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Newlands Estate's membership suspended following buzzard killing

A buzzard was killed by a gamekeeper at the estate. Credit: PA

An estate in Dumfries and Galloway has had its membership of Wildlife Estates Scotland suspended, following the killing of a buzzard.

In a statement released today, Wildlife Estates Scotland said Newlands Estate's membership and accreditation has been voluntarily suspended:

Conditions of membership of Wildlife Estates Scotland include the requirements to maintain best practice standards of animal welfare and comply with all legal requirements and relevant Scottish codes of practice.

Wildlife Estates Scotland's position is that it will suspend membership if it is notified of a prosecution or of a breach of relevant legislation.

The case of William Dick has been discussed with Newlands Estate, whose membership and accreditation under WES has been voluntarily suspended and will remain so until after further enquiries and any other legal proceedings have concluded.”

– Wildlife Estates Scotland spokesperson

The suspension comes after a gamekeeper at the Estate, William Dick, was fined £2,000 for attacking and killing a buzzard.

Asthma: help and advice

Michael Edwards, from Dumfries, is raising awareness of the dangers of asthma, after his daughter died following an asthma attack.

He's raising money for Asthma UK - a charity that funds research and supports people with the condition.

These websites provide more information about asthma:

  • Allergy UK - this charity offers a helpline, and advice on how to deal with asthma attacks
  • NHS - the National Health Service guidance on asthma
  • British Lung Foundation - offers a guide to "controlling your asthma", and lets you download medical research and other publications

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Thousands object to pylon plans

The planned route. Credit: ITV Border

The deadline for complaints about a planned power line, to run through Dumfries and Galloway, has passed.

Scottish Power Energy Networks is planning to upgrade the line, which runs from Auchencrosh to Harker, because it says the current electricity system in the region dates to the 1930s, and is outdated.

Four new substations would be created, at Auchencrosh, Newton Stewart, Glenlee and Dumfries.

They say the route for the power line has been chosen to minimise any negative impact on the people, and landscape.

But ITV Border understands there have been thousands of objections, many centred on the size of the new pylons, which protestors say will be 150 ft tall.

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Gamekeeper fined for 'sickeningly violent' buzzard killing

Mr Dick was fined for a "sickeningly violent" attack. Credit: PA

A Dumfriesshire gamekeeper has today been fined £2,000 for attacking and killing a buzzard.

William Dick had lodged an alibi defence that he had been in attendance at a training course over 100 miles away and would have been on his way home at the time of the offence.

However, he was convicted on 4 August 2015 of killing and having in his possession the bird of prey, on the Newlands Estate, Kirkmahoe, Dumfries in April 2014.

The court heard that two walkers saw Mr Dick with the buzzard hopping around at his feet in an unnatural manner.

They saw him throwing large rocks from above his head at the bird, and stamping on it.

He then placed a bundle wrapped in his jacket into his car, before driving away.

The witnesses contacted the Scottish SPCA, who in turn contacted Police Scotland.

One described the incident as "sickeningly violent".

Scottish SPCA and Police Scotland investigators found a dead hare, feathers and a rock with what they thought was blood on it at the scene.

The rock and feathers were examined by SASA in Edinburgh.

DNA from the feathers were confirmed as being from a buzzard. The carcass of the buzzard killed by the accused has not been recovered.

Birds of prey are given strict protection by our law.

It is highly important to preserve Scotland’s natural heritage, including the wildlife that forms part of it.

We take people breaking our wildlife laws very seriously. This conviction highlights that message.

The Crown will continue to prosecute such cases where appropriate to ensure that offenders are brought to justice.”

– Helen Nisbet, Serious and Organised Crime Division

'Whatever I did wasn't good enough': man raising awareness of asthma danger

Imogen was just 17 when she died. Credit: ITV Border

Many people are unaware of how dangerous asthma can be... that's why Michael Edwards has been raising awareness of the condition.

His daughter, Imogen, died following a huge asthma attack when she was just 17.

I phoned her round about twenty to five as I always did, because she'd finished school and I could hear the telly in the background and she's had a bath and she was sitting eating food.

I said oh you're doing fine and she said yes I'm sitting watching the telly dad, just waiting for you to come home.

I then left work, and at about ten to six a text came through for me saying please try and come home quick, with kisses after it as always."

– Michael Edwards

Michael arrived home to find Imogen had suffered a massive asthma attack.

He called 999, and drove Imogen to the bottom of the hill near their home in Wallaceton to wait for the ambulance.

It was then that she collapsed on me, she got out of the car and obviously it seems like an eternity but it wasn't - they were probably here in about ten minutes from Thornhill.

Basically she went and I caught her and laid her down, tried to do what I could you know, tried to give her CPR obviously.

When she had her attack initially it was on the floor in the front room, she looked very white and it can be so sudden. And that time I did CPR and her breath came back... but this time whatever I did wasn't good enough and I failed."

– Michael Edwards

Michael is now doing whatever he can to raise awareness of the condition.

He's known at his work and in his local community for his trademark long hair, but is having it all shaved off to raise money for Asthma UK.

Whatever I can do to try and help people... it's the best thing I can do and it will be a great memorial testament to Imogen."

– Michael Edwards
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