First of all , apologies for the delay in posting this. By way of explanation I'd simply draw attention to various entries from a newsheet put out by a local prospective councillor, who emphasizes the absence of mobile phone reception here, poor Broadband speeds and facility provision generally, continuing outages as far as electricity supplies are concerned .......all of which appear to find a focal point around where I live!!! Ugh! I'm afraid 4G here is something overhead fighter pilots might experience. Add to that poor road conditions, disrupted ferries due to foul weather, affected postal services and the rural idyll is seen to apply on only a proportion of days in any year, on which , of course, we give thanks for living where we do and stop grumbling.
However, setting aside recent problems, may I take this opportunity to thank everyone concerned for the support they provided for the E-petition relating to the licencing of upland grouse moors and gamekeepers. The final number of accepted signatures at the point of the petition's closure was an impressive 10,414 ( although a few more seem to have been registered since. ). A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL.
This exceeded my expectations given the process got underway rather slowly, despite endless effort, and then gathered momentum towards the end paying tribute, I suspect, to the contributions made by the various groups I had circularised with details.
As yet the Government response has not been posted to their site. I suspect this might take a time yet but presume they have to declare their position within the statutory period within which they undertake to reply to correspondence or similar. Time will tell, at which point a careful analysis can be made of their response and details drawn together and posted.
A slight vacuum that, understandably, is somewhat frustrating. In the meantime I can only refer you to the excellent web site Raptor Persecution Scotland and the entry Latest SGA outpouring! (click this link for direct access ) to see the sort of reaction coming forward so regularly from the upland game management ranks. If you've the time there is much within RPS's site that is worth reading. At times it seems there is so little concerted and committed support for raptors, be it from the Government, the judicial system, the Police, which all supplements the more extreme claims of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association. Set against all this are the repeated reports of poisoning, trapping , and shooting incidents which continue to be discovered and are a stark reminder of what the reality is out there on the hills!!
Again, a great thank you to everyone with especial thanks for Mark Avery, past colleague and friend, who did much to promote the petition and provide encouragement throughout, to Raptor Persecution Scotland who also promoted the petition, as did the Hawk and Owl Trust, besides the many groups, societies and individuals who added their weight to the cause. Not least , thanks to friends and family, who put up with a continuous barrage of commentary within the twelve months involved.