Gamekeepers and farmers hit back at United Utilities

Angry farmers and gamekeepers have hit back against their landlords with a damning report.

Called ‘United Utilities at Haweswater’, the document examines failures by landowners United Utilities and Lowther Estates, and their consultant the RSPB. It details how the landowners are driving tenant farmers out of business, how their tree planting schemes are failing with trees dying and hundreds of thousands of plastic sleeves are left littering moorland.

It predicts major wildfires from the landowners’ removal of sheep and refusal to create firebreaks.

This film shows the countryside littered with discarded plastic from tree planting undertaken on part of the site.


United Utilities responds saying it doesn’t recognise the report, and adds that it has won awards for its Haweswater partnership with the RSPB. A United Utilities spokesperson says: “This report has been produced by a pro-shooting campaign group who are unhappy that we are carrying out an independent review into whether shooting should continue on our water catchment land.  We don’t recognise its claims about the award-winning work of our long-standing Haweswater partnership with the RSPB – which is successfully restoring landscape and biodiversity and protecting drinking water for a quarter of the North West region.” 

The RSPB and Lowther Estate declined to comment.

Click here to read the report and find out more about the farmers’ and gamekeepers’ campaign.


Download the PDF [1.7MB] here

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