UK Caving

OTHER STUFF => Idle Chat => Topic started by: Duck ditch on September 19, 2020, 04:26:27 pm

Title: Trespass
Post by: Duck ditch on September 19, 2020, 04:26:27 pm
Interesting walk today trying to avoid the crowds in the dales. 
After a rough walk I came to a gate with a private sign.  I knew I was on right to roam so I took the sign down. Through the gate a track came up from the left.  Railway type sleepers the width of the road was followed for about half a mile. Easy going but what about the habitat?
  I came across a Larson trap with a couple of crows. I let the birds out without damaging the trap.
A little further was a newly furnished shooting lodge. Blue barrels and pipes everywhere, what an eyesore.
I followed the stream down discovering a few swimming plunge pools (the purpose of the walk), but the biting wind and dead sheep upstream put me off.
I continued downstream noticing 6 rusting stoat traps.  I wondered what the fine would be for abandoning these in a lay-by.  Some new traps had been set up, so I sprung these.  Not damaging them.  Eventually I reached the eyesore of an abandoned pheasant pen. A Scrap metal and plastic mess.
I couldn’t descend the stream anymore without leaving the right to roam.  I decided to Trespass crossIng 2 rough grazing pastures via gates to reach the road.  Thus trespassing over 2 fields.
I suppose I broke the law here, but only in one specific and limited way.  So it’s okay
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: JJ on September 19, 2020, 05:10:39 pm
Well Duck ditch I expect I know where you where.

I too was out in the Dales this afternoon in that strong wind. Came across around 10 men with a number of dogs digging a hole. This was no cavers dig and so much for a group of six!!!

I fear for the poor fox or badger but then I was not sticking around to find out as I was on my own. Perhaps it was one of the dogs that had become stuck.  :annoyed:
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Fjell on September 19, 2020, 05:48:47 pm
Interesting walk today trying to avoid the crowds in the dales. 
After a rough walk I came to a gate with a private sign.  I knew I was on right to roam so I took the sign down. Through the gate a track came up from the left.  Railway type sleepers the width of the road was followed for about half a mile. Easy going but what about the habitat?
 
......
I couldn’t descend the stream anymore without leaving the right to roam.  I decided to Trespass crossIng 2 rough grazing pastures via gates to reach the road.  Thus trespassing over 2 fields.
I suppose I broke the law here, but only in one specific and limited way.  So it’s okay

There are huge numbers of private roads in the Dales, including in villages. Most of them are footpaths or bridleways, but you can’t drive on them by right - hence “private road” signs. The clue is “road”. Pretty much every “landrover track”. If it is on CRoW land you can obviously walk on them regardless.

In England trespass is not a criminal offence in itself, but it is associated with offences that involve trespass - generally refusing to leave when asked by police or court order. You can be sued for damage. If you do it a lot and cause problems you can get court orders against you. All of this is so tiresome and expensive that it is rare. Walking across fields is a zero consequence action that I have indulged in my whole life. The most someone can do is ask you to leave, and to be honest there is bugger all they can do if you take your time about it. Waving a gun will get them arrested. Fiddling with peoples stuff is escalating the situation for sure however. Messing with stock can lead to bad things, they take it personally. Up to you, people can lose it. If no-one knew you were there they might feed you to the pigs. I would think twice in Grisedale and Uldale for instance.

If you believe there is illegal wildlife killing going on then take pictures and report them to the police.
I am not sure Larson traps are long for this world, and are banned in other countries. If you catch the wrong birds and harm them, you could be in the shit.

Prince Charles hangs out at the lodge near Garsdale Head, or used to. It’s a secret.......

My grandfather owned a hill farm, which I lived on when I was little. Things are not what they were.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: caving_fox on September 21, 2020, 10:16:40 am

In England trespass is not a criminal offence in itself, but it is associated with offences that involve trespass - generally refusing to leave when asked by police or court order. You can be sued for damage. If you do it a lot and cause problems you can get court orders against you. All of this is so tiresome and expensive that it is rare. Walking across fields is a zero consequence action that I have indulged in my whole life. The most someone can do is ask you to leave, and to be honest there is bugger all they can do if you take your time about it. Waving a gun will get them arrested. Fiddling with peoples stuff is escalating the situation for sure however. Messing with stock can lead to bad things, they take it personally. Up to you, people can lose it. If no-one knew you were there they might feed you to the pigs. I would think twice in Grisedale and Uldale for instance.


