Do not read if you are easily offended

Three weeks ago Chris Packham posted this image – it’s the three Wild Justice co-directors, Mark Avery, Chris Packham and Ruth Tingay – giving our support to Henry Morris and friends who were running across grouse moors in northern England to highlight the plight of Hen Harriers and to raise money for Wild Justice. By the way, their crowdfunder has raised over £12,000 already and has just a few more days to run.

Our photograph was then posted on Facebook by Andy Richardson who describes himself as an ‘ex-headkeeper come conservationist’.

There then followed a stream of abusive comments from a variety of people, most of whom self-identify as members of the shooting and/or fishing community. We post these comments here just to illustrate the type of abuse that the three of us get routinely – the examples posted below are the tip of a very large iceberg and no doubt will be written off by others as being just a few bad apples.

This type of abuse is made on open access social media and can be read by anyone. That means that the authors of the following comments are quite happy, in theory, that their girlfriends, wives, mothers, grandmothers children, workmates, friends and anyone else in the world should read them.

It also means that the friends, relatives, workmates and children of Wild Justice co-directors can read them.

If you read them, then prepare to be shocked at the nastiness, the misogyny, the aggression and the rudeness of what follows. But the authors are clearly happy for attention to be directed to their words as they have written them in a public place. Imagine walking down the street and having these vile comments being directed at you.

Here is some information about some of the authors of these comments:

Steve Evans – lives in Sunderland, is proprietor of Owl Tree Works and seems to have a son who plays football.

Shaun Freke – quite keen on shooting by the looks of it, and manages a Blues band in which he sings.

Peter Onslow – a MD/CEO of a small company and seems to like horses

John Edwards – an artist that produces models of fish.

Richard Neville – pigeon shooter from Tring, Herts

Sandy Ferguson – farmer from Fife

David Mayoh – retired, seems keen on fishing

John Cameron Dunn – Man Utd and shooting

Andy Hilton – from Ruthin, North Wales, might well be a gamekeeper?

Ben Tarvie – very interested in birds’ eggs

Chris Walker – man in tweed who looks like a gamekeeper

All these people may have perfectly normal and productive lives but when they get onto social media they use language that they probably (but we don’t know them) wouldn’t use in polite society. We wonder how many of them will gather together at the Game Fair tomorow, Saturday and Sunday?

If you would like to support the work of Wild Justice despite these abusive comments, or maybe because of them, then you can donate to our work here.

And by the way, the comments immediately below illustrate why we don’t permit comments on this blog.