Re: your feature Wildlife Management on the Moors (July 7).
I entirely agree with the two writers’ views on the over management of our moorlands.
I’m somewhat older than those two, but I have also noticed the intensification of moorland burning and the huge increase in the number of traps and snares placed on and around the edge of moorland.
Many estates have also increased the number of keepers.
The estates’ public relations machines will of course tell you how all this benefits some other wildlife. But it is no coincidence that as the intensification and over management of the moors increases then the number of other specialist moorland birds such as the hen harrier are persecuted until there are only a handful left in the UK.
It is also no coincidence that dead hen harriers found shot and/or poisoned are found in the vicinity of grouse shooting estates.
If the illegal killing of protected birds of prey isn’t enough then the micro management of our moors increases and nothing is left unmanaged.
Any bird of prey such as harriers and/or short eared owls will not now find large enough patches of mature, old heather they need to nest in. It has all been burnt, bashed and groomed to a short sward for the benefit of grouse.
Readers may be surprised that hares are shot in large numbers on some estates because they harbour a parasite that also infects grouse.
A game keeper once said to me:“No keeper wakes up in the morning and wants to break the law.” A sad indictment indeed.
For this persecution of wildlife the estates receive generous annual ‘environmental’ grants, paid for by you and me.
Robin Hood’s Bay