Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 65 total)
  • Run in with local gamekeeper.. And scottish access laws
  • Premier Icon tpbiker
    Free Member

    Around Christmas time I posted about a run in with a gamekeeper on an estate close to my house. He said at time (whilst brandishing a shotgun!) That the estate was closed from oct to feb due to shooting season.

    Anyhows today I am out on same route and another gamekeeper on a quad bike flags me down and asks me to not cycle through the estate as there were lots of nesting birds..Which tbf there was, I’ve never seen So many grouse by the side of the roads.

    Now I’m not going to lie, my attitude towards rich folks breading birds simply so other rich folk can enjoy shooting them doesn’t exactly give me much sympathy for his cause. So I told him I had a right to pass through, I was going slowly and carefully, and his quad bike would disturb the grouse far more than my bike. He then said he was doing me a favour by not making me turn round and go back, my response to which was he couldn’t do that even if he’d wanted to.

    At this point it all got a bit nasty, he basically started shouting at me and calling me a f’ing xxxxhole, and in response I told him where to go and rode off. He then drove past me, did a uturn, and accelerated as fast as he could back towards me up the fairly narrow road, giving me very little space as he passed..(ironically all his grouse scattered as he reved as hard as he could!)

    Anyhow…half of me thinks what a total dick, I have every right to go there. But a bit of me thinks perhaps he was right and I shouldn’t be going down that path whilst there are so many birds about.

    I’m not sure my attitude towards the guy initially was great, but at same time him drivjng his quad at me at full pelt was really not on either. And more importantly, legally, does he have a point?

    What do the experts think..

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    Nothing helpful but what a prick.

    I’d raise a complainant with his employer

    Premier Icon jamesy01
    Free Member

    Two words…Group Ride 😈

    Premier Icon longdog
    Free Member

    Hard to say really without the context of location and being there, but he was obviously a dick in the end, but probably spurred on by your comments to be more so.

    Access rights are for responsible and respectful access. He may have had a point regarding the birds who may be habituated to him.

    In that situation I’d have just held my tongue and carried on my way. Maybe said yeh, I’d noticed them so was trying to ride cautiously and not disturb them.

    Premier Icon scuttler
    Full Member

    Anyhow…half of me thinks what a total dick, I have every right to go there. But a bit of me thinks perhaps he was right and I shouldn’t be going down that path whilst there are so many birds about.

    If I was you I’d do homework on what the legal view is with respect to access and temporary closures. These **** will tell you anything to suit their agenda** so don’t take it as true but definitely do your homework. Then if you are to make a complaint you’re doing it from the moral and legal high ground.

    ** Local gamekeeper told me I shouldn’t be riding where I was because it was an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) which was technically true – all 123 sq miles of the Dark Peak SSSI.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    a bit of me thinks perhaps he was right and I shouldn’t be going down that path whilst there are so many birds about.

    I’d agree, law or no it seemed a reasonable request. However…

    him drivjng his quad at me at full pelt was really not on either.

    … it was clearly an excuse and he didn’t give a shit about the birds.

    I’d raise a complainant with his employer

    If someone intentionally drove a quad bike directly at me at speed, I’d be raising a complaint with the police.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    If I was you I’d do homework on what the legal view is with respect to access and temporary closures.

    One would assume that this being the case the closures would be well signposted and publicised. Were they?

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Report it to the police. thats threatening behaviour at best, assult at worst and he has no right at all to try to remove you under access laws. If it was an endagered species then being responsible means avoiding them but grouse?

    area? angus glens perhaps?

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    This seems like the relevant bit but I think they were pushing it really

    The Access Code says:

    The grouse shooting season runs from 12 August to 10 December, with most shoots taking place during the earlier part of the season. You can help to minimise disturbance by being alert to the possibility of shooting on grouse moors and taking account of advice on alternative routes. Avoid crossing land where a shoot is taking place until it is safe to do so.

    Further information:

    Grouse moors are common on the rounder, heathery hills of the central and eastern Highlands.

    Responsible behaviour by land managers

    The Access Code says:

    Be aware of where recreational use is likely, such as along paths, popular routes and ridge lines. Where appropriate, tell people about where shooting is taking place by using signs and information boards (in accordance with this Code) to give on-the-day information on shoots and alternative routes.

    https://www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/practical-guide-all/field-sports/grouse-shooting

    Premier Icon Houns
    Full Member
    Premier Icon thegreatape
    Full Member

    FAC and SGC holders must not pose a threat to public safety. It doesn’t take much for them to lose their certificates, or fail to get them renewed. This would be a big problem for a gamekeeper. Perhaps it’s time this chap was reminded of this by his local police?