Re bolded bit. Yet. There's been another push to make it so https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/15/tresspass-trap-law-land-travelling-people-rights
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Bob Mehew on September 21, 2020, 12:51:38 pm
See also https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=26761.msg327599#msg327599 (https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=26761.msg327599#msg327599)
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Fjell on September 21, 2020, 06:52:32 pm
See also https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=26761.msg327599#msg327599 (https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=26761.msg327599#msg327599)

It’s not going to happen. It’s just yet another hopeless attempt to control travellers (which always fails on police aversion to strongarm tactics and the refusal to pay fines or basically give a shit). The police have much bigger problems with some “travellers” than just squatting.

There is a ropey film called The Gentlemen out at the moment. Near the beginning there is a scene which explains why it is pretty much impossible to have a cannabis farm above ground in England. You get the idea if you watch it. All true. Voters, lots of them.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Bob Mehew on September 21, 2020, 07:38:48 pm
Sorry I should have said see https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=26787.msg327839#msg327839 (https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=26787.msg327839#msg327839)
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Badlad on September 22, 2020, 09:17:23 am
I took the advice of RB on the other Trespass thread and read 'the Book of Trespass' by Nick Hayes.  A fascinating yet disturbing read which I would recommend to anyone with an interest in the countryside.  Anyway a few facts given in the book on the very temporary occupants of these shooting estates...

Every year thirty-five million partridge and pheasant are released into the estates of England.  This is twice the biomass of the nation's wild birds.  Defra estimate half of these are bred in factory farms but whilst basic welfare regulation exist for farmed birds such as chickens, birds reared for sporting activities are exempt.

Grouse shooting is regarded as the 'formula one' of game sports.  England has only 15% of the total landmass of Britain devoted to grouse shooting but still manages to account for almost half of the 450,000 grouse shot each year.  This requires intensive 'farming' of the land and grouse bred in such numbers places their colonies vulnerable to infections that can wipe them out.  Thus the moors are littered with birdfeeders containing pellets of levamisole hydrocloride, a short term fix that last just 48 hours.  The record for the most grouse shot on a shoot in a single day is 2929.

Grouse can eat up to 50 grams of heather shoots per day.  So the productivity of the moors must be maximised by burning to encourage new growth.  A third of all grouse moors in England are covered in the rarest of habitats, the sphagnum moss and peat bogs.  Burning destroys the moss and dries out the peat, turning the carbon sinks into a carbon source. The damage done to these peatlands in England releases 260,000 tonnes of carbon back into the atmosphere each year, the equivalent emissions of 88,000 cars.

If anyone wishes to find out why this happens, or why landowners receive huge payments of public money for this land, or even how the ownership of these huge estates occurred in the first place then the book is for you.  Given a rave review by Robert Macfarland too.


Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 22, 2020, 09:22:12 am
Although most grouse moors will not be affected by any new laws, as they are already access land.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: kay on September 22, 2020, 10:15:50 am
England has only 15% of the total landmass of Britain devoted to grouse shooting

In other words, about twice the quoted figure for the proportion of land covered by houses. Don't know what point I'm making. Just seemed interesting.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Fjell on September 22, 2020, 10:51:00 am
Moors can’t just be left. If you want to rewild them then someone is going to have to pay to reestablish a diverse ecosystem, it won’t happen on it’s own as has been shown in a few cases. Commercial timber is a non-starter - you might as well keep things as they are.

Short of a handy billionaire, then public funds will be required. Either you buy the things and do it (a new quango?) or pay enough to existing owners to get them to do it and restrict shooting to traditional undriven personal use (they might well go for this). The total net value of shooting in England after subsidy is probably no more than £50mln a year, so that gives you an idea of what it would take. It’s a pittance, but that is cash out of other priorities.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 22, 2020, 01:25:33 pm
Maths needs some work - grouse have 550000 acres of England's 32 million, so about 1.7% of land use. About 10% of Scotland is.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Badlad on September 22, 2020, 01:44:26 pm
Maths needs some work - grouse have 550000 acres of England's 32 million, so about 1.7% of land use. About 10% of Scotland is.

I think you've misread or misunderstood and in any case I am only quoting Nick Hayes. 

