Grouse shooting on Denton moor in Yorkshire will end

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It was announced yesterday, 21 March, by the leading engineering firm that its grouse shooting arrangements on the Denton Park Estate, Wharfedale, would be brought to an end.

The decision follows a string of wildlife persecution incidents on the moor, which NG Bailey condemned as “totally unacceptable” and “not reflective of the company’s values or ethical practices”. The gamekeeper employed by the grouse shooting tenant was convicted at Skipton Magistrates Court last month following a badger being killed in an illegal snare.

A marsh harrier was also shot at and had its nest destroyed by suspected gamekeepers in 2017, although no charges were brought following difficulty identifying the perpetrators.

Ending grouse shooting on Denton Moor has been backed by wildlife conservation organisations including Wharfedale Naturalists Society, Bradford Ornithological Group, Yorkshire Naturalists Union and the League Against Cruel Sports.

David HurcombChief Executive of NG Bailey, said in a statement:

“NG Bailey is aware of the prosecution of Austin Hawke, the gamekeeper who is employed by and works for the tenants. To clarify, Austin Hawke is not employed by Denton Park Estate. As a business, we find this behavior totally unacceptable and do not condone this type of conduct – it is not reflective of the company’s values or ethical practices. 

“We have advised the tenants that under no circumstances will the lease be renewed when it expires.”

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

“NG Bailey’s drive to boost wildlife on its home estate by ending its grouse shooting lease on Denton Moor is highly commendable. By seeking out new opportunities to enhance wildlife and habitat in this beautiful part of the region, the company has demonstrated a clear commitment to ensuring its environmental policies are fit for the future.

“Sadly, in recent years NG Bailey’s vision has been undermined by a grouse shoot which does not share the desire to conserve wildlife and habitat. The decision to not renew grouse shooting rights on Denton Moor is not only well supported, but ensures the company can move forward without this considerable burden.”

Grouse shooting was banned on nearby Ilkley Moor last spring following a decision by Bradford Council. BBYM will now increase pressure on Yorkshire Water to stop leasing moorland for grouse shooting.


2 comments to Grouse shooting on Denton moor in Yorkshire will end

  • NG Bailey are to be commended on this stance.
    If a new tenant takes on the moor, it should be under a similar arrangement
    to that of the National Trusts leaseholder on Derbyshire’s Snake moors.
    Clear targets for improvement should be set, and break clauses employed to
    help ensure these are attained.
    It should become socially unacceptable, for responsible investors to own
    moors that are managed illegally,as it should for guns to spend their money
    with them.
    Only by bringing the full picture, of moorland mismanagement, to the wider
    public, will pressure be brought to bear on these landowning companies,and
    individual sportsmen.
    This however, will not have the slightest effect, on the thinking of the majority of owner occupiers of moorlands, where grouse shooting is the
    primary objective, they just don’t care about anything else,apart from the
    capital value of their moors, which increases with every bird shot.
    Shooting simply for the sport of it, went out of the window a long time ago

  • Quite agree, but a step forward in the right direction.

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