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Derek Roxborough

Managing Grouse moors
« on: August 06, 2019, 20:57:39 PM »
some one gave me a stack of New Statesman Mags, from earlier this year, so I have been slowly going through them, I came across an Article on the above,with a mention of Harriers, out of 57 satellite tagged over the last year, 48 have been killed or disappeared,can this be acceptable? and they have started on the hares again,what price  Scottish wildlife? Derek Roxborough

Ali Mcewan

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2019, 21:53:27 PM »
I wonder who wrote the artical, I bet they have a anti shooting history behind them, no doubt with connections to Avery & Packham  :z4

until the data from these tags is delt with independently & made public, I take it with a pinch of salt.
I personally know a keeper who found rspb & police raking his hill, looking for a harrier thatís transmitter had stopped working, this was of course all made public.  Nothing was found, about 2 months later, he was speaking to the local Bobby & happened to ask what the out come was, turns out it re appeared 80 miles away in another county, this as expected wasnít made public, (nor the decency to let the guy know)  I wonder why.

Do you have any idea of the independent stats on successful harrier nests, on rspb-un keepered ground vs keepered?  Iím presuming not?
Like wise the Langholm moor project and the periods around it, show that on un managed land, vermin takes too high a toll on harrier eggs, chicks & fledglings, for the breed to even stay at level never mind increase.

Fact is, with out grouse moors, there would be very few, if any harriers left, despite whatís peddled about by some

Hares have been shot in big numbers year on year, this couldnít happen if it was true that the keepers wipe the hills of every hare,  it is benifical to tick control as well as protecting flora & fauna.   
The counts are a joke, done by city folk fresh out of uni, theyíll count a northeasterly face on a warm still day & come back say a month later with a cold north easterly wind & expect to see the same numbers, they donít think to go look on the lea side of the hill where the hares will be sitting happily out the wind :X1

« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 22:07:43 PM by Ali Mcewan »

Iain Stewart

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 05:28:52 AM »
I wonder who wrote the artical, I bet they have a anti shooting history behind them, no doubt with connections to Avery & Packham  :z4

until the data from these tags is delt with independently & made public, I take it with a pinch of salt.
I personally know a keeper who found rspb & police raking his hill, looking for a harrier thatís transmitter had stopped working, this was of course all made public.  Nothing was found, about 2 months later, he was speaking to the local Bobby & happened to ask what the out come was, turns out it re appeared 80 miles away in another county, this as expected wasnít made public, (nor the decency to let the guy know)  I wonder why.

Do you have any idea of the independent stats on successful harrier nests, on rspb-un keepered ground vs keepered?  Iím presuming not?
Like wise the Langholm moor project and the periods around it, show that on un managed land, vermin takes too high a toll on harrier eggs, chicks & fledglings, for the breed to even stay at level never mind increase.

Fact is, with out grouse moors, there would be very few, if any harriers left, despite whatís peddled about by some

Hares have been shot in big numbers year on year, this couldnít happen if it was true that the keepers wipe the hills of every hare,  it is benifical to tick control as well as protecting flora & fauna.   
The counts are a joke, done by city folk fresh out of uni, theyíll count a northeasterly face on a warm still day & come back say a month later with a cold north easterly wind & expect to see the same numbers, they donít think to go look on the lea side of the hill where the hares will be sitting happily out the wind :X1

Thanks Ali for some common sense. I Heard some interwoven pod casts about charities recently such as RSPB and it turned out they may not want successful reintroductions, as successes donít sell memberships. Stories of woe and misery pull the heart strings and continue to create subscriptions and these have become corporate businesses needing to feed themselves.
Most of this is propaganda issued by people without factual evidence. Take the General License in engerland. Did anyone hear national news when it was all resolved and legal again?? Nope. Doesnít sell to say sorry got it wrong that was a cluster.
Grouse moors benefit abody. Plenty hill walkers use the roads cut across the hillside, no one would burn the heather if there was no money in it, leaving a barren wasteland as nothing lives in old heather. A local garage said to me he wouldnít survive without the estates and their grouse as he maintains a fleet of 30 odd land rovers.
For me these arguments are tantamount to nothing more than reverse snobbery towards those who can. However just saying as one who has worked in the countryside most of my life.

Bob Mitchell

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 08:50:06 AM »
Was a member of a grouse syndicate past Eaglesham. There were plenty of harriers/owls/curlew/redshank and many more. Reason the keeper Iain killed around 200 foxes each year plus many crows  that made there way from the surrounding countryside. Now all gone because on the death of the owner the moor was sold off and most of it was sold for forestry. The Whitelee wind farm has been built on another part of the moor. Used to see harriers often along the river I fish but no longer. The white grass has all been ploughed up. A lot of the ground nesting birds are also gone because of the sheep that eat the grass to close to the ground and right into the hedges.
Why the R.S.P.B. and the B.T.O. and the shooters can not all get together for the good of the wildlife is a mystery to me.
Bob.

Derek Roxborough

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2019, 14:05:49 PM »
the author is a man called Guy Shrubsole,so many conflicting reports, so how would 40+ harriers just disappear? Ok sheep stocks have a lot to answer for as far a nesting birds go, we don't see Merlins round here and the Harriers are quite scarce, but all the Gamies aren't that lilywhite,I know the RSPB are a bunch of interfering so& So's, but I,m curious,where does the £4Million pound go to that the landowners get?  just asking , Derek Roxborough   

Duncan Inglis

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2019, 09:05:59 AM »
You just need to look at moorland that isnít managed, after very few years they turn into deserts covered in rank Heather. Donít get me wrong the shooting industry did not have a good record a few years ago but the modern estate owner and their game keepers are much much more aware and responsible.
Yes mountain hare numbers are controlled but again on the estates Iím aware of this is only done when numbers increase to a level that cannot be sustained due to tick numbers etc.
Have a look at estates that have been taken over by the likes of the RSPB, Langholm for example, within years they are deserts devoid of bird life.