Quote
England has only 15% of the total landmass of Britain devoted to grouse shooting
.  I take that to be a percentage of the total landmass of Britain - which is devoted to grouse shooting.  I may have left out the 'which'.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 22, 2020, 01:59:51 pm
It was Kay's maths that didn't work (but it was based on a misrepresentation of the figures).
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Duck ditch on September 22, 2020, 05:59:14 pm
Grouse moors are managed purely for the production of grouse. Anything, plant or animal detrimental to the grouse is discouraged or eliminated.
It’s the rubbish that got to me on this particular walk, mostly to stock the area with partridges and pheasants.
We as tax payers give public subsidies to the tune of £84 million (Could be more now) to create these sheds and pens. I would like some tidying up to be done.
I decided that I would take advantage of the new rule.  You can now break the law in one specific way. I chose trespass.  I don’t think crows or stoats are ‘stock’.
Sure, I would ban grouse shooting if I could and get landowners to create a more diverse habitat. I might even give them £84 million to do it.
Meanwhile I have no qualms on cavers concentrating there litter on the useful placing of scaffolding and planks of wood at the entrance to digs or disturbing grouse rather than shooting them.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 22, 2020, 10:54:20 pm
The £84 million is given as agricultural supplement, not because of the grouse shooting, with £12.5 million of that being in England (£56 per hectare). Certainly nothing to do with pheasant rearing.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: 2xw on September 22, 2020, 11:18:55 pm
Note that that "fact" about burning isn't quite accurate. It's detrimental but not for the reasons described. It doesn't always turn them into net carbon sources either. There's seemingly a trend of simplifying ecology by the current "pop sci" writers like this, that make such an effort to make simple messages that they verge on falsification.

I'm not sure why any of its relevant to trespass anyways: the vast majority of grouse moors are open access. Walking on most of them isn't an act of trespass.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Kenilworth on September 23, 2020, 02:11:47 am
Moors can’t just be left. If you want to rewild them then someone is going to have to pay to reestablish a diverse ecosystem, it won’t happen on it’s own as has been shown in a few cases.

Which cases are these? I'm very interested.

As ever, worrying about trespass laws is a waste of time. This is true even here in the US, where the bulk of land is privately owned, where there is no "right to roam" on private land (access is officially restricted even to much publicly owned land), and where trespass laws (depending on the state) are much more severe. Conscientious, considerate, discreet behavior and neighborliness circumsize Law in almost every case. In the event of a serious conflict I am confident that those same qualities will serve to minimize the damage, and thus comfortably and constantly trespass.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Mark on September 23, 2020, 06:24:44 am
A piece about Geoff Eyre (Brough Mill) and management of grouse moors


https://www.workingforwildlife.co.uk/case-studies/uplands/the-heather-doctor/?fbclid=IwAR271Y-NFYwXVFo_wqAjlhrZwc9pEi3PqdhLq27O5n6RdyQAzLYw4liZhVE
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Badlad on September 23, 2020, 09:48:47 am
Although this thread was titled 'trespass' the OP wrote about access roads, larson traps, blue barrels, stoat traps, pheasant pens and associated scrap.  Mostly all to do with the grouse shooting business.  I added a few quotes about pheasant and grouse shooting from a book I'd been reading to show the scale of the business.

The [mis]management of the grouse moors are also blamed for increased flooding in the valleys below.  Hayes claims that no one rejects the notion that burning the bog reduces its capability to hold water.  Apparently studies have found a direct correlation.  A petition to ban grouse hunting reached 100,000 signatures forcing a debate in parliament and the establishment of 'anti' groups such as Ban the Burn.

Grouse moors cover some very large areas of the countryside but the 'sport' only benefits a very small proportion of the population from a mainly very wealthy section of society.  The business isn't great for the millions of birds that get shot but it also takes a huge toll on the natural wildlife.  The methods of land management to support the business are questionable and may have detrimental effects on native flora.  Large subsidies of public money are paid to the grouse moor owners for sure.  I'm sure I know who benefits the most from this so they could at least keep the place tidy as Duck Ditch suggests.

How much of the Nick Hayes book is entirely accurate I can't say, but it does appear well researched.  The basic messages seem to hold up though.  Have a read
 :read:
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 23, 2020, 10:57:18 am
The things he wrote about are for pheasant shoots, not grouse. They generally take place in different habitats & most pheasant shoots are not on public or access land.

Unfortunately the moors will probably require more in the way of subsidies to improve them, if they don't have the income from shoots.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: ChrisJC on September 23, 2020, 04:59:13 pm
Unfortunately the moors will probably require more in the way of subsidies to improve them, if they don't have the income from shoots.

I don't quite understand that - what would happen if the moors were just abandoned to nature. No management plan, no tinkering, just left alone?

Chris.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: 2xw on September 23, 2020, 05:49:51 pm
Unfortunately the moors will probably require more in the way of subsidies to improve them, if they don't have the income from shoots.

I don't quite understand that - what would happen if the moors were just abandoned to nature. No management plan, no tinkering, just left alone?

Chris.

They're likely to end up as huge sources of carbon to the fluvial system and the atmosphere and huge risks for wildfire.

Leaving them is similar to leaving toxic waste instead of clearing it up. In my professional opinion many of them are beyond the point of being able to repair themselves
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: JoshW on September 23, 2020, 07:59:13 pm
Unfortunately the moors will probably require more in the way of subsidies to improve them, if they don't have the income from shoots.

