We totally oppose all illegal killing of wildlife, especially our local birds of prey, many of which are internationally important or are locally rare such as the hen harrier, peregrine and goshawk. The illegal persecution of wildlife must stop now.
We support a vision of our local uplands as a mosaic of habitats supporting thriving populations of all the species that should be present in these inspiring places, including birds of prey. We want to see a healthy natural environment, a vibrant economy and thriving communities. Our uplands are wonderful ‘wild’ places but they could be even better for people and wildlife.
We believe that a new approach away from increasingly intensive grouse moor management is needed – something has to change soon. Ideally this will be an increase in breeding hen harriers and other birds of prey due to action from grouse moor owners to help conserve these important species. Licensing legitimate law abiding grouse shoots is another option put forward by the RSPB. Or alternatively vicarious responsibility of the landowner (as in Scotland) could be made law. But all depend on adequate policing, sentencing and resourcing to administer and monitor.
We are strongly against peatland burning, which has been shown to destroy sphagnum mosses, deepen water tables and damage underlying peat.
We are against the use of rodenticide – it should only be used as a last resort when all other methods have failed.
What we have done and will do
- Continue to work with and support land owners, land managers, organisations, groups or individuals who share our aim of wanting to see an increase in breeding pairs of our local birds of prey.
- Continue to regularly update and raise awareness with the general public and our members about illegal birds of prey persecution in our patch – providing factual information and examples wherever possible.
- Actively promote appropriate campaigns and petitions by others where they coincide with our own position and aims.
- Regularly review the suppliers we use to ensure we do not support any that have a connection to or have been directly prosecuted for illegal wildlife activity.
- Continue to manage our Nature Reserves, and the land that we manage on behalf of others, for the benefit of a diverse range of wildlife, including hen harriers, peregrine, buzzards, short-eared owls and goshawk.
- Continue to work with and try to influence others – partners and land owners/managers – to actively manage their land for wildlife and our local birds of prey to thrive.
- Continue to work with other Wildlife Trusts to influence national and regional policy makers about the importance of the upland habitat for birds of prey and the many other benefits the uplands provide for people and wildlife generally.
- Celebrate and highlight cases of good practice by local grouse moorland owners and keepers.
- Contribute to the prevention of the illegal killing of birds of prey by participating in NESTWATCH schemes, promoting ‘sighting’ reporting and raising awareness of what to look for.
- Act on any reports we receive about potential wildlife crime.
- Work with the local Wildlife Crime Unit to encourage them to actively monitor for illegal activity across Sheffield and Rotherham and enforce existing wildlife legislation more effectively, investing in better detection and policing measures.
Only use rodenticide as a last resort and continue to regularly remind the public and our members about not using rodenticide, unless as a last resort when all other methods have been tried and failed.