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News update: Estate for sale after 700 years. Plus good news on hare coursing legislation

Ollie Harvey reports on the Rothbury Estate sale and Charlotte Peters on recent fines to hare coursers

Rothbury Estate

The Rothbury Estate has been in the same family since the 1330s

Estate up for sale after 700 years in same family

A prime Northumberland estate has come on the market. Shooting Times readers will be interested in the grouse shooting, the pheasants and salmon on the Coquet.

However, it is also being advertised as the “single largest ring-fenced carbon offsetting opportunity to come to the market”. Carbon offsetting gives businesses the opportunity to buy carbon credits generated by projects that are cleaning up our atmosphere, to compensate for their own emissions.

The 9,500-acre Rothbury Estate, which is on the market for £35m, has been owned by the Percy family since the 1330s, and the sale is proving controversial. Northumberland county councillor Steven Bridgett said: “Just what we need. More land being flogged off to corporations, so they can offset their carbon no opportunity for the next generation to work the land.”

Northumberland-based gamekeeper Lindsay Waddell remarked: “The worry for those employed and who live locally is that it will simply become yet part of another carbon-offset pot bought by those who have no interest in the cultural heritage or employment of the area.” OH

Brown hare

New legislation around hare coursing is looking to be a success

Hare coursers fined £10,000

Three hare coursers in Lincolnshire have been ordered to pay £10,000 in kennelling costs after being convicted under new legislation that came through last summer after a campaign by our very own Ed Coles (Cambridgeshire gamekeeper and Shooting Times car reviewer). The £10,000 will go towards looking after and housing the men’s dogs, which the public purse would have historically had to cover.

The men were also made the subject of Criminal Behaviour Orders lasting five years and each given four months’ custodial sentences (suspended for two years) and disqualified from driving for six months. All had previous poaching convictions.

Earlier this year, two other men were ordered to pay more than £12,000 after being charged with hare coursing offences and were the first people to be convicted in Lincolnshire under the new laws.

Ed Coles, speaking to the Editor, said that these new measures are putting some people off. However, it seems that some coursers just can’t give it up.

Chief Inspector Steve Williamson, Lincolnshire force lead for rural crime, said: “Our rural crime action team, which is committed to bringing rural crime offenders to justice, will continue to patrol rural areas and our officers will continue to attend reports of hare coursing.” CP