I don't quite understand that - what would happen if the moors were just abandoned to nature. No management plan, no tinkering, just left alone?

Chris.

They're likely to end up as huge sources of carbon to the fluvial system and the atmosphere and huge risks for wildfire.

Leaving them is similar to leaving toxic waste instead of clearing it up. In my professional opinion many of them are beyond the point of being able to repair themselves

genuine question out of interest, would more or less work be required to 'repair it' than is put in to maintain the moors for shooting etc.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: ChrisJC on September 23, 2020, 08:28:02 pm
They're likely to end up as huge sources of carbon to the fluvial system and the atmosphere and huge risks for wildfire.

Leaving them is similar to leaving toxic waste instead of clearing it up. In my professional opinion many of them are beyond the point of being able to repair themselves

I'm going to play devils advocate here because I don't believe you.

Pretty much all the places I have ever seen that have been abandoned have seen a remarkable takeover by nature in very short order! The only place I can think of that has defied nature is Parys Mountain on Anglesey, and that is a whole lot different.

Surely the heather would grow until it is outcompeted by taller species etc, until it's forested again?

Is there an example of such a landscape being abandoned and it not recovering of its own accord?

Chris.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: droid on September 23, 2020, 09:50:13 pm
I agree with Chris.

I've heard of coal waste heaps progressing to near climax woodland within about 40 years. And there was/is a patch of moorland opposite Lawrencefield Estate near Hathersage that's gone the same way once the sheep were kicked off it.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: tamarmole on September 23, 2020, 10:43:37 pm
They're likely to end up as huge sources of carbon to the fluvial system and the atmosphere and huge risks for wildfire.

Leaving them is similar to leaving toxic waste instead of clearing it up. In my professional opinion many of them are beyond the point of being able to repair themselves

I'm going to play devils advocate here because I don't believe you.

Pretty much all the places I have ever seen that have been abandoned have seen a remarkable takeover by nature in very short order! The only place I can think of that has defied nature is Parys Mountain on Anglesey, and that is a whole lot different.

Surely the heather would grow until it is outcompeted by taller species etc, until it's forested again?

Is there an example of such a landscape being abandoned and it not recovering of its own accord?

Chris.


I agree with Chris.  In my neck of the woods we had  several of the world's largest arsenic producer's which are happily being reclaimed by nature.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 23, 2020, 11:03:37 pm
Yes, the woodland will take over, but that's not the habitat that is required by hen harrier & merlin, and it's not as effective a carbon store as peat bog.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Kenilworth on September 24, 2020, 12:14:07 am
Droid again drags out his "wasteland to climax" line. It's complete nonsense, beside the fact that the concept of "climax" ecosystems is mostly useless.

The succession of forest species is astoundingly complex and relatively swift, but it cannot be accomplished to anything near completion in the span of a single human life. This is especially true when topsoil has been eroded, removed, or depleted.

From an ecological standpoint, the most efficient way to "reclaim" a forest is to leave it alone. It works every single time. The process can be speeded up, but not without risks, or costs of money, time, and damage, which do not need to be paid.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 24, 2020, 07:13:17 am
Although many of the moors are "deer forest", there aren't many trees!

https://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/what_is_a_climax_forest
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: kay on September 24, 2020, 08:37:06 am
It was Kay's maths that didn't work (but it was based on a misrepresentation of the figures).

Based on the figures given, in what way was my arithmetic wrong? Are you suggesting that 15% isn't, as an approximation, about twice 7%?

The statement may be wrong (as it was based on a figure that was wrong) but the "maths" wasn't.

Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 24, 2020, 08:44:58 am
I didn't say your maths was wrong, I said it didn't work. I thought the same as you, that 15% was total land area, so the maths in the book was incorrect...
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: kay on September 24, 2020, 08:48:19 am
Yes, the woodland will take over, but that's not the habitat that is required by hen harrier & merlin, and it's not as effective a carbon store as peat bog.

Is it really "rewilding" to intervene to design the habitat you want?

Quote

Although many of the moors are "deer forest", there aren't many trees!

I believe "forest" originally denoted "hunting ground" which by definition wouldn't work with a dense tree cover.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 24, 2020, 09:48:23 am
There isn't really any wild habitat left in the UK anyway. Red deer, wild boar & aurochs are all woodland species.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: ChrisJC on September 24, 2020, 10:54:31 am
Is it really "rewilding" to intervene to design the habitat you want?
Quote

It's not really any different to the present situation - just a different designer and objective.

