what I have to do.

          Why mention the Moorland Association? Because this blog post is about their behaviour - duh!

          1. As a senior journalist, I can say with the utmost confidence that nothing I have said is libellous. Facts are not libellous because they can be proved.
            If I've been rude - which I don't think I have - then I would apologise. Tell me, what have I said that was rude?
            And, as for your claim about "reporting on news", that's just hilarious. Thank you that.

          2. Stig - you'd be happy with me printing your identity here then, since it would be factual?

    2. I think Mark should print Stig's identity. Stig is making certain claims to authority without backing that up, and in the name of accountability that should be verified. I mean, I'm an ordinary internet nutter and have never claimed to be other, but Stig has claimed to be a bigwig and wants to be respected and accepted as being a bigwig without backing that up. Mark has a journalistic duty himself to publicise that. Plus I've got a fiver on Stig being Clarkson.

      1. A 'bigwig'? Really? From one anonymous commentator to another - When & where did I claim to be a 'bigwig'?
        And Mark doesn't have 'a journalistic duty' to do anything. As I'm sure he'd admit, he's not a journalist. That would be like me claiming to be a zoologist. For the record, I'm not. A big fan of our nation's flora & fauna though.

  4. What an awful lot they are these grouse shooters who kill our wild life for the fun of it and who at the same time degrade and ruin our uplands so they can make even more money shooting wildlife at the expense of the ordinary person.
    Well said “Ban Blood Sports on Yorkshire Moors” . The skids are under these awful wildlife shooters. Sooner or later they will need to find a much more environmentally and wildlife friendly acceptable form of income. Their current practices besides being abhorrent are also unsustainable .

      1. You do what you feel is right Mark. You allow people to comment on your site under the cloak of anonymity. I have taken advantage of that.
        If you now want to change the rules... well, that's down to you.

          1. Well, if I granted you anonymity, and then went ahead and revealed your identity, how would you feel? Why not base your decision on that.
            However, if I decide to comment again in future, I'll do it under my own name. If it makes you happy.

          2. Stig - i don’t need help from you in making moral decisions and you certainly wouldn’t be my first point of call.

            I shall not, and never intended to, disclose your identity. Even though it would be purely factual.

            This exchange demonstrates that the truth can be used as a weapon to hurt and you aren’t so keen on it being turned on you.

            If you continue to comment then please drop your campaign against Luke Steele. Feel free to criticise what he says by all means, of course.

  5. Judge the person as you know them, I suspect Stig has never met Luke Steele, I have and I find him to be a compassionate and dedicated campaigner with integrity. I know which of the two I would rather be alone in a room with.

    1. Hi Ros,
      The murderers and convicted terrorists I've met and interviewed in the past seemed polite and reasonable people too. But you can never judge a book by the cover can you?

  6. Mark, you're the campaigner, not me. I don't have a 'campaign' against Luke Steele. I merely feel that your readers/supporters etc should know who he is when you are promoting his agenda, which happens to coincide with yours. The readers of the Telegraph (and other papers) get to hear the truth about him, why shouldn't the readers of your blog?

    1. Steve - welcome to this blog under your real name. Thank you for coming out. You wouldn't be, by any chance, the Assistant Editor of The Countryman's Weekly formerly known as Stig?

      1. Well, Mark, it's good to know you get some things right. I look forward to seeing how many of your commentators now play the ball, not the man. And how you deal with them. Should be fun.

        1. Steve - I’m glad you have had to come to agree that I get some things right. Be careful, now you’ve done that you may begin to find many other things too.

          And you are right too (gasp!) that I should referee the standard of behaviour on this pitch a little more strictly for all. You made that point a while ago and I’ve been musing on it.

  7. Thank you Mark. And yes, I have 'liked' your comment.
    I imagine you'd be musing on comments like this from Mr Irving on the last piece about the Moorland Association. What a nice man he is.

    "I liked the ignition of homes too, although I can think of a few amongst the grouse botherers and their criminal employees where the ignition of their homes might be considered "Just deserts"..."


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