One Law for Grouse Moor Owners, another Law for Everyone else

It appears when any damage is caused to an SSSi without the permission from Natural England, for example installing shooting tracks across prime heather habitat, it depends who you are if you are taken to court to account for your illegal actions and ordered to pay thousands of pounds for your transgressions. On the other hand if you own a grouse moor which just happens to be designated an SSSi and SPA, you are more likely to be forgiven for your wrongdoing and if you are a gamekeeper thanked by the Chief Executive of Natural England for protecting the biodiversity of England’s countryside.

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Damage to SSSi at this Cumbrian Slate mine illegal and not allowed

Today at Workington Honister Slate Mine has been fined £15,000 for using an extension to its Via Ferrata walkway without permission.

The company escaped having to take down the extension when representatives appeared before magistrates in Workington – but were told continued use of it would be illegal.

The slate mine near Keswick, which was owned by the late Mark Weir before his death in a helicopter crash in March, was prosecuted by Natural England for causing damage to an area which had been classified as an SSSi.

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Damage caused to this SSSi on a Red Grouse moor OK!

Bosses admitted the use of the Via Ferrata deviation route and zip wire without consent and causing damage to flora and fauna.

The company was fined £15,000 and told to pay £13,190 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

The court heard that it had damaged part of a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSi).

No similar court appearances then for Red Grouse moor owners who do much worst to the heather moorlands they are so eager according to Natural England to protect?

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