I live very near the Moscar Estate (grouse moor owned by the Duke of Rutland) and it is a blasted killing ground. In the middle of a so-called National Park. A keeper has even been seen in an adjacent nature reserve with his shotgun. Ecocide and - so far - total immunity. https://twitter.com/FoxHITeam/status/1269653949902196741
2018, activists found an endangered ring ouzel killed in a 'vermin trap' on the Moscar Estate...
A year earlier, activists estimated that 400 wire snares were set across the estate, many of them close to nature reserves. Masked gunmen patrol the land killing everything they find.
Sometimes, even humans get trapped in the snares, but this is not the fault of the people who lay the snares and anyway laying snares is a totally fine and legitimate thing to do. http://vnonline.co.uk/vn/news/13223/Runners-caught-in-animal-snares
Of course, the defenders of the industry will say, we need them to manage our uplands, which otherwise would contain no wildlife and would be vulnerable to wildfires. So they do this to prevent that from happening.
And let's not forget that these noble custodians of our countryside benevolently care for their grouse by leaving unregulated medical grit containing chemical worming agent close to water courses for our reservoirs.
Nothing to see here. This is all totally normal and reasonable behaviour. Not at all intimidating.
This kind of behaviour should be unacceptable anywhere on our island. But that it is the norm in the middle of a national park never ceases to shock me. Our land and wildlife are dying, and everything is tailored to benefit those who are killing it. https://www.monbiot.com/2018/03/03/parklife/
And it's a matter social as well as an ecological justice. The towns and cities downstream of our uplands get hit with floods on an almost annual basis now, because the watersheds are scorched and denuded killing-grounds for the amusement of a tiny number of wealthy people.
Opposing the driven grouse industry is not 'class envy'. It's wanting the law to apply equally to all people. It's wanting to see our common birthright alive and resilient, not blasted and impoverished. It's wanting to live in a country where all life is valued.
"Ah, but rural jobs," the grouse moor owners mutter.

Almost nobody is employed by their industry. But imagine if we had a national effort to restore upland habitats which are also a major carbon store. The @IPPR estimates that up to 100,000 rural jobs could be created this way.
There are examples of enlightened moorland ownership and management. Too few, at present, but check out @EasternMoors and the essential work done by @moorsforfuture. Or community buyout attempts like this one in Scotland: @LBuyout.
But we need government to step in or we won't make changes fast enough. Proper mechanisms to generate revenue for carbon farming. A 'green stimulus' land restoration programme, training young people in rural work of the future. And finally, serious action against wildlife crime.
Finally - I know this is crazy radical talk - can we legislate to protect the natural world *in our national parks*, so that they become refuges for wildlife, as is the norm in most of the world, rather than privately owned killing-grounds wrapped in 'heritage' propaganda?
You can follow @GDRNorminton.
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