NG BAILEY will end its grouse shooting lease on Denton Moor following lobbying by Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors.

The Ilkley-based engineering firm has written to the campaign group saying that its grouse shooting arrangements on the Denton Park Estate, Wharfedale, would be brought to an end.

The decision follows a string of wildlife persecution incidents on the moor, which NG Bailey condemned as “totally unacceptable” and “not reflective of the company’s values or ethical practices”. The gamekeeper employed by the grouse shooting tenant was convicted at Skipton Magistrates Court last month following a badger being killed in an illegal snare.

A marsh harrier was also shot at and had its nest destroyed by suspected gamekeepers in 2017, although no charges were brought following difficulty identifying the perpetrators.

Ending grouse shooting on Denton Moor has been backed by wildlife conservation organisations including Wharfedale Naturalists Society, Bradford Ornithological Group, Yorkshire Naturalists Union and the League Against Cruel Sports.

David Hurcomb, Chief Executive of NG Bailey, said in a letter to Luke Steele, spokesperson for Ban Blood Sports on Yorkshire’s Moors: “NG Bailey is aware of the prosecution of Austin Hawke, the gamekeeper who is employed by and works for the tenants.

“To clarify, Austin Hawke is not employed by Denton Park Estate. As a business, we find this behaviour totally unacceptable and do not condone this type of conduct - it is not reflective of the company’s values or ethical practices.”

He added: “We have advised the tenants that under no circumstances will the lease be renewed when it expires.”

Mr Steele said: “NG Bailey’s drive to boost wildlife on its home estate by ending its grouse shooting lease on Denton Moor is highly commendable. By seeking out new opportunities to enhance wildlife and habitat in this beautiful part of the region, The company has demonstrated a clear commitment to ensuring its environmental policies are fit for the future.

“Sadly, in recent years NG Bailey’s vision has been undermined by a grouse shoot which does not share the desire to conserve wildlife and habitat.

“The decision to not renew grouse shooting rights on Denton Moor is not only well supported, but ensures the company can move forward without this considerable burden.”