Moorland muddles

10 thoughts on “Moorland muddles”

  1. Very positive thoughts and provides some solutions to negative press releases. Without [management for] grouse, lapwing, curlew and golden plover plummet. The moor becomes a desert to birds in need of our intervention and becomes a home to fox and corvids: this has been proved time and again

  2. Rob,

    Interesting article, thank you.

    Would I be correct in saying that the when keepers were taken off the JRS moor the reason the harrier numbers fell was because the moor no longer had a man made and un-natural number of grouse on?

    How does the failure of red grouse breeding at Langholm over the 7 years compare to other moors (keepered and not, locally and nationally) for the same period?

    Kind regards

    1. Thank you William. The decline in harriers post the JRS seems to have been due to a number of reasons – not just the decline in grouse nos http://www.langholmproject.com/jointraptorstudy.html If interested, worth buying the hard copy version of the report https://www.amazon.co.uk/Birds-Prey-Red-Grouse-Redpath/dp/0117021768 or just found this pdf of it http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/5029/1/Birds_of_prey.pdf

      As noted in the report, it was very hard to compare with other moors due to so many variables – not just Langholm being perceived as an ‘island moor’ surrounded by sheep and forestry.

      1. Rob,

        Thank you for your reply and your suggestions on follow up reading. I shall look into with interest. A very complicated issue but one of the biggest issues the countryside faces today (current Covid situation excepted).

        Best wishes

  3. No matter how much research you do or how ever many big words or red bows you put on it (you want to be honest you say), but you honestly think the harriers just disappear[?] They range widely often to other countries and back but the honest truth is [when] they fly over north yorkshire the peak district forest of bowland and certain parts of scotland, [they are] then shot from the skies in huge numbers by gamekeepers. The waders are hunted in vast numbers in France as they pass [over] honest! Hunters are a cancer on this planet. They all know its morally wrong to kill anything for fun but won’t admit it until they are on their deathbed when they finally realize the damage they have done.

    1. Thank you Derek. Quite a lot to unpack there across a range of subjects from wildlife conservation conflict, perceptions of gamekeepers, morals around hunting and more.
      Yes, there will always be issues between any human activity and wildlife – see this https://robyorke.co.uk/2019/10/up-close-wildlife/ but we must seek to manage best we can.
      Await some positive news next week (Sept 2020) on hen harriers!

  4. Such a pity many so called conservationists don’t see or appreciate the conservation work done by most game keepers in their daily routine.
    Yes, it is done for the benefit of the game birds they are managing but the spin offs for other species is enormous. For example, there are far more small bird species in keepered woods than unkeepered.
    A few bad apples in the barrel should not tarnish all keepers and those found guilty of illegal killing of raptors should have the book thrown at them.

    1. Thanks Richard. Gamekeepers, who are often also conservationists, can benefit the the wider environment as I have written about before on my blog. But like farming under the new Agriculture Act going through a transition, other land managers, including landowners and keepers, will have to update practices under the modern social licence to operate. I.e reduce high density gamebird releases and enhance wild game shooting https://www.shootinguk.co.uk/shooting/game-shooting/wild-bird-shooting-114427

      The management of wildlife (aka predator control) is a vital part of a well managed shoot but is under great scrutiny. BASC, GWCT and the NGO (National Gamekeepers Organisation) can all help gamekeepers adapt to the new world.

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