Sir John Gardiner, raven killer.

Well known classical music conductor and friend to Prince Charles is killing ravens on his Dorset farm. An application sent to Natural England by Sir Gardiner has been seen by “Stop the Cull”:

We will be lambing 1000 ewes outside and are
most concerned that we shall have a repetition of the
damage to our flock as experienced in the last two
years when we lost approx. 70 ewes and lambs per year
to ravens killing new born lambs and pecking eyes out
of ewes as they lamb.”

and his reasoning to kill continued:

As a commercial farming
business we are exposed to financial hardship through
losses of livestock. Also the welfare issues are
extremely important to us. Ewes with pecked out eyes
have to be put down, leaving orphan lambs, and great
numbers of lambs are killed or half

It’s difficult to believe that Sir Gardiner really understands what “financial hardship” means having inherited a farm (his father Rolf was one of the founders of the soil association and a suspected supporter of the Nazi party) and having a successful career as a conductor. Indeed his financial records for the farm show that he has over £300k cash in the bank and assetts in excess of £1million.

What was also very interesting was who Sir Gardiner employed to do the killing, 4 men, 3 of whom are known badger cull contractors:

Rob Burton, kills badgers in cages and free shooting, holds a shotgun and firearms licence.
Belvedere, Hartgrove, Shaftesbury, SP7 0LA
mob: 07780 665530

Andrew Gingell, has been involved in free shooting of badgers, holds a firearms licence.
Keepers Cottage, West Lodge, Iwerne Minster, Blandford Forum, DT11 8LE
mob: 07854 791645
email: .

Martin Coombes
, another one who is free shooting badgers and holds a firearms licence, believed to be killing in multiple badger cull zones.
Sutton Hill Farm Cottage, Iwerne Minster, Blandford Forum, DT11 8LG
mob: 07825 814296

A futher two men Andrew Eves and David Vincent, were both listed at Sir Gardiners home address of:
Gore Farm, Ashmore, SP5 5AR.
Sir John Gardiner email:
phone: 01747 811157

On the application to kill the ravens it was said of these men:

1 – Robert Burton – deer stalker
2 – Andrew Gingell – game keeper for 30 years +
3 – Martin Coombes – under game keeper
4 – Andrew Eves- 16 years experience of shooting vermin

What we find particularly odd is that the licence is for 5 people to kill 5 birds, there is no evidence offered that ravens are actually attacking sheep, they are well known to pick at dead animals but that isn’t proof they kill them and even if they did kill them, must we kill all the predators in this country so that some hobby farmers can make a few quid?

We know that Natural England approved this licence to kill 5 ravens, we can guess the level of monitoring to ensure the numbers were not exceeded..

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