    Premier Icon tpbiker
    Free Member

    There was no closure, no signs, and there was no shooting going on.

    Report it to the police

    He wasn’t aiming to hit me, but he was clearly doing it in a threatening manner. You don’t accelerate as fast as you can down the middle of a narrow lane past a cyclist coming the other way for any other reason. That said I’m not sure the police will be particularly interested. Bit of a he said she said situation … And reporting to his boss will probably earn him a clap on the back for trying to protect their investment.

    Tj, raith estate in kirkcaldy..

    Premier Icon redmex
    Free Member

    Kirkcaldy oh boy

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    That said I’m not sure the police will be particularly interested.

    In isolation perhaps not. But if he makes a habit of it and there’s multiple complaints it’s harder for them to ignore.

    I mean, it’s the second time it’s happened just to you on that estate.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Arsehole.

    Our local gamekeepers are pretty cool, they’ll generally say exactly where the shoot will be that day, fine to ride anywhere else.

    Fine with me building in the woods too, even with the chainsaw.

    I’d have a word with the local council outdoor access officer, before the police.

    Premier Icon honeybadgerx
    Full Member

    One of the estates near me (south pentlands) has got a lot more ‘aggressive’ with signage, etc. since lockdown, saying no public right of way, etc. (Which is true, but doesn’t stop responsible access). If there’s an actual shoot on I don’t mind going another way as although I’m not a fan of bloodsports they’re currently legal so I’m not going to try and spoil someone else’s idea of a hobby. Outside of shoots though you can pretty much go where you want as long as you’re responsible. I’d say if you’re riding on a track then the chances of you disturbing anything special is pretty slim. As noted above, best reported to the Police so at least it’s logged but also cc the local outdoor access officer at the council too.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    Access Officer regarding the attempt to stop you.

    Police for the threatening behaviour.

    Ground nesting birds. In September…

    ****.

    Premier Icon tpbiker
    Free Member

    I mean, it’s the second time it’s happened just to you on that estate

    Different guy, but same place yeah. Last time round I just said fair enough I won’t do it again, but on advice from folks on here that he had no right to stop me that’s why I made a point of standing up for myself this time round.

    Tbh I’m tempted to get the police involved purely so that he may think twice before giving me grief should I ever venture back

    Premier Icon piemonster
    Full Member

    I’ve heard about that estate locally too so I don’t think it’s just you.

    Where you just on one of the obvious tracks through the estate?

    Premier Icon tpbiker
    Free Member

    Ground nesting birds. In September…

    ****.

    I have no idea when birds nest. There were an awful lot of them at side of road tbf. But they were fully grown..

    Either way, I’m sure I’ll be less of an annoyance to them than some rich city boy with a shotgun in a few months time!!

    Premier Icon tpbiker
    Free Member

    Where you just on one of the obvious tracks through the estate

    Yep, main route. Pretty much tarmaced route through the estate. I wasnt ploughing thtough the undergrowth on my bouncy bike at full tilt or anything. I was literally pootling through, making sure no birds ran out in front of me!

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    If I was you I’d do homework on what the legal view is with respect to access and temporary closures

    Temp closures need to be done legally and signed. You would not get a temp closure for this

    Access – this is scotland. The guidence on shooting estates is as above. If they are shooting they can ask you to use a different route. Otherwise ie no shoot that day – its open access so long as you obey the golden rule.

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Full Member

    I would have just laughed at his statement there’s nesting birds in September – so that’s why the shooting season starts in August then?

    There’s been very little shooting up here on Speyside, most pheasants have just ended up as roadkill…

    Premier Icon piemonster
    Full Member

    Yeh I know where you mean.

    Its no excuse, but I suspect part of the reason they’re so likely to go off the handle is having issues with kids all smashed up on Dragon Soop or whatever. So the just try and make it known as hostile ground.

    Premier Icon thegreatape
    Full Member

    Tbh I’m tempted to get the police involved purely so that he may think twice before giving me grief should I ever venture back

    That’s what I’d do – the thought of losing there certificates can be a compelling incentive not to be a dick to people.

    Premier Icon tpbiker
    Free Member

    Greatape, As I recall you are a copper arent you? Would this not be deemed a waste of your time? As in, I have zero proof so the guy could just deny it, and there’s not much the police can do.

