This, I'm afraid, is more depressing than the previous post. Without that some of us would be feeling even more wretched.
News from various sources tells of systematic killings of magnificent stags
around the lands bordering Blacka. The chances of meeting again some of the
beautiful mature animals that we've been seeing over recent years are receding
with each report. While some people owning farmland may be shooting deer
themselves, at least one individual claiming to be a 'professional' has been
offering his 'services' in the Dore and Totley areas to those landowners who
consider themselves aggrieved that wild animals might be taking a share of the
grass in their fields. Those engaged in this call it deer control.
Amazingly, to me, some of these fields are used just for a couple of horses.
Yet the compulsion to kill is no less. Numbers of deer shot to date look to be
something over 15. To understand the scale of this slaughter you need to bear
in mind that it has been an extremely rare event to see, at any one time,
a dozen or more of any deer, male, female, young or old, red or roe, on Blacka.
Now, many visit Blacka regularly and have little chance of seeing deer. These
animals are, of course, wandering and free-spirited, stags particularly, and it
is easy for them to get over walls and fences. No effort has been made to keep
them out. The gun is the first and last resort.
To add to this misery, from another source it seems that stags are also to
be shot near the Grouse Inn going down towards Grindleford. The reason this
time seems to be that they keep getting into an area set aside and seeded as a
hay meadow, subsidised by Natural England, one of their currently fashionable
interventions. Farmers get public money from NE for developing these.
All is justified by the compulsion to control. And the conservation industry
is in no position to discourage others from doing what it is itself engaged in.
One thought: how aware are the horse riders on Blacka of what goes on where their horses are grazing?