Help stop wildlife crim­i­nals

Middleton Guardian - - WILDLIFE -

THE north west has a bad rep­u­ta­tion for wildlife crime – it is some­thing The Wildlife Trust and its mem­bers have been try­ing to shake off for more than 50 years.

I am sure we are sup­ported by the ma­jor­ity of Mancs, Lancs and Scousers, but there are still some peo­ple in­tent on il­le­gally do­ing dam­age to the won­der­ful creatures that sur­round us.

Over the past month we have had re­ports of hare cours­ing on Lit­tle Woolden Moss in Cadishead.

Then a group of men were seen car­ry­ing guns on the same na­ture re­serve.

Let’s lay our cards on the ta­ble here – un­li­censed shoot­ing is not al­lowed on our na­ture re­serves. Hare cours­ing and hunt­ing are also banned on Wildlife Trust prop­er­ties.

In my opin­ion the peo­ple do­ing this are in­dulging in ac­tiv­i­ties which are cruel and self­ish.

If you want to hunt hares on our mosses then you are de­priv­ing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of the de­lights of see­ing these won­der­ful an­i­mals.

In April I watched as hares boxed and chased each other for more than half an hour, my im­me­di­ate emo­tions were de­light and won­der, not ‘I must shoot these creatures or set my dog on them’.

The peo­ple who il­le­gally go out hare cours­ing are not likely to be your av­er­age, friendly types and if you see them you should not ap­proach or re­proach them.

Sim­i­larly, it is un­wise to warn off peo­ple car­ry­ing shot­guns if they ap­pear to be in places they shouldn’t be.

They know they shouldn’t be there and wouldn’t ap­pre­ci­ate your in­volve­ment.

How­ever we do want you to re­port these ac­tiv­i­ties to the po­lice.

If you see a small group of peo­ple – even two – with lurchers head­ing on to one of our na­ture re­serves please in­form the po­lice on 101. If you see peo­ple with guns on pub­lic or Wildlife Trust prop­erty dial 999.

We un­der­stand that in the present cli­mate, wildlife crime is not high on the po­lice agenda and re­sources are stretched to the limit, but this type of crime still needs re­port­ing and of­fi­cers will in­ves­ti­gate se­ri­ous cases like this.

Just to stress, our mes­sage is re­port these ac­tiv­i­ties but, please, do not ap­proach the peo­ple in­volved.

Your ac­tions could even­tu­ally help us to put an end to il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties like hare cours­ing on na­ture re­serves that are main­tained to pro­tect wildlife.

Most of us want to watch brown hares in the wild, most of us ap­pre­ci­ate the creatures that make the north west such a beau­ti­ful place.

To sup­port the work of the Wildlife Trust for Lan­cashire, Manch­ester and North Mersey­side, text WILD09 with the amount you want to do­nate to 70070.

Hare cours­ing on Wildlife Trust prop­er­ties is il­le­gal

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