    But if you think it’s worth reporting I’ll follow your steer

    Premier Icon scuttler
    Full Member

    I’d draw parallels with reporting dodgy or aggressive drivers. Enough reports can’t be ignored, not reporting because of indifference won’t move the situation on at all. The Peak District view on restrictions related to ground nesting (dogs on a short lead on open access land) cover March 1 to July 31.

    Premier Icon tpbiker
    Free Member

    Maybe I’m mistaken when I thought he said ground nesting. There were hundreds of birds and he had an issue with me disturbing them, but maybe I made up the ground nesting bit. But If not that, no idea what the issue is as it’s not shooting season there yet

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Its simply get off my land.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Full Member

    Local gamekeeper told me I shouldn’t be riding where I was because it was an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) which was technically true – all 123 sq miles of the Dark Peak SSSI.

    Not correct at all. SSSI status does not impede your right of access at all. It just means both you, and landowner, have to be extra considerate and responsible. Your right of responsible access remains unchanged. Your sssi will have a management statement which will include a section on access. If the landowner wants to remove that right they still need legal exemption which is very rare. I know tots as I have recently been challenging the same issue (and posted a thread about it)

    Premier Icon thegreatape
    Full Member

    Greatape, As I recall you are a copper arent you? Would this not be deemed a waste of your time? As in, I have zero proof so the guy could just deny it, and there’s not much the police can do.

    But if you think it’s worth reporting I’ll follow your steer

    I am. If you reported that in the area I work then someone would go and have a word with him, emphasising the standards expected of an FAC holder (i.e. a thinly veiled threat 😏). You could ask to make a formal complaint and give a statement, but as you say, if he denies it there’s insufficient evidence for any charges. That’s if the correct individual can be identified. People often report things and ask that we speak to the culprit, which more often than not we’ll do. I don’t think that approach is a waste of time – he shouldn’t be behaving like that and a telling won’t do him (or the head keeper of the estate) any harm.

    Whether they deal with things the same down in Fife, I don’t know I’m afraid. No harm in asking.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    I have no idea when birds nest. There were an awful lot of them at side of road tbf. But they were fully grown..

    Houns posted a link. Grouse nesting season is March / April to mid August, it ended over a month ago.

    no idea what the issue is as it’s not shooting season there yet

    Google would suggest it’s from the 12th of August until the end of November so it would seem that it is. It might not have started on that particular estate though of course.

    Premier Icon TroutWrestler
    Free Member

    I suspect that these are freshly imported Grouse, ready to be shot.

    I can’t recall seeing many (any?) Grouse in the Lomonds or the Ochils, so large numbers of naturally occurring Grouse on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy seems suspicious to me.

    Premier Icon donald
    Free Member

    I’m guessing the birds were actually partridges rather than grouse. Partridges are raised in enclosures then released in lowland fields and woodland shortly before someone pays to shoot them round about this time of year.
    Grouse are wild birds living on open moorland and don’t hang about in groups near roads.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of his actions I suspect the gamekeeper has been misinterpreted about ‘ground nesting’ vs ‘recently released’

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Cougar – its does not matter what the shooting season is – they only have the right to ask you to stay away from where they are shooting not the whole estate and only when they are shooting not for the whole season

    a few years ago I cycled right thru a shoot ( by accident) and stopped to check my map – they asked me politely to move on a bit to check my map as they couldn’t shoot while I was there. Thats reasonable

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    tpbiker – I suggest you organise a group ride

    Premier Icon piemonster
    Full Member

    I’m guessing the birds were actually partridges rather than grouse.

    Correct as far as I’ve seen personally, pheasant/partridge not grouse

    Premier Icon piemonster
    Full Member

    Fairly typical lane in the area https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3394868

    Premier Icon qwerty
    Free Member

    He then drove past me, did a uturn, and accelerated as fast as he could back towards me up the fairly narrow road, giving me very little space as he passed..(

    I’ve had this with a local farmer in Gloucestershire, I reported it online to the Police, they visited the farm to discuss the matter and then popped round to see me (I was out but they spoke with my wife). No action taken as it’s one word against another, but it will hopefully make him think twice before doing it again.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Good comments from thegreatape. Behaviour like that needs to get a friendly word of advice even if no further action can be taken.

    Looking enviously at Scottish access laws from down here – though the stupidity of some people in the countryside over lockdown makes me understand why similar access here may be an issue! – was there ever discussions around the legislation that if people abused the Scottish access rights, they might be reduced, or for balance, if landowners abused their rights to restrict, they might have them limited further?

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