Derek Roxborough

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2019, 12:20:41 PM »
how do you describe a desert? we have muir burn here year after year , and the burn has created a desert, with only rank grass and sedge,I would think that grouse and other birds would prefer heather cover, the moors are burnt to suit the shooters, surely hares and grouse have co-existed for millennia,as for the tic which species is the vector?tics have no preference, it's blood they are after, it's a bit like the Badger argument, badgers can carry Bovine TB but they get it from Infected cows, so do tics originate from Grouse or hares, or even Red Deer, I am only curious after reading Guy Shrubsoles article, I am not a great liker of the RSPB, they are the great Interferers, our local laird wont let them on his estate, and the harriers  on Orkney have suffered with the protection of the Bonxies, it seems as though it's one of lifes Imponderables :z18 Derek Roxborough

Ali Mcewan

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2019, 15:27:01 PM »
Derek, I suggest you  get out and look around moors, other than the one local to you.  Take a 10 minute look through ďAngus glens moorland groupĒ  and you will see just how much the estates do & just how much so called persecuted birds there actually is  on the hills, along with all the red listed waders etc.
As has been mentioned, a un-managed moor, turns rank and is no good to man nor beast!!
Look at the damage the wild fires did last year, most on un managed moors.

However, I think youíve made youíre mind up going by the content of youíre posts  :z16

Derek Roxborough

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2019, 21:32:32 PM »
Make no presumptions Ali,I do manage to get out some,I see the strip burning round Drumochter and down the A9,also the management on the North York Moors,where I worked for a while, I have been asked to leave a moor while we were doing the coast to coast, this was out of season, so what harm were we doing, I am partial to a grouse, but walking up , not driven and this was on an unmanaged moor, where the grouse etc. can hide,as I mentioned Grouse and Mountain hares have co-existed for millennia, so is the problem Mans interference? or what?we have woodland schemes here so the Heather Is waste high, but there are still grouse, Derek Roxborough

Ali Mcewan

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2019, 08:57:33 AM »
Sorry Derek,  but you have drifted away from your original point.

The recent 100% failure of the reintroduction of the 3 eagles in southern Scotland shows what can happen,  1 killed by another eagle, 1 injured so bad itís been able to be re captured, and the other eagle is missing presumed dead. 
Being such a big project, these eagles will have been tagged. I ask, why canít they find the missing eagle, well itís because these tags are far from reliable & only the data that suits the anti agenda is ever released!!
But when we question the secret data & reliability of tags when a estate is accused of persecution, we are told the tags are almost fail safe  :X2. Fact is, a lot of bop die naturally, tags stop working etc yes there are bad apples in keepering, just like every trade, but its far far from what it was 20 years ago.

Did you take the time to read through the Langholm moor project.
Can you tell me after reading it you still think harriers do better on managed moors compared to un managed ones?? What are your thoughts on the papers??



« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 09:17:15 AM by Ali Mcewan »

Derek Roxborough

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2019, 13:33:24 PM »
why do you think I drifted away? No I haven't read or heard of the Langholm papers, my intial comments came from reading an article in an April New Statesman, I know nature is red in tooth and claw, there must have been some natural competition with the eagles, probably over territory, I have watched eagles fighting , probably for encroaching on anothers bit of space, in todays Observer there is an article about Harriers, mainly on the moors in England,but a conflict between Natural England and the RSPB, about the success or not of the species, I just think we should do more to ensure the continuation of the species, what ever you think there are some who would like them to be done away with, Derek Roxborough

Duncan Inglis

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2019, 19:19:19 PM »
Derek, mass burns do no good what so ever, moors should be a mosaic of heather grass etc that provides cover, areas to feed etc etc. When heather gets rank and deep nothing can really survive in it. Itís too rough and coarse to provide food and too deep for cover for many bird species. I was told by a retired keeper that birds feeding on short young heather and grass shouldnít have to go more than 30yds for cover, be that from weather or predators.
In my opinion mass forestry blocks of conifers are the very worst use of moorland, after a few years they are sterile.
Finally correcting done heather burning protects the moors from mass fires like those we saw earlier this year.

Bob Mitchell

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2019, 19:51:43 PM »
It is a sad state of things that the R.S.P.B. and all the others including keepers/walkers etc. can not get together as we all have much the same interests in the wildlife. Possibly some like members of the various departments want to empire build. Much the same as all the salmon groups that could get together.
Bob.

Derek Roxborough

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2019, 12:57:14 PM »
on Radio Scotland Phone in this morning a guy was saying visitors come to see managed Moorland, it would be difficult for beaters to flush grouse from a wild rank moorland, as the grouse can burrow away under the rank growth, hence the strip management, I have no issue with a walk up shoot, but a driven shoot seems a bit over the top, some one in todays paper says that the shoots are worth £155 million, so why does the Scot Gov put £4 million to the Land owners,there is a lot of misinformation out there, who is right? who will tell the truth? Derek Roxborough

Bob Mitchell

Re: Managing Grouse moors
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2019, 17:04:39 PM »
Grouse need all heights of heather to survive. They can tunnel over 7 feet into the long stuff as one knows when ones G.S.P. points one and it gets up behind you. You are never going to change closed minds no matter who. Such a pity  the way this world goes.
Bob.

 




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