Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Moy Estate raid update and Skibo Castle Estate worker fined

Moy Estate - see post of 4 June 2010 'Moy Estate raided'.

When police raided the estate last June they found an estate worker with a dead red kite which, he said, he'd found in a trap set for stoats and weasels. The bird had not been poisoned but the worker had put the bird a Land Rover and did not tell his manager, the RSPB or police. The former apprentice gamekeeper has been fined £1500 at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Also at Inverness Sheriff court this week, an estate worker at the exclusive Skibo Castle estate has been fined £3300 for possession of the banned insecticide Carbofuran. He had 10kg, enough to "wipe out the entire Scottish golden eagle and red kite populations several times over" according to the RSPB. It was accepted that the worker had no part in the deaths of two golden eagles and a sparrow hawk found on the estate in May 2010, otherwise the Sheriff would have imprisoned him.

Neither Moy nor Skibo Estates appear to have been held accountable for the actions of their employees. At least I can find no reports saying so.

What with landowners in the Highlands queuing up to allow wind power station developments and reports such as the above, it is all very depressing.

Source: BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter Steven McKenzie


  1. In most walks of life it's the managers or the guys at the top who take the punishment when their staff do something wrong - and quite rightly so as they are the ones over-seeing everything. It seems that this "former" apprentice gamekeeper (he has been fired?) has carried the can. Seems grossly unfair.

    As for Skibo... the owner should be imprisoned for such a serious offence!

  2. As you say owners/directors are responsible in other walks of business life but it seems estate owners are immune. Mind you, given that they are allowed to rip up fragile vegetation, bulldoze roads across hillsides, pour tonnes and tonnes of concrete into vast holes in said hillsides all in the name of 'green energy', I'm not really surpised.

    I'm assuming that'former'means that he's been fired rather than that he was an apprentice at another time in another job. The article doesn't explicitly say he was fired.

    I also wonder about the fines: £1500 for the Moy worker for not saying he'd found a dead red kite and only just over double for the Skibo guy for possession of a lethal poison capable of destroying the golden eagle and red kite populations many times. The estates should be crucified.

    This blog was set up to record climbing and walking activities - things of pure joy - but it seems to have become a thing of doom, gloom and deep depression! Maybe a new template and a new beginning is needed.

  3. On the face of it, the laddie seems to have been hard done by - surely an apprentice should be working under supervision at all times?
    The Skibo case, however beggars belief. Three poisoned eagles found on the estate. A pegged-out grouse laced with carbofuran. The "Sporting Manager" (head keeper ?) found with a 10k tub of the stuff. Jeez, what more do they need to jail somebody !

  4. Much less costly to "pay-off" an employee to take the blame.
    Regards, Le Loup.

  5. Gibson, like yourself I became aware that my blog was becoming less and less about the recreational aspects of walking and was becoming dominated by issues and concerns. Unfortunately it's a reflection of what's going on at the moment and the way we're being affected by it.

    With regard to the activities of these rogue gamekeepers, I'm an advocate of corporate responsibility; whether it's Railtrack, B.P. or shooting estates. The landowners should be accountable for the actions of their employees, who may or may not be acting under instruction.