Traditional Methods in a Modern World
Providing a service you can trust to be professionally and reliably carried out.
In the UK, the rabbit has become one of the most governing of our mammal species, resisting and recovering with speed from everything mankind has thrown at. From the rodenator to myxomatosis, the net, gun, dog, trap and ferret, to 18 million motorcars that constantly threaten its existence. The rabbit has and always will cause us inconvenience and thus financial loss in certain environments. It is essential to fully understand why ‘rabbit management’ will not totally eliminate your whole resident population, although in the unlikely event of this occurring, the vacant homes and food sources would be inhabited by rabbits from neighbouring areas if left unmanaged. My aim is to reduce rabbit numbers to a realistic, economic and acceptable level.
The UK’s rabbit population in 2007 has been estimated at 45 million and rising annually by 2%, causing upwards of a conservatively estimated £150 million worth of damage to the environment each year. In 2002, this figure was £115 million, with a cost of controlling the UK’s rabbit population estimated at £5 million. The cost of damage doesn’t include the costs involved in controlling them and repairing/replacing their damage but as you can see, in 5 years the damage has risen by £35 million pounds, so what will this figure be in another five years?
I specialise only in traditional rabbit management as not every rabbit problem can be solved by using chemical or mechanical means. Rabbit warrens near roads, buildings and footpaths and on sensitive natural and industrial habitats cannot be gassed due to legal and safety issues. The methods used by Simon Whitehead’s Rabbit Management are not so limited. I offer an environmentally friendly form of rabbit control whilst running no risk of non-target or secondary poisoning to pets, livestock or wildlife, something of which cannot be said of gassing. A full risk, health and safety, method, environmental and wildlife impact assessment are carried out when and where required to suit each individual case.
My services are available to and work in conjunction with estate managers, farmer, landowner, gamekeepers or tenant. From a National Trust property to a small vegetable patch, however large or small, a rabbit problem is still a rabbit problem to those experiencing it. I appreciate that most land in East Anglia has organised shoots operating during the season, livestock breeding or events to maximise the lands usage. Therefore, using my experience with such situations, careful planning and liaising with the appropriate people in charge of such events, I aim to gain the maximum results from the rabbit management programme designed for each individual customer with the least amount of disruption to the immediate environment. The skills required for such a specialised service have been built after nearly twenty five years of rabbiting experience. These skills are vital as rabbits are unlike any other pest specie and the skills required to combat these and work in their natural environment are rather more testing.
The most widespread attempted form of rabbit control is to try and shoot them, usually at night with a lamp and a rifle/shotgun and whilst this can have a short term effect on the resident population, unless done professionally and over a prolonged period of time, it rarely results in any long term or significant drop in the rabbit population. The methods I use are adaptable, versatile and efficient as well as being sympathetic to the wishes of those in charge of the land of which I am working. Each method can be combined and tailored to be sympathetic with the request of the landowners or the land itself. The various methods of management utilised include fencing with drop boxes fitted, ferreting, shooting with various silenced firearms including the use of the latest night vision equipment, lamping, trapping and long netting. The majority of situations require a combination of all the above methods. Control is rarely achieved in a single visit but it may require an ongoing service, the frequency of visits depend on the population of the rabbits, the location of warrens and any restrictions you may place on the methods of control to be employed. It is important to fully understand why after financial input and optimum timing to ensure essential control of other crop pests and diseases is achieved, rabbit management should therefore be regarded as essential as the previous. It has been proved over time that it is a false economy to pay for crop protection with insecticides, fungicides and herbicides, and still leave the crop vulnerable to damage by rabbits.