Hen Harrier ‘disappears’ in the Yorkshire Dales

Another day and yet another appeal for information after yet another Hen Harrier disappears in the raptor sinkhole that is the Yorkshire Dales and yet another shooting lobbyist issues yet another piece of classic obfuscation: “Just because yet another Hen Harrier disappears somewhere on a glorious grouse moor in the glorious Yorkshire Dales doesn’t mean we had anything to do with it. Anyway, it could still be alive – there was that one time, you know, when that one bird wasn’t dead, I’m sure I read about that in a memo once…” Not the actual words, but close enough…

Grouse shooting. What can you say? It’s blessed with a Rule of Six Covid-19 exemption, it’s defended by MPs on the grounds of ‘The economy, stoopid’, but it’s nothing more than the ritual massacre of wild birds and the relentless slaughter of countless hares, foxes, corvid, mustelids, linked to an industry’s absolute unwillingness to sort out the infection of criminality that ensures that this grubby hobby is – and always will be – first in the frame when Hen Harriers ‘disappear’ on a moor in one of the worst places in the country for illegal raptor persecution.

Despite the supposedly soothing words dribbling out of ‘reps’ that the shooting industry will be wheeling out over the next few weeks to explain away the ever-growing list of ‘disappearing’ Hen Harriers the truth is that the way this industry takes out its deep-seated hatred of the ‘grey ghost’ is not an abhorrence from distant, less enlightened times – it is very much an abhorrence that is raging right now on grouse moors up and down the UK. And – what should be to the nation’s shame – that includes grouse moors in what should be two of our flagship ‘national parks’…

Just check out the following tag to see the proof of that – War on Wildlife – North Yorkshire


The RSPB is appealing for information after the disappearance of a satellite-tagged hen harrier in the Yorkshire Dales and has suggested it could have been shot on a grouse moor.

But shooting representatives say that just because the bird’s last known location was on a grouse moor, it does not mean it was illegally killed.

Dryad, a male hen harrier, hatched at a nest in the Forest of Bowland this summer.

He was fitted with a lightweight satellite tag so that scientists could trace his movements once he fledged.

But the bird stopped transmitting on September 7.

The tag’s last transmission showed the bird had been roosting on a grouse moor between Kirkby Stephen and Ravenseat in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

RSPB staff searched the area but found no trace of Dryad or his tag.

Dryad has not been heard from since.

The charity claims the Dales have become a ‘hotspot’ for suspicious hen harrier disappearances.

In July this year a hen harrier named Harriet, tagged by Natural England, sent her last transmission near Outhgill, just over the border in Cumbria.

A further two disappeared, last transmitting near Bowes, County Durham and Askrigg, North Yorkshire respectively in September 2019. And in 2016, the hen harrier Rowan was found shot in Ravenstonedale, Cumbria.

Elsewhere in North Yorkshire, in 2019 the body of another satellite tagged hen harrier known as River was found shot on the Swinton Estate, North Yorkshire.
Richmondshire Today, Appeal after hen harrier disappears in Yorkshire Dales, 16 Sept 2020