Moorland without Gamekeepers would have less Bird life claims Matt Ridley.

We  have added no comments because they are not necessary here. Read and then sit back in despair with a glass of something strong at what this Mr Ridley is telling us. What planet is this gentleman living on, and do other members of the shooting industry really believe this propaganda? Please feel free to add your comments below.


Summary by John S.Armitage

I’ve just put out a not dis-similar response to the article on Raptor Persecution Scotland, but I’ll try and add a little variety to the theme in this response 

I think we’ve to look at the wider picture when it comes to this outpouring, or other articles coming forth, from obvious shooting fraternity supporters, be it Robin Page or the Moorland Association upon which you yourselves have reported. My main concern is that there will be readers of the Times that will actually accept all this absolutely!!!  However, surely we could have expected it given the high platform of promotion related to the Hen Harrier Action Days. This is the shooting industry fighting back and we should simply accept it as a reaction , however poor , to maintain their own position.

However, that position still insists on not even acknowledging there is a proportion of their own constituents who are responsible for the continuing, totally unacceptable level of raptor persecution. The industry is in denial!!  And that is its weakness.  Additionally , they appear unable to acknowledge that, until such time that persecution stops, the wider public perception will be that the industry is operating on a platform of illegality. That is our strength and one we can continue to promote while ever persecution incidents occur as there is no defence to the situation.

I’m not indulging in self publicity, but I’ve written several times recently on my own Blog about such matters and would urge people to read the articles if they have the opportunity.


One piece is entitled  “The Pleasure Killers” and I would genuinely encourage responses to my feeling and opinions. I just cannot see the justification for such activities continuing. Pheasants released in phenomenal numbers ( and undoubtedly having an effect on the general ecology ) are no less than cannon fodder several weeks later. Red Grouse populations nurtured to receive nothing short of the same treatment but, in the meantime, being used as a vehicle for commercial gain!

Action is growing and, most importantly, must continue.

John S.Armiage

2 comments to Moorland without Gamekeepers would have less Bird life claims Matt Ridley.

  • nirofo

    MOORLAND WITHOUT KEEPERS, now there’s a concept worth contemplating! Just think what it must have been like on the moors of Britain 200 years ago when there were no keepers as we know them today. The hills and braes would have lush deep heather where Hen Harriers, Merlin and Short-eared Owls would nest unmolested, not burnt out banksides where the heather will never grow again and only fit for bracken to take over. I can just imagine what it would have been like to lay down in the deep heather and listen to the snipe drumming, the curlews with their evocative warbling and the lapwings making their delightful courtship calls as they tipple about the sky, a walk on the hill would have seen you chased off by endless Golden Plover piping at you from every little mossy mound. But where would they nest now, the moors and bogs have been drained, there are tracks going everywhere, the habitat has been destroyed, you may however hear the gamekeepers favourite bird the Red Grouse telling you to go back go back,(he must have taught them to say that!). It must have been a fantastic time to be able to sit out on the hill without worrying if there will be any birds of prey here this year and watch the courtship displays of Goshawks and Peregrines, the aerial displays of the Hen Harrier as it passes it’s latest catch to it’s mate. Alas due to the villainy of unscrupulous shooting estate owners and the constant illegal activities of their murderous gamekeepers there are only remnants of all this left in just a few rapidly diminishing areas.

    There is only one way to put a stop to all this wanton slaughter of our birds of prey and bring a halt to further destruction of the moorland habitat, that is to put a total ban on driven grouse shooting on all the moorland estates in the UK. All other shooting should be under strict licencing regulation with severe penalties for proven wildlife persecution and habitat destruction. THE SOONER THE BETTER !!!

  • Julie Wright

    Totally agree, how did nature survive before man intercepted. Quite well otherwise they wouldn’t have survived today! There delusional, read my piece on Forest of Bowland biodiversity that Raptor Politics kindly put on their site. There is a general election coming up and things are not going to change with the Tories in power.