Buzzards flying over the North York Moors

Great videos sent in of 4 buzzards flying over the North York Moors.

Buzzards are the most common and widespread UK bird of prey.  They are classed as a green status bird meaning they are a regularly occurring species and we are frequently receiving images and videos of them on the North York Moors.

The buzzard is a large bird with broad, rounded wings with a short neck and tail.  When gliding and soaring a buzzard often holds its wings in a shallow ‘V’ and it’s tail is fanned.

Beware – Moorland Monitors arrive at the North York Moors

Over the last 24 hours I have received through to the page so many messages of support in the work that we do.

This has come about due to the arrival of a new Facebook page entitled North York Moors Moorland monitors, as you can see from the photo below it has been created to target Grouse Shooting Estates.

NYMMO prides itself in answering any question that is thrown at us, we have never banned a follower or do we hide any comments.  Unfortunately the same cannot be said for this newly created group, following the comments that were posted since its creation we were heartened to see over 80% of the comments (yes we counted them) were pro grouse moors and were stating facts not fiction.  However all of these comments have now been removed from the page leaving only negative comments and the individuals have been banned. This obviously shows a real one sided argument and the North York Moors Moorland monitors is most definitely not looking to portray both sides of the story but give a very biased portrayal.

We would like to inform as many people as we can as to the creation of this group and let them know their LACK of morals. They have also used the North York Moors National Park logo to make it look like the parks are in agreeance with what they are doing.

Don’t be fooled.


Local Farmer sows crops around Lapwing nests

This local farmer has marked the Red Listed Lapwing nests so he can sow his crops around them.  The markers were then removed as the crows would soon pick up there’s a free meal about and currently as the general licences have been revoked the farmer would just have to sit back and watch the crows have their lunch!



Local MP Rishi Sunak talks Natural England Licences

Local North Yorkshire MP Rishi Sunak sheds further light and much needed hope for the future with regards to the Natural England revocation of General Licences.

This article is 100% worth reading and if what Rishi envisages happening does then things may just not be quite as bad as we anticipated.

Any further updates that I receive throughout the day I will post directly onto the page to try and keep everyone as up to date as possible with the latest happenings, please share and spread the word to the wider community.

We are now facing an even bigger threat

After the devastating wildfires that have hit moorland and woodland already this year we are now facing an even greater threat.

The first lapwing chicks of the year were spotted yesterday and their chances of survival have now been drastically reduced.  Lapwings are a red listed species meaning they are of the highest conservation priority and yet as of tonight we are unable to protect them from some of their biggest dangers.

We are looking to Natural England today to issue a simple license application that can be processed through quickly so all the gamekeepers, pest controllers, farmers and land managers can get back to doing what they do best and that is looking after the countryside and it’s wildlife.

This time of year is crucial as it is the start of the ground nesting birds breeding season and is also when crops are starting to grow, the temporary revocation today of these general licences will undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on wildlife as essential predator control will be unable to take place.

Come on Natural England, give us some good news, with a simple licence application form that can be filled in quickly and processed in record time.


Natural England revoke General Licences

Yesterday’s surprise announcement from Natural England to revoke General Licences, GL04 (for the prevention of serious damage to crops and livestock), GL05 (for prevention of disease and ensuring public safety) and GL06 (for conservation purposes) as of today Wednesday 24th April it will have massive impacts to a wide range of sectors, not just gamekeepers but the likes of farmers, pest controllers and anyone else who relies on these licences for the routine control of these problem birds.
This change is a result of Wild Justice who served a pre-action letter to Natural England to JR it’s decision to allow people to rely on the general licence having as a method of controlling the following target species once they have exhausted any other reasonable methods.   The following are the key moorland species that will be affected, Crows, Jackdaws, Feral and Wood Pigeons, Jays, Lesser Black-Backed Gulls, Magpies, Rooks and Canada Geese.  This effectively means that after today our #LarsenTraps and Crow cages will become illegal to catch corvids.
As of tomorrow (Thursday 25th April) anyone can apply for an individual license and Natural England have confirmed they will look to get these new workable licences issued after next Monday (29th April), however I’m not sure how they intend on processing the thousands of applications which I expect them to receive so application times may go up quite drastically.
NYMMO believe it is simply unacceptable to remove this vital management tool used by all our gamekeepers at such a crucial time of the year for all the ground nesting birds and to drop this bombshell without any consultation is a complete failure by Natural England.
We would urge you all to complain directly to Natural England either by telephone on 0300 060 3900 (lines open from 8.30am) or by email direct to their complaints section on, and with this hopefully they will realise the extent of what they have instigated and make them think before they make their next move.
We would also encourage individuals to contact their local MP’s to highlight their concerns and also the absolute lack of discussion prior to the decision, all you need is your full name and address on the email.
The harsh reality is that unless this situation is rectified quickly then many Red Listed species along with Game Birds and Song Birds will definitely face decline.

