Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label shooting

Glorying in Blood-sports

The first day of the grouse shooting season, traditionally known as the "Glorious Twelfth" has just passed and the Scottish land-owners have launched a campaign to protect their privileges called ‘Gift of Grouse’. The 'sport' has an appalling record of crimes against wildlife, and its land management practices not only work directly against efforts to counter climate change, they cause immediate damage to communities downhill from shooting estates through increased flood risks.
The RSPB Scotland has again called for grouse moors to be licensed following the discovery of a dead hen harrier on a moor in south west Scotland. The young female bird, named Annie, had been fitted with a satellite transmitter as a chick.
Tom Quinn of the League Against Cruel Sports said people were giving the impression shooting game for the table was healthy, sustainable and environmentally friendly, but that it was none of those things. “Millions of other animals and birds are deliberatel…

Who Owns the Land

Burning the moors is allowed at certain times of the year to aid heather growth and is done to help increase numbers of red grouse on sporting estates.
The RSPB said its study, which used aerial photography and satellite images, showed conservation areas were being damaged. Burning was detected in 55% of Special Areas of Conservation and 63% of Special Protection Areas assessed in the study, said the conservation charity. Such sites are designated by the EU for their conservation importance, and governments are charged with protecting them from damage and ensuring they are restored. In Scotland and England, the study found a third of burning took place on deep peat soils, an important carbon store. These upland areas are also a vital water source, supplying around 70 per cent of drinking water and burning has been linked to poor water quality, requiring large sums of money to treat.
Dr David Douglas, senior conservation scientist at RSPB Scotland and lead author of the study, said: &…

The country life

There has been a significant shift in the ownership of Scottish estates in recent years with a move from people buying them to enjoy their retirement, to wealthy individuals, often from overseas, who are attracted to the sports on offer. In the last year buyers spent around £54 million on shooting and fishing properties, with a large interest from Scandinavia. Experts even believe that Scots estates are becoming more attractive as prices for property in London rocket.

Although only five or six estates with sought-after grouse shooting or salmon fishing are sold each year, there has been no sign that the recent financial crisis has slowed the market. One estate renowned for its grouse shooting sold for almost £20 million this year, with two properties selling for between £8 and £10 million. The total worth of the estate market this year was up £10 million this year.

“The market for sporting estates is now dominated by high net worth individuals seeking good quality sport in beautiful …

Cash before Nature

Socialist Courier has reported how the huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ lobby has had a devastating effect on Scotland’s natural wild-life by slaughtering any threat to their grouse. It now transpires that they are also guilty of over-stocking deer herds to the point that they and the environment suffer.

Scotland’s sporting estates must be forced to cull thousands of deer, the country’s most powerful environmental groups have told MSPs. Deer numbers had spiralled and they were damaging the country’s moorland, peatland and “fragile populations” of other native species like capercaillie. The group, the membership of which includes the National Trust for Scotland, RSPB Scotland and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said a voluntary code of conduct has failed to tackle the scourge. But the group suggested that landowners were unwilling to take action because the value of Highland sporting estates is partly based on “the number of sporting stags available to shoot”.

The group argued e…

Killing nature for profits

Mountain hares are facing extinction in large parts of the Scottish Highlands because landowners are killing thousands of them every year in order to protect the grouse shooting industry, wildlife experts have warned. The distinctive mammals are being shot and snared by gamekeepers on grouse moors due to fears that ticks carried by hares spread a viral disease, which can be fatal to grouse. However, experts have poured doubt on claims that killing hares protects grouse.

“A preventable catastrophe has befallen the mountain hare,” said Dr Adam Watson, a veteran mountain ecologist. “This is a national scandal.” This was “due to deliberate efforts by estates to eradicate them,” he said. “Gamekeepers on several estates have told me that they were instructed to reduce hare numbers and to try to eradicate them.”

Watson condemned the government’s wildlife conservation agency, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), for failing to protect mountain hares under European law. “SNH has known what has be…