It's a question of who is claiming the moral high ground, either ecologically or socioeconomically.

Chris.

Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: A_Northerner on September 24, 2020, 11:44:43 am
The way I understand it as a layperson is that the moors need to be managed to keep them as peat moors. 2xw isn't saying that they won't "return to nature" if they're left alone but this wouldn't be the most carbon-economical method of managing the moors.

It's not "re-wilding" and it doesn't claim to be - it's land management.

If the moors are left as they are (cut for drainage to provide natural habitat for grouse) then they'll be more likely to burn every year and release all the carbon they have stored. Whereas a managed return to moorland involves building in water retention and stuff.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Duck ditch on September 24, 2020, 11:56:59 am
I don’t think it’s too hard to claim the moral high ground over people who kills animals for fun.  It’s a very low bar to get over. 
However even these people could tidy up after themselves.  The chequerboard look of northern England On google is very depressing for me. 
Also, the argument that the ground is so degraded that we might as well carry on, seems a poor argument to me.  It’s less than 200 years of misuse on an earth that’s 4 billion years old or even 6000yrs old if that’s how your brain works.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: droid on September 24, 2020, 12:59:59 pm
Droid again drags out his "wasteland to climax" line. It's complete nonsense, beside the fact that the concept of "climax" ecosystems is mostly useless.


The information came from my Ecology lecturer at Newcastle University, and he observed it from childhood, so I proffer the possibility that his knowledge of woodland ecology is rather more than yours  :lol:
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Badlad on September 24, 2020, 01:35:39 pm
Human arrogance is such that it believes humans can manage land much better than mother nature.  I'm pretty sure that is misguided.
 :o
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: A_Northerner on September 24, 2020, 01:55:52 pm
Human arrogance is such that it believes humans can manage land much better than mother nature.  I'm pretty sure that is misguided.
 :o

Well... we kinda can. By studying how nature "manages land" on its own, we can work alongside it to speed up the process of reinvigoration.

The exact woodland that droid is referring to, opposite Lawrencefield Estate, hasn't been restored entirely naturally it's been helped along by Park Rangers because they understand how pioneering woodland develops and can speed the process up.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Ed on September 24, 2020, 02:24:15 pm
Although many of the moors are "deer forest", there aren't many trees!

https://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/what_is_a_climax_forest

A forest was unenclosed / uncultivated land kept as a hunting estate - often containing woodland but not exclusively

- hence the legal powers of Foresters (estate police for want of better description). The were constables of the hunting estate not lumberjack / wood collectors. Epping Forest Keepers and Hampstead Heath Constabulary

Alot were acquired by the monasteries and turned over to wool and charcoal production 

Common modern mistake think of forest as woodland ---
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 24, 2020, 04:01:26 pm
Even though the main quarry species were woodland ones! But by the time of the Domesday book, trees were already down to 15% of land over (& reduced to 7% by increasing populations, before they started to replant).

Meanwhile Mother Nature does just restock by trial & error, until there is some sort of balance.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: crickleymal on September 24, 2020, 05:43:33 pm
Even though the main quarry species were woodland ones! But by the time of the Domesday book, trees were already down to 15% of land over (& reduced to 7% by increasing populations, before they started to replant).

Meanwhile Mother Nature does just restock by trial & error, until there is some sort of balance.
I have it on fairly good authority that the Forest of Dean was open fields until the late saxon period. Lidar scans have revealed prehistoric field systems.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Kenilworth on September 25, 2020, 12:45:52 am
Droid again drags out his "wasteland to climax" line. It's complete nonsense, beside the fact that the concept of "climax" ecosystems is mostly useless.


The information came from my Ecology lecturer at Newcastle University, and he observed it from childhood, so I proffer the possibility that his knowledge of woodland ecology is rather more than yours  :lol:

As you've said before. I remain unimpressed.

His knowledge of woodland ecology may well be immense. In which case you've misunderstood or misrepresented him, or he's a propagandist. More likely though he was simply ignorant, and the misunderstanding was his own. Either way, it has been very lazy of you to cite such obvious silliness for so long.

Ecology, specificly of woods and farms, is my one of my primary passions. I am in every sense an amateur, but not an ignoramus, and not likely to color my learning with politics.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: droid on September 25, 2020, 01:35:42 am

Ecology, specificly of woods and farms, is my one of my primary passions. I am in every sense an amateur,s.

It may be 'a passion' but it seems rather unpolluted by anything like understanding.

You like over-complicating things. As you do with caving, the cod philosophy and unwillingness to accept the views of others, so you are with ecology. Maybe you do it to 'prove' you aren't an ignoramus.

