Disreputable ‘Wild Justice’ Lose Again

BY NICK PEARCE

From the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust:

Four of the gamekeeping community’s key membership organisations recently announced they would be donating £1,100.00 to the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust (GWT), saying on social media “This charity gives fantastic assistance to those who do the hard yards to manage the countryside on our behalf.”

The donation came about as a result of Wild Justice’s attempt to judicial review England’s most recent burning legislation, the Heather and Grass Burning (England) Regulations 2021. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO), The Countryside Alliance and the Moorland Association were able to register as interested parties and to therefore submit evidence to the Judge. Mr Justice Dove dismissed the attempt and Wild Justice were ordered to pay Defra costs up to the sum of £8,900 and the interested parties £1,100.

BASC, NGO, The Countryside Alliance and the Moorland Association announced they would be donating their costs to GWT on 20 October. A spokesperson for the four organisations said “The interested parties have agreed that the costs recovered from Wild Justice will in turn be donated to the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust, a charity close to all our members’ hearts.”

Helen MJ Benson, GWT’s Chief Executive Officer, said “We’re delighted and very grateful to the four organisations. All donations are used to help the range of work we deliver with and for people in gamekeeping professions and members of their families. We work with gamekeepers, stalkers, ghillies and their families, providing a range of support including financial grants, employment help, counselling, and more. The last year or so has seen an increase in people contacting our free Jamie’s Helpline for a variety of reasons. As we move into 2022, our 30th year, we’ll be launching The Year of the Gamekeeper and a vital fundraising campaign to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our community. This donation, and all others, is gratefully received.”

GWT was established in 1992 to support gamekeepers, stalkers, ghillies and their dependents past and present. An overview of GWT’s work in support, finance, housing and employment with these professions can be found at www.thegamekeeperswelfaretrust.com