RSPB slams Bear Grylls style amateur adventurers

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RSPB rangers have criticised outdoor survival enthusiasts for destroying ancient Scottish woodland in the Cairngorms 

25th August 2017 by Georgina Harris 1 Comment

Amateur advernturists inspired by celebrities like Bear Grylls are damaging some of Scotland’s oldest woodlands, according to RSPB rangers.

A ranger from the RSPB has said people trying to create a survival experience in the Scottish countryside have chopped down a number of pine trees and ripped up whole areas of moss in the Cairngorms.

The area in question is the Abernethy National Nature Reserve in the Cairngorms National Park, an ancient piece of woodland which is home to a number of endangered species.

The charity claims it has pictures that reveal that amateur outdoor survivalists chopping down pine trees to shelter from the wind, and ripping all the moss off a tree to make somewhere for themselves to sit around a camp fire.

The RSPB claims that wild campers have been increasingly destructive, some even illegally chopping down trees with chainsaws. They blame the influence of celebrity adventurers like Bear Grylls.

Alison Greggans, community ranger for the RSPB who discovered the damage at the nature reserve, said: “This is sheer madness. I think Ray Mears or Bear Grylls came to Abernethy this weekend. This is criminal damage and, as land owners, the RSPB would be in a position to prosecute.

“Bush craft skills are all over TV and social media with high profile celebrities doing survival shows. They’re encouraging people to go out into the wild and try these things but what they’re really missing and lacking is the follow-up message of not leaving behind damage.

“In this most recent incident, fishing wire had also been tied around a tree with weighted bait in the nearby loch. It’s unthinkable what would have happened if an animal was to come along and get caught up in that.”

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28th August 2017 by Calum Munro

As much as I respect the work of the RSPB in Strathnethy I fear that this staff member has looked for a quick headline by taking the names of Bear Grylls and Ray Mears into her justified complaint. I have never seen any of Bear Grylls productions but I have seen a few programmes by Ray Mears and benefitted from attending one of his lectures. I have rarely seen somebody so in tune with nature nor speak so eloquently on the need to protect and nurture it.The RSPB anger is justified but their case is not aided by attacking folk who actual promote the sensible and sensitive use of the countryside.