Woodland ecology isn't 'astoundingly complex', even at graduate level.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Duck ditch on September 25, 2020, 08:38:56 am
My knowledge of woodland, heaths and moorland is very small.
However I doubt very much that our habitats require any more red legged partridges and pheasants  . Especially as they are only bred to get shot later for fun.  Even Then they could tidy up after themselves.
Are there any knowledgeable scientific papers arguing that It’s better to release these non native species to improve habitats?
Our heather moorland is improved to help the native red grouse. Now people are telling me it’s too degraded to do anything else.  Well I say we could easily manipulate this moorland so that I can go hunting the native sphagnum moss or admire the hunting skills of hen harriers and short eared owls.

Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 25, 2020, 09:14:26 am
There are plenty of papers arguing against the numbers involved, but they generally don't have any suggestions for not turning the woodlands into fields for greater profit...
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Kenilworth on September 25, 2020, 02:32:07 pm

Ecology, specificly of woods and farms, is my one of my primary passions. I am in every sense an amateur,s.

It may be 'a passion' but it seems rather unpolluted by anything like understanding.

You like over-complicating things. As you do with caving, the cod philosophy and unwillingness to accept the views of others, so you are with ecology. Maybe you do it to 'prove' you aren't an ignoramus.

Woodland ecology isn't 'astoundingly complex', even at graduate level.

 :) I'm not interested in graduate level ecology, or any such little games. This is in large part because I seek understanding, not scholarly indoctrination. Understanding depends on gathering information, including listening to the views of others, but not on accepting everything, be it said by the Professor, or a stranger on the internet, or the farmer down the lane. Information must be tested against the world and against other information. As in most things, I am yet far from understanding.

You may truly find ecology to be a simple matter. Maybe it is. Perhaps I overcomplicate it. I find it to be complex, which is to find it interesting and enriching. Perhaps my small mind has blessed me by making the world appear so abundant. Anyway, have you ever considered the full meaning of the claim you've cited? Can you explain the process and how it is possible?
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Duck ditch on September 25, 2020, 03:32:14 pm
I was prepared to read a scientific paper that says pheasants are good for woodland ecology. Is there one? 
Not one that says not really but if you want to make a profit, do this. That’s not science.
Its like reading A paper on how Vadose canyons are caused by erosion but there is no money in it until you make it into a show cave.
I do take the point though. There is no money in tiding up the rubbish abandoned or admiring hen harriers. Whereas admiring your killing skills against the  pheasant in a battle of wits, gun against beak turns a decent profit.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: 2xw on September 25, 2020, 05:01:44 pm
They're likely to end up as huge sources of carbon to the fluvial system and the atmosphere and huge risks for wildfire.

Leaving them is similar to leaving toxic waste instead of clearing it up. In my professional opinion many of them are beyond the point of being able to repair themselves

Pretty much all the places I have ever seen that have been abandoned have seen a remarkable takeover by nature in very short order!

Surely the heather would grow until it is outcompeted by taller species etc, until it's forested again?

Is there an example of such a landscape being abandoned and it not recovering of its own accord?

Chris.

The natural succession of heather is that it becomes tall and rank, and as the land gets wetter the heather falls over and becomes a matrix for growth of sphagnum.

Unfortunately because many moorlands (that should be blanket bog) were drained with dug channels (this is mostly not a grouse moor thing, but due to post-war pressures to convert land for agricultural use) the land will stay dry.

This increases the risk of wildfire which sets things back and consequently if you want degraded moorland to come back to a beneficial blanket bog you need a campaign of ditch blocking, and, sometimes management of Calluna overdominance (but not via burning it!). In the most degraded peatlands it requires liming, seeding with lowland grass, gully blocking, stabilisation with geotextiles and brash spreading.

For some examples of ecosystems that definitely would not have/haven't been reinvigorated on their own, visit Moorhouse in Teesdale, the top of Kinder Scout, most of the Eastern Moors in the Peak, most of the land the Yorkshire Peat Partnership is working on, Knockfin Heights in Scotland, in fact have a look on Google earth at any area with bare peat and I can guarantee you that needs a restoration.

Some people use examples of slag heaps with plants on them etc, but this isn't really an example of nature recovering - it's an example of nature surviving.

Duckditch, there is no doubt some papers that present evidence of benefits from shoot management and pheasant stocking for woodland ecology. That's because if you ask a scientist a question you're likely to get three answers. Have a gander at the GWCT site. 

The problem with all of these discussions on land management is that we must first decide what we want from the land.

Do we want upland heath, moor, and bog to provide clean water and carbon sequestration benefits? Then we need to rewet them and embark on peatland restoration programmes. This doesn't necessarily exclude hunting, but probably does exclude driven grouse.

