British Moorlands

Modern benefits

The benefits of a modern automatic checking system are as follows:

More effective predation control achieved at lower cost.

Intensive management is now possible via:

Barrier Trapping – lines of traps alongside trouble spots such as forestry blocks and unkeepered land on the marches.

Saturation Trapping – areas of difficult access can be trapped or monitored as daily visits are not needed.

Area Trapping – unkeepered ground could change when neighbours see a cost effective system running next door and start up a similar programme.
More of the keeper’s time can be spent on using his skills to manage the moor giving better results, and increased job satisfaction.

Raptors – A general reduction of crows and foxes over a large area could lead to licenses for raptor control if significant predation of rare ground nesting moorland birds still continues. This is most unlikely to happen while the main damage is being done by the large number of crows and foxes now rampant in┬ámany parts of the British Isles.

Vandalism of traps – Is reduced because the keeper can no longer be watched to see where he goes to each trap, and there are no foot prints/vehicle tracks to give away the location. Vandals can now be caught on camera (see Camerachecker) identified and the picture used for prosecution evidence.
The system is more humane since the keeper knows, from his read-out, which traps have catches and he can visit these first.

More reliable – The system is not affected by access problems in bad weather, illness etc.

More acceptable to authorities – Full records of trap checking available with no chance of “editing” the records. The fact that the job is well done and can be seen to be genuine, will reduce the pressure to ban snares. Risk assessment is provided and user’s Competence Certificates after training.

Wildlife benefits from predator control are well known. Now that this is really practical and cost effective more uplands could re-instate keepers leading to a better national wildlife scene and more keeper’s jobs.

Automatic remote trap checking is used by Nature Scot (formerly SNH) in its mink control campaigns.

Next section: Equipment

British Moorlands