5th Dec - The Moorland Monitors
For those 'outraged' or 'ashamed' by a spotlight being shone on the actions of activists, just think for a second what it is like to be a young gamekeeper starting out in the world going about your job entirely legally.
Everyday you see the hugely positive environmental impact you are having and the abundance of red listed species thriving across your moorland, yet increasingly few are willing recognise that. Indeed some organisations even seek to suppress positive bird survey results, through fear they might recognise just how much good work gamekeepers are doing because it is inconvenient to their narrative.
Nor do any of these activists ever show any sort of recognition for the risks you take on behalf of the public to control wildfires on neighbouring unmanaged moorland, when you know those fires were entirely avoidable if there had been an iota of common sense shown through controlled burning.
Yet everyday gamekeepers are abused, spat at and harassed by people who show no willingness to recognise any of the positivity they bring to the environment, nature or the local community because their only understanding is the bile and slander publicised by organisations like the Moorland Monitors.
Each year millions of hours of our overstretched emergency services time is wasted on unnecessary call outs across the UK.
These actions deprive police and fire service officials from attending genuine emergencies, yet, regardless, this seems to be a favoured approach by the Yorkshire based Moorland Monitors led by Bob Berzins and Luke Steele.
During burning season their social media channels regularly twist realities to encourage observers – who don’t know the difference between controlled heather burning and wildfires – to reports any sign of burning, leading to many wasted hours of emergency services time as fire engines are compelled to respond.
The Moorland Monitors have also developed a process of the systematic harassment of gamekeepers. Most recently in the North York Moors, this has involved monitors setting up long-lens cameras on gamekeepers simply going about their daily rounds, and then reporting them to the local police for doing nothing other than their jobs. The police then have to open an investigation, make enquiries, then realise there is nothing to investigate and the case is closed again.
Worse still, the images of these gamekeepers gained through long lens cameras are then plastered across their social media pages, along with the gamekeepers names and sometimes even their addresses.
And people wonder why gamekeepers complain about the levels of harassment and intimidation in the workplace that they experience.