The following press release was issued as a result of the “Moorland Vision” campaign which created a petition aimed at preserving key moorland species – notably the Hen Harrier – and to which CBC pledged its support several months ago, along with 14 other local wildlife and environmental groups. Read the release to find out more.
Local Wildlife Groups hand petition to National Trust
A petition of nearly 5,000 signatures will be handed over to a senior official from the National Trust at 1pm on Tuesday 25th July by a coalition of local wildlife and outdoor groups at the Trust’s offices at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. The Moorland Vision campaign and petition was established by Derbyshire naturalist and author, Nick Moyes, after video footage emerged last year of a camouflaged man lying in wait with a gun and a decoy model of a bird of prey on Peak District moorland owned by the National Trust. Following an investigation, the National Trust announced it would be evicting its grouse-shooting tenant from this estate, but disappointingly stated it would try to find another tenant to operate a grouse shooting business on these internationally designated moors around Kinder Scout and Bleaklow.
The petition praises the Trust for its initial decision, but calls on it not to bring on another grouse shooting business onto these moorlands. Moorland Vision’s petition is supported by 15 outdoor and environmental groups from around Derbyshire and the Peak District. The petition praises the Trust for its decision to act, but believes there are already enough problems on privately owned moors caused by grouse shooting, and calls for the National Trust to find a better way to manage these iconic landscapes for people and for biodiversity.
“The National Trust is a major conservation organisation and normally does brilliant work in protecting and enhancing our environment.” said Mr Moyes. “But with clear evidence that moorland management for grouse shooting leads to the killing of birds of prey and almost every other predator – and especially here on its doorstep – you would think the National Trust would have decided immediately that enough is enough. The fact that it did not immediately recognise the opportunity this provides us with to re-wild and restore these moorlands without the well-documented problems associated with grouse moor management is really disappointing. Hence our petition.”
The Moorland Vision’s campaign collected over 1,308 signatures at numerous local group meetings around Derbyshire. 36% of those who signed also declared themselves to be members of the National Trust. A further 3,450 signatures were also collected online.
The petition will be handed over to the Trust by Nick Moyes and by Bob Berzins of the Dark Peak Fell Runners on behalf of the Moorland Vision coalition. It will be received by Andy Beer, the National Trust’s Regional Director for the Midlands in whose hands rests the decision whether or not to take on another shooting tenant.
Commenting on the state of the Peak District moorlands, Mr Berzins said: “I and my club members see so much harm done by mis-management on the Peak District moorlands. The worst excesses are definitely on privately-owned shooting estates, where intensive burning, track building, predator snaring and shooting is particularly rife. But this is a one-off opportunity for the National Trust to say ‘no more’ to management purely for one hobby and to show its true conservation credentials by establishing a proper rewilding project over 8,000 hectares of iconic moorland which would be far better for biodiversity and would recreate more natural landscapes – just as the Trust is helping to do on the Eastern Moors where the Peak Park banned shooting many decades ago.”
Don’t forget, the local Hen Harrier Day is in Sheffield this year, on 5th August.