Charities and activist groups turn on Luke Steele and his campaign group 'Wild Moors UK'
Luke Steele, the criminal animal rights extremist who previously spent 18 months in prison, is finding friends few and far between.
Having ostracised himself and his previous group, Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire's Moors, from activists, journalists and policy makers on account of the nefarious tactics he would use and his criminal past, he attempted to give himself a makeover by creating a new group 'Wild Moors UK'.
Unsurprisingly, Wild Moors UK makes no mention of the fact it has been set up and is run by Steele.
For a short period it looked like the rebrand was working for Steele, as some regional publications printed stories which referenced Wild Moors as a credible commentator. Embarrassingly however, once Steele's previous story fabrications and criminal activity were pointed out to certain media houses, many of these stories were taken down.
In one particular example, Wild Moors UK/Luke Steele had provided historic pictures of burnt heather in an unrelated location in an attempt to portray it as recent controlled burning on deep peat. In another example bogus details were given to Natural England to try and launch an investigation into another moor, however all that was achieved was a further waste of public resources.
But now it seems the charade has come crashing back down for Steele and his Wild Moors UK as other pressure groups and activists turn on him.
This week the nature photographer and filmmaker James Shooter, who runs the Scottish rewilding charity, Scotland: The Big Picture, accused Steele of stealing work from them and passing it off as his own.
On a Twitter post, Mr Shooter said: “Wild Moors UK have lifted images from Scotland The Big Picture without permission or licensing. Instead of rectifying the issue, they’ve blocked me. It may seem petty but as a charity we invest a lot of time into comms, so to have them stolen by another organisation is hugely disappointing.”
Meanwhile even the Moorland Monitors, the Peak District focused activist organisation, managed by Bob Berzins, who have previously sought to publicly distance themselves from Steele, also complained on Twitter about Wild Moors. They wrote that the same had been done to them over many years by Luke Steele, saying: “Volunteers work so hard and it’s demoralising when other groups pinch our work and imply it’s theirs.”
Even Moor Watch, another activist group, piled in on Luke Steele’s Wild Moors saying: “Liars get caught out”.
With outrage and disgust being thrown at Luke Steele from all sides, it would be easy to think that his only friends left are Mark Avery and Jeff Knott from the RSPB – and of course Guy Shrubsole, from ReWilding Britain.