Thursday, 3 September 2015

Gun Control

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?


Mark Day said...

Do you have any idea as to who this individual might be Neil, and how to put pressure on them to stop this practice?

Neil said...

I have a few ideas Mark, and thanks again for your interest.
I've asked Nabil of SRWT if we can discuss this and general issues around the deer at their next 'Users' Forum meeting on 12th September.
Applying pressure on the horse riders may be an option but I'm not sure how to contact them outside the official groups which may be involved anyway through the farmers.
I'll email you when I can.