To: Mark Spencer MP

Mark Spencer MP: Say NO to lobbyists & back a ban on driven grouse shooting

Mark Spencer MP: Say NO to lobbyists & back a ban on driven grouse shooting

Stop receiving gifts from grouse shooting lobbyists and lend your support to the national campaign to ban driven grouse shooting.

Why is this important?

Mark Spencer MP recently received a free game bird shooting weekend courtesy of lobbying group British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC). We are, in turn, asking our MP to stop accepting gifts from shooting lobbyists and from now on support a ban on the damaging practice of driven grouse shooting.

There are many very good reasons for banning driven grouse shooting:
-Government subsidies support this practice (at a time when everywhere else is feeling the brunt of cuts: why aren't millionaire landowners?);
-the illegal killing of grouse predators (especially the hen harrier, which is now almost extinct in England due to persecution on grouse moors);
-grouse moors are extensively 'managed' in such a way that causes far higher flood risks downriver;
-increased water pollution (which inflates our water bills- there is evidence that bills would be cheaper if the rich man's driven grouse shooting was banned);
-increased greenhouse gas emissions due to the practice of burning the moors to keep a habitat that boosts grouse numbers;
-millions of birds are killed each year.


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • Never mind the subsidies, there should be no such thing as 'Shooting Estates'. The whole idea of huge tracts of our land being used as shooting galleries with wildlife as targets is a medieval anachronism and should be done away with.
  • Mr Spencer has replied to this petition but even though he says this was not a grouse shoot he will never convince me that other animals (like Hen Harriers) are not killed by mistake.


2016-02-25 15:09:31 +0000

(Contd. Part 2 of 2)

Of course, it’s a shoddy state of democracy if we are seriously expected to sit idly by as our representatives take free gifts from extremely wealthy lobbyists and then trot down to Westminster to make the laws that we are all supposed to abide by. Why are the shooting industry and their political friends so afraid of the keen eye of accountability?

Even David Cameron gets it: in 2010 he said the dubious relationship between politicians and lobbyists is ‘the next big scandal waiting to happen’.

A robust, open debate is the least we deserve and the campaign continues..

2016-02-25 15:08:49 +0000

Our response to Mark Spencer:
The sad truth is that these guys are putting the con in ‘conservation’ - but fooling nobody. The deliberate, systematic destruction of England’s hen harrier population is the great English conservation tragedy of our time and is a direct consequence of the shooting industry.

Regarding driven grouse shooting the uplands are burned, drained, poisoned, denuded of any life that may harm a grouse, so that the grouse themselves can be blasted to bits. It's absurd.

But this issue ranges wider than that: as highlighted by the campaign, the consequences are wide reaching in the damage they do to the environment: flood risks, water pollution, lead poisoning of the soil, air pollution due to moor burning, loss of biodiversity. It means wasted taxpayers money & higher bills for the rest of us.

So much for ‘carefully managing our countryside like that [being] a very positive thing’.
(Part 1 of 2)

2016-02-25 15:00:57 +0000

Mark Spencer has replied to our campaign with the following statement:

“I’ve never been grouse shooting in my life, and there were not grouse on this trip in question either. I do sometimes go shooting other birds as many people in the farming community do. There are a number of shooting grounds in the rural Sherwood constituency that are very positive for our local economy in terms of income and tourism, and wildlife preservation.

“The very nature of shooting means that the habitats of the birds are very carefully maintained and looked after to support breeding. Carefully managing our countryside like that is a very positive thing.”

2016-02-25 12:40:32 +0000

I'm delighted that our campaign is being covered in the local press, you can read the story here:
We've so far managed to generate a debate locally and bring to light an issue that is too often, too easily ignored. We are just local residents, making our case against the combined strength of politicians and big money lobbyists- but our voice is being heard.
Thank you to everyone who has signed so far and encouraged others to do the same. The campaign continues.

2016-02-21 08:31:15 +0000

100 signatures reached

2016-02-19 18:04:31 +0000

50 signatures reached

2016-02-18 12:10:11 +0000

25 signatures reached

2016-02-17 20:24:13 +0000

10 signatures reached