Warnings ignored, another fire on the moors

The Met Office’s Fire Severity Index (FSI) is an assessment of how severe a fire could become if one were to start and NOT of the risk of wildfires occurring.  The current FSI has now reached High to Very High.

Despite this and the fact that there are several headline making wildfires across the country this weekend people are still not heeding this warning and acting responsibly.

Our gamekeepers were alerted to a wild fire on the North York Moors yesterday afternoon which they managed to bring under control without the need for the fire service. This is not down to luck this is because of 2 main reasons.

1. The fire was on managed moorland so because of the controlled cool burning that is undertaken by the gamekeepers there are essential firebreaks in place to help stop the fire spreading.

2. Because of the recent extremely dry conditions, the heat wave of the Easter weekend and the anticipated increase in visitors to the North York Moors the gamekeepers have been on standby to deal with any wildfires should they occur.

This fire was brought under control and then the keepers assessed the area and found the remains of a barbecue and a pile of rubbish which had been very kindly left.  Please be extra vigilant, if you see smoke then ring 999 immediately and if you see any individuals acting irresponsibly please alert the police.


Predator Control for All Ground Nesting Birds

As nesting time is now upon us, the gamekeepers are paying extra attention to the control of Carion Crows, Magpies, Rooks, Jackdaws and Jays.  These birds are the ones that would normally “suck” the eggs so pose a big threat to the breeding success of rare red listed waders and all the ground nesting birds.

Various traps are used on estates for predator control and the type of traps in these photos have live decoy birds inside them. As we are in the full swing of the Easter holidays and the weather is absolutely tropical the moors will undoubtedly have substantially more visitors than usual so we are trying to highlight why we use these traps.

Traps are an essential piece of equipment for gamekeepers and the traps used are 100% legal. The traps have food, water and shelter for the live bird inside which is used as the “decoy” to attract similar birds. Once any birds have been caught they are then removed from the trap and humanely dispatched by the gamekeeper and these traps are checked at least once every 24 hours.

PLEASE do not interfere with these or any other traps that are found whilst walking on the moors as this will impact and hinder the breeding success of all the #GroundNestingBirds on the moors.

Moors which are managed for grouse see “ALL” ground nesting birds given the best chance of breeding success and work by the gamekeepers is continually done to provide the best habitat possible and minimise the risk of attacks by predators.

World Curlew Day

Today we celebrate World Curlew Day.

We are very fortunate that we can go out onto the North York Moors and Curlews can be seen regularly and this is in no doubt by coincidence, they are benefitting from the all the hard work that is put in daily by our gamekeepers.

There are eight species of curlew worldwide and two are assumed extinct.  The Eskimo and the Slender-Billed have not been seen for decades.  Out of the remaining six species, three are at risk of extinction – the Eurasian, the Bristle-thighed and the Far Eastern are all listed on the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species.  It is no exaggeration to say that many parts of the earth will lose curlews over the next few decades.

Curlews are iconic birds of wild, wet, evocative places – estuaries, mountain slopes, moorland, meadowland and coast.  They have inspired poets, artists, musicians and writers for generations.

April 21 is designated as World Curlew day, it is a grass-roots initiative, supported by major environmental organisations, to raise awareness of the plight of curlews and to encourage activities to help them.

The RSPB say “The curlew is the largest European wading bird, instantly recognisable on winter estuaries or summer moors by its long, downcurved bill, brown upperparts, long legs and evocative call.”