Barratts together with the RSPB building homes for raptors?

Many of our followers may have seen the recent RSPB news report  (below) which tells us the society have joined forces with Barratts the house builders to make ‘homes for nature’.

This cooperation the RSPB claim will set a new benchmark for nature-friendly housing developments – the first national agreement of its kind in the UK.

With profit Barratts are making [excluding building cheap eco houses for first time buyers!] money it appears was being diverted into the Farndale shooting estate in Yorkshire owned until his death in 2012 by the company boss Sir Laurie Barratt.

It may come as a big surprise to many of our followers to learn, the shooting at Farndale was leased by Barratts to none other that ‘local game farmer Mike Woods who was convicted yesterday, 18 February, by Scarborough Magistrates for permitting the use of at least 4 illegal pole trap at Westfield Farm, Cropton, North Yorkshire in June 2014. Pole traps are all too often used by unscrupulous gamekeepers to trap protected raptors like sparrow-hawks, goshawk, buzzards and peregrine, Their use has been illegal for many years, but the practise continues.

This was not the first time Mike Woods has run foul of the law, in 2011  Woods the director of Yorks Sports Ltd was fined £40,000 after damaging part of the North Yorkshire National Park. The prosecution, brought by Natural England, related to pheasant shooting in Farndale. York Sport and Michael Wood were also ordered to pay costs of £125,000.

York Sports  increased the number of pheasants in the area without the necessary permission from Natural England.

Mike Woods admitted a total of seven offences at separate court hearings in 2010. Farndale on the North York Moors, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and is well-known for its wild daffodils.

The Farndale estate managed by Mike Woods has been listed as one of Yorkshire’s Top 20 Game Shoots. Read all about Yorkshire’s Top 20 shoots here and note no mention of any healthy raptor populations whatsoever on any of these estates. 


Where does this leave the RSPB’s cooperation with Barratts? Should the Society take the moral high ground and ask Barretts, their building partner, to revoke Mike Wood’s shooting lease following his second criminal conviction?

Watch this space!!

Sons of late Barratt Homes tycoon Sir Lawrie Barratt  accused of ‘chucking out the peasants’ as they begin evicting tenants from their country estate to settle £20m inheritance tax bill.

1 comment to Barratts together with the RSPB building homes for raptors?

  • Bob Philpott

    Whilst I totally agree with the concept that organisations should not be seen in any way to support such criminal behaviour please could you check that there is actually a link between Barratts homes and Farndale estate.

    The ‘company boss’ Sir Lawrie Barratt died in 2012. He owned the estate in his own right. His 2 sons who presumably now own the Estate don’t appear as directors of Barratts.

    Editor’s Comment. Bob, thanks for this information. The detail regarding Farndale and its ownership was taken from the Magazine Fieldsports Shooting & Fishing (dated 18th Feb 2015). The insert below is taken verbatim and has not been changed.

    ‘Owned by famed house builder Sir Laurie Barratt, the family has two or three days, but the shooting is leased to well known local game farmer Mike Wood. Has some excellent drives – other than Barratt family days, all other shooting is let.’