Scottish gamekeeper George Mutch, convicted in December for trapping a goshawk and then battering it to death (and a few other things – see here) on the Kildrummy Estate in Aberdeenshire, has been sentenced to four months in prison for his crimes.
He was led away from the court in handcuffs and is currently en-route to a prison cell.
What an unbelievably brilliant outcome – we never thought we’d see the day. Mutch is the first gamekeeper ever to be jailed in the UK for killing raptors.
Huge congratulations to the RSPB Investigations Team, SSPCA, Police Scotland and the Crown Office, and kudos (and thanks) to Sheriff Noel McPartlin for handing out this sentence. An acknowledgement also to former Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse, who pushed hard for the admissibility of video evidence. Had he not done so, this case would probably not have made it to court.
I haven’t been around much lately, mainly due to family commitments plus, I have been asked to participate in writing a book and supplying photos for same. The book is all about a specific area of the Music Industry, which many of you will know was my previous life. So researching that has taken some time, I will post here when it’s all finished and published.
More recently, I have been accepted as a Trustee of Gwent Wildlife Trust. This is something very close to my heart and I hope that I shall be able to contribute some value to this wonderful organisation. Watch this space I guess.
Here is a video that a friend sent me and i though it would be nice to share. Hope you enjoy.
I wonder what the world is coming to. Read this please. And furthermore, why are the RSPB opting out of the discussion? I don’t pay my dues to them to have them opt out! They are supposed to be representing me in all things Wildlife.
The GWCT are at it again. First they wanted buzzards and sparrowhawks added to the Scottish General Licences to allow the legal killing of these protected species in order to protect non-native gamebirds bred and released in their millions for leisure shooting. Then they went for the legal ‘removal’ of hen harriers from English grouse moors to protect artificially-high stocks of red grouse for leisure shooting. Now their plan to ‘remove’ pine martens from several Scottish forests, under the guise of a ‘research trial’, has been leaked.
Their ‘plan’ is to ‘remove’ 120 pine martens (a highly protected species that is recovering from persecution) from four forests in Strathspey, including inside the Cairngorms National Park, over a six-year period to see whether their ‘removal’ has any affect on the breeding success of Capercaillie. The plan suggests that the martens could be killed but a ‘translocation’ to other areas would be…
Rather than throw the honey jar away while there was still some in the bottom, I decided to leave the lid off and place it on it’s side on the Bar-B-Que. In truth I was hoping that it may attract some late night -flying moths. However, after checking it at night for a couple of nights and finding nothing, I gave up the idea, but left the jar.
A day or two later the rain had stooped and the sun was briefly shining. I took a stroll down to the Bar-B-Que and was absolutely amazed at the number of Honey Bees and a couple of Wasps all guzzling as much as they could of the (now solidified) honey. By the time I got there there were two dead Honey Bees and two live wasps amongst the tightly packed in ‘gang’! I watched it quite closely for a while and was surprised to see that both the bees and the wasps all ignored each other.
Many of my readers will no doubt recall the case of Mass Poisoner Gamekeeper Alan Lambert. This opting by ‘Raptor Persecution Scotland’ blog will surprise many. A totally unbelievable outcome to the case, presided over by district judge peter Veits.
Gamekeeper Allen Lambert, convicted of mass raptor poisoning at Stody Estate, Norfolk, has been given a 10 week suspended sentence for poisoning 11 raptors (suspended for one year), a six week suspended sentence for possession of firearms and dead buzzards (suspended for one year) and has been ordered to pay £930 prosecution costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
This sentence will infuriate many. Lambert’s crimes contributed to one of the worst incidents of mass raptor poisoning in the UK. Although it’s not the worst incident, it’s right up there near the top of the list and is certainly the worst mass poisoning of raptors uncovered in England.
District Judge Peter Veits said Lambert’s crimes ‘had crossed the custody threshold’ but his sentence would be suspended. Why? Sentencing is supposed to serve two purposes. It’s supposed to be a deterrent, not only to the convicted criminal, but also to others…
I may have mentioned before that the last thing I do at night is to take our mini longhaired Dachshund out into the garden. During the spring and summer when it was dry, she would spend more and more time sniffing about and mousing. So as not to rush her too much I started looking around the garden with my torch. I have to say, for someone who is keen on Entomology, it was like someone had opened a door into a different world. And when I think of how long it has taken me to realise this…..
So before long the torch was accompanied by camera and flash and extension tubes and goodness know what else to try and get shot of insects that were, in some cases getting smaller and smaller. However, all things being equal I will hopefully starting posting some of the pix here.
Today I am going to start with, what is one the smallest orb spiders in the garden Araniella cucurbitina. These guys are so small the spread the web across a single leaf in many cases. Hope you like it.
I was doing some computer housework today and just having a general clean up and sort out. I found one particular photo that I took a while ago. It’s in Rogiet a small village about 5 miles from Chepstow, for those who are not familiar with area, Chepstow is where the Severn Bridge crossing is, the Gateway to Wales. However, there is a small little hideaway in Rogiet and it is owned by the Gwent Wildlife Trust (GWT) it is a very old area where many moons ago, so I believe, there was some kind of Gypsy dwelling. Later on it also became a local tipping place where the locals would take there rubbish to dump. I understand some nice little finds have been found there over the years. Especially if you are a collector of ‘say’ small tincture bottles and the like. Today is has been cleared and cleaned up by volunteers with GWT into a small nature reserve, and on a nice day it is a lovely place to go and just sit and watch and listen to nature. I have spent many hours there over the years and I have seen everything from newly born Rabbits to soaring Buzzards, not to mention 1000’s of flies of all types and sizes (great if you are a Bug person), bees, birds and a plethora of wildflowers. For those of you who live in the area, I can recommend a 20 minute stroll at The Rogiet Poor Lands site, and it doesn’t have to be a nice sunny day either. I have also been there on a crisp Autumn morning and watched the songbirds hunting for food.
There is no charge to go in and in most cases, depending upon time of year and day you may well be on your own where you can contemplate……..well anything really.