Do we want our uplands peatlands to trend to their "natural" successional state, which appears to be birch scrub followed by eventual forest? Fine, but we'd probably have to take radical actions to offset the carbon losses this would entail - perhaps completely banning cars and aeroplanes.

I suppose there's also the option of keeping grouse moors as they are, which entails us paying higher water bills and offsetting the other associated negatives. In which case dig ditches and burn away!

Other options include true "rewilding" (just leaving them) which would result in wildfire, carbon loss and heather monocultures.

If we were really imaginative we could convert it to productive land and lead the world in cranberry production!
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: droid on September 25, 2020, 08:27:02 pm
Can you explain the process and how it is possible?

Yes.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: JasonC on September 26, 2020, 05:27:57 pm
.....Whereas admiring your killing skills against the  pheasant in a battle of wits, gun against beak turns a decent profit.

Whatever pheasant-shooting is (besides a disgusting exhibition of wealth), it isn't a battle of wits.  Pheasants must be the stupidest birds in creation, to judge by the number that hurl themselves into traffic.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 26, 2020, 05:40:30 pm
Closely followed by (& related to) chickens, but they tend to be more contained.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: ChrisJC on September 26, 2020, 09:46:45 pm
I'm enjoying the mixing of the two arguments here - blatant classism (jealousy?) and the ecology of abandoned landscapes!

Chris.
 
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Big Bad Botch on September 27, 2020, 10:53:25 am
I think that part of what is misinforming this debate is the classic idea of a single 'climax' community. The desire to keep nature in a single 'ideal' state (especially closed canopy forest!) is what gets us into trouble a lot of the time. The current prevailing idea is of a natural cycle, with a pioneer and mature stage as in the classical model, but with two stages of destruction (e.g. wildfire) and restructure (e.g. decomposition) completing the cycle. This restructure is where ecosystems can shift to a different organisation to adapt to changing conditions. Trying to suppress the destruction is generally what leads to larger collapse (e.g. building up of fuel load leading to unprecedented fires). For the seminal paper (with examples) on this see Holling 1994 'Simplifying the Complex' (for the full paper try scihub).

Suffice to say, I don't really believe in woodlands being our ideal state, especially on peat lands. The natural state would likely be something more akin to your deer forests, with patches of mature vegetation and different habitats e.g. grassland between - variation in the stages of the cycle in both time and space, with different 'climax' stable species assemblages. Modern ecological science believes that for one set of conditions there can be a number of stable states of an ecosystem for a given set of conditions, with the previous states determining which state is currently present. (see the science of tipping points e.g. Scheffer 2009 for some quite interesting but dense information on this).

The summary of this rambling is that I don't think that 2xw is either advocating keeping grouse moors as it's easier, or that humans know better for the ecosystem. It's simply that there are multiple 'climax' ecosystems that could be occupying this land, principally a deciduous forest or a blanket bog. One of these (the forest) will involve the release of a shedload of stored carbon currently in the form of peat as the soils dry out. However with the state that we've left the peat in, it is more likely to naturally succeed to forest (Though it is worth pointing out that neither end point is no more or less 'natural' than the other - it really depends on where you place the goalposts). It is not easy to shift the system back to blanket bog, but the end point is theoretically achievable in our climatic conditions, and has a massive benefit in terms of carbon storage, water quality, flood prevention, wildfire reduction.

Me and 2xw both have worked on the moors and seen the reality of this work. It is ecological engineering on a massive scale, with gully blocking, reseeding etc as previously mentioned; but is justifiable in my opinion. However, someone needs to pay for it (currently in the Peak this is in no small part an EU Life grant). The grouse moors are unlikely to pay too much towards it as it interferes with their sport. It is very unsurprising that a system designed for the fun of the rich few is not well designed for the needs of the many who actually live near the moors. Of course it is a very complicated question with many different stakeholders (e.g. what happens when the moors are too wet for the ramblers to cross Kinder Scout?). And it is certainly not rewilding......
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: RobinGriffiths on September 27, 2020, 03:09:56 pm
I was walking up past Old Gang and round the back of Surrender yesterday and there were tons of new grouse butts, with loads of new timer for building more. All the butts seem to be next to the track, so I guess someone ferries the 'sportsmen' up in a lanrover, and they stagger a few metres to their butt.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Fjell on September 28, 2020, 08:29:31 am
I was walking up past Old Gang and round the back of Surrender yesterday and there were tons of new grouse butts, with loads of new timer for building more. All the butts seem to be next to the track, so I guess someone ferries the 'sportsmen' up in a lanrover, and they stagger a few metres to their butt.

