Very concerned to see the latest announcement from the Langholm Project that gamekeeping will cease next month. Putting politics and bumbling mismanagement to one side, the Langholm Project has produced a phenomenal and growing spread of wildlife over the past seven years, and that boom has been the result of hard work from the gamekeepers and estate staff. The ecological positives hugely outweigh the political negatives, and on a personal note, I have many happy memories of watching birds at Langholm over the past few years.
Sadly, we already have good evidence from the first project to show what will happen if the plug has been permanently pulled, and I shudder to think what will become of the blackgame which have gone from strength to strength in the past few years. Unless we’re very careful, we’ll lose all that has been built on the moor. No harriers, no grouse, no blackgame and no winners.
Perhaps if nothing else, seeing the wheels come off for a second time would be a useful reality check for those determined few who are obsessed with making gamekeepers unemployed. But then again, Langholm is famous as a battleground by proxy – you very rarely read opinion put forward by people who have actually been there, let alone at 5am on an April morning. If you’re dead set against grouse shooting and want to see every gamekeeper in prison, you’re probably not in the mood to learn something new. Perhaps that has always been the problem.