Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS TIMES to 80360 or email us
Illegal snares claim at Neston Park Estate angers estate owner
The owner of a country estate near Corsham is fuming after being named and shamed in a report exposing cruel and inhumane methods of animal control.
The League Against Cruel Sports has claimed the 4,500-acre Neston Park Estate, owned by Sir James Fuller, was using dozens of snares, many set on dragpoles and attached to barbed wire fences, which breaches guidelines set by the British Association of Shooting and Conservation.
The allegations, made in the pressure group’s War on Wildlife report due to be published on Monday, have been refuted by Sir James, who said he was angered and hurt and claimed it would tarnish the estate’s reputation.
Sir James said: “We run an organic farm at the estate and sell organic produce at Neston Park Farm Shop as well as having a nature trail for members of the public to see wildlife close up.
“Nobody has approached us to highlight anything and I have no idea where these things have supposed to have taken place.
“It is very frustrating and painful after everything we have done to promote wildlife and conservation, including recently signing up to the Countryside Stewardship Scheme.”
The stewardship scheme is a Defra initiative where land owners pledge to manage their land in environmentally friendly way in return for annual payments. One of the conditions is a commitment to improving and extending wildlife habitats.
Sir James, whose wife Lady Venetia Fuller opened the farm shop in November 2006, said he would be happy to speak to anyone who knows of snares on the estate, as he would be the first person to stand up against illegal snaring.
He said: “We do use a small number of legal snares for pest control to control the number of vermin on the land and prevent any of our wildlife being affected by them.”
The league said it carried out the investigation on the estate in 2008, along with several other estates across the UK.
The War on Wildlife report, to be published on Monday, names sporting estates which it claims are slaughtering wildlife at an unprecedented rate in order to protect valuable game bird stocks for commercial shooting.
Comments are closed on this article.