It is somewhat dwarfed by the 3 million who go fishing. I see little difference except the average cost. Paying to shoot is a bit naff really. One should only shoot on ones own land, or reciprocally with acquaintances. Top end fishing is certainly more posh and expensive than grouse shooting.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: 2xw on September 28, 2020, 08:30:16 am
If anyone's interested in some of the eco-philosoohy, there's Monbiots "feral" which argues for (British) rewilding, and for the counterpoint there's an essay "the problem with wilderness" by Cronon here: http://www.williamcronon.net/writing/Trouble_with_Wilderness_Main.html#:~:text=But%20the%20trouble%20with%20wilderness,its%20devotees%20seek%20to%20reject.&text=If%20we%20allow%20ourselves%20to,place%20where%20nature%20is%20not (http://www.williamcronon.net/writing/Trouble_with_Wilderness_Main.html#:~:text=But%20the%20trouble%20with%20wilderness,its%20devotees%20seek%20to%20reject.&text=If%20we%20allow%20ourselves%20to,place%20where%20nature%20is%20not).
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Fjell on September 28, 2020, 08:53:48 am
If anyone's interested in some of the eco-philosoohy, there's Monbiots "feral" which argues for (British) rewilding, and for the counterpoint there's an essay "the problem with wilderness" by Cronon here: http://www.williamcronon.net/writing/Trouble_with_Wilderness_Main.html#:~:text=But%20the%20trouble%20with%20wilderness,its%20devotees%20seek%20to%20reject.&text=If%20we%20allow%20ourselves%20to,place%20where%20nature%20is%20not (http://www.williamcronon.net/writing/Trouble_with_Wilderness_Main.html#:~:text=But%20the%20trouble%20with%20wilderness,its%20devotees%20seek%20to%20reject.&text=If%20we%20allow%20ourselves%20to,place%20where%20nature%20is%20not).

Monbiot is increasingly tiresome. The UK has barely half the land area of Montana (as an example), with 60 times the population. The reality of England in particular is that we are talking about small nature preserves for recreation and general ambiance amongst an urban and intensive agricultural environment. We should do what it is possible, but there needs to be a sense of reality that is often absent in Islington.

Articles that effectively advocate using granite as aquifers make your eyes roll a bit. Cut and paste Google engineering doesn’t always work. Someone needs to tell him that trees are not always an optimal end point.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: pwhole on September 28, 2020, 11:45:38 am

It is somewhat dwarfed by the 3 million who go fishing. I see little difference except the average cost. Paying to shoot is a bit naff really. One should only shoot on ones own land, or reciprocally with acquaintances. Top end fishing is certainly more posh and expensive than grouse shooting.

A few years ago I was invited to join a local fishing club on a Derbyshire river and it was £500 joining fee, plus £200 a season - limited to 16 people a year on a 2-mile stretch, with loads of restrictions on tackle and technique. I pointed out that I can fish on the River Don, more or less identical in stock, geography and general natural beauty, from Deepcar near Stocksbridge to Meadowhall retail park, halfway to Rotherham, for free - about 15 miles in total. Of course most people who pay to fish won't fish that area because it's free - and it's not in Derbyshire. It's still full of trout and grayling though.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: al on September 28, 2020, 12:23:25 pm
Monbiot is increasingly tiresome.

He certainly is. These days we need more more like him to question attitudes.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: ILT on September 28, 2020, 12:34:56 pm
Whatever pheasant-shooting is (besides a disgusting exhibition of wealth), it isn't a battle of wits.  Pheasants must be the stupidest birds in creation, to judge by the number that hurl themselves into traffic.

Generally a fascinating thread and the suicidal pheasants intrigue me.
Male pheasants will trot along in front of the car until getting hit. Females tend to head off the road when approached.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: Fulk on September 28, 2020, 01:32:53 pm
Well, I can’t say I associate such daft behaviour with pheasants (and there are a lot of them around our part of the world).
For another take on pheasant psychology consider this little anecdote: several months ago (pre-lockdown) Miranda and I were out somewhere in the Dales when we came across two pheasants at the side of the road, one of which was dead, having been killed by a vehicle, I suppose; I can’t remember whether it was the male or the female. Anyway, the still-alive one was walking round and round the body, frequently going in close to it to nuzzle it and try to get it to stand up, I guess. It was obvious to us that the live bird was grieving for its mate.
Title: Re: Trespass
Post by: mikem on September 28, 2020, 02:25:55 pm
Although pheasants don't really go in for pairing up, so another possibility is that it was eating insects from around the corpse.

They don't have any road sense at this time of year as they have generally been kicked out of a large pen where they have been protected & fed since hatching.