Hutton Moor

This path across Hutton Moor provides a pleasant alternative from the hard gravel of the parallel forestry track on the other side of the fence. In spite of the heather moorland being Open Access Land the path is frequently used by dog walkers and mountain bikers. It is also a SSSI. A week ago I was running along it when suddenly I did a complete face plant into the heather. My foot had been caught in a snare. Quite a shock but no damage. It has happened to me once before, in an orienteering race in the Valley of Desolation near Skipton. On that occasion my skin was broken and I had a nasty weal. Last week however there were wounds I could boast of. Maybe I wasn’t running fast enough.

Fuming, I extricated my foot and dismantled the snare. It didn’t look like an amateur job. Not the work of kids playing at Bear Grylls. Steel wire with crimped ends pegged into the ground with ½” steel angle. Ten metres further on I found another and removed that one too. And then another. But this time the snare had caught a grouse. At least I think it was a grouse. Must have been there at least a week.

So I made a return visit today. All clear.

5 Replies to “Hutton Moor”

  1. This once happened to me twice within one week in completely separate locations on the moors. It’s a bit of a surprise when it happens. I thing it was probably a ‘running’ snare (no pun intended) rather than the illegal ‘locking’ snare and therefore perfectly legal. I understand and share your feelings however you may wish to edit this entry as you have committed a criminal offence by interfering with a legally set trap or snare.

    1. Thanks for that, John. I didn’t realise a distinction existed so googled and came across this page:

      I still have the snares. They’re in my scrap box ready for recycling. They have the little piece of angle as a runner as in the sketch but the wire has been passed through both holes (and the angle has been bent to make it more acute) but there is a stop to restrict the snare from tightening beyond a diameter of about 9 cm so I guess that makes it a locking snare.

      I also read that snares should be checked every 24 hours. Judging by the state of the grouse(?) that had been caught I don’t think these had been checked.


      1. The distinction between ‘running’ and ‘locking’ seems (intentionally?) vague. If the snare will relax when not pulled and simply not ratchet tighter and tighter then it is free running. See here –
        Almost certainly the snare was set for foxes. I came across a similar sequence set along an animal track just outside the northern boundary fence of Cropton Forest where it adjoins Wheeldale Moor, fortunately I wasn’t snagged. Nearby was a Larsen trap for crows and magpies which clearly hadn’t been checked in some time judging by the rotting carcasses. Again daily checks are specified. I emailed the NYMNP on the matter but received no reply (surprise!).

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