Category: Blog Posts

Ruth Peacey | Producing Hen Harrier Day 2020

For the first time since it was launched in 2014, Hen Harrier Day is moving entirely online! Covid-19 restrictions mean that Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin will be presenting live from their home in the New Forest, a raft of pre-recorded content is being lined up to accompany them, and the whole show will be kept on the road by Ruth Peacey, who is producing remotely from her home in the south-west, and Fabian Harrison, who will be vision mixing and co-ordinating social media another two hundred miles away. Charlie Moores grabbed a quick chat with Ruth, a few days before the ‘big day’ on Saturday August 8th, to find out how things were shaping up, what ‘s involved with putting on live events like these, and what she was planning to do when it was all over!

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Decathlon’s war on wildlife?

A new petition has been launched asking French-based sports goods retailer Decathlon to stop promoting the slaughter of songbirds and migratory birds. In its first few days 44000+ people have signed it, including us, but it has raised some interesting questions that we think are worth discussing. It is an important test of what the UK public thinks about the sale of equipment to kill small birds like thrushes and it undoubtedly contributes to the larger debate about hunting and poaching. Kudos to Colin MacLennan for setting it up. Will it change how Decathlon operates though?

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Wild Justice granted permission to review General Licences in Wales

Not everybody loves Wild Justice as much as we do. The shooting industry, for example, appears most displeased to be told that their ‘right’ to release farmed pheasants in vast numbers might not actually be legal as it could damage protected habitats (Wild Justice have been granted a judicial review of the impacts of non-native gamebirds on sites of high nature conservation importance). And how about shooters who had been happily abusing General Licences giving them the ‘right’ to kill wild birds otherwise protected by law until Wild Justice stepped in: not fans apparently. Now it looks as though they might be adding Natural Resources Wales to the list of toes they’ve trodden on since they formed. How so? The latest press-release from WJ explains all…

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PROJECT CamTag

Last year a selection of campaigners were approached by a small team calling themselves 3rd Eye Technology (3ET) with a proposal to invent camera satellite tags. Led by a member of the birding community whom we’ve known personally for many years, 3ET stated that they intended “to produce a CamTag® to work in conjunction with existing satellite tags“. Collecting live photographic evidence to help with future investigations is a logical next step. It would also be useful, say 3ET, to use the technology to capture images of the birds’ day to day lives, learning more about their interactions with other harriers or predators for example.

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Alison Johnstone MSP | Protect Scotland’s mountain hares

“In June your support helped get my amendment passed in the Scottish Parliament to make mountain hares a protected species and to bring about an end to their mass slaughter on Scotland’s grouse moors. It was an important victory in its own right and also because it’s the first time that decisive action has been taken against wildlife persecution on Scotland’s grouse moors. Sadly, however, the Scottish Government has yet to deliver this protection. The open season is due to start again and killing mountain hares without licence can commence once more from today. We must not let this happen. You’ve already helped so much, but we need to make another push.” Alison Johnstone MSP, 01 Aug 2020

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Hen Harrier Day 2020

Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin will be hosting 2020’s Hen Harrier Day – which this year has moved online after uncertainties about whether previously booked hosting locations would be available (or even whether lockdown would have ended). Launched with several concurrent events (including the famously rainswept event in the Upper Derwent Valley in the Peak District organised by Dr Mark Avery), Hen Harrier Day began in 2014 to raise awareness of the persecution these spectacular bird faced on grouse moors. Deliberately held on the weekend closest to the start of the ‘Inglorious 12th’, Hen Harrier Day has always aimed to help put an end to wildlife crime and the wider abuse of the uplands associated with shooting birds for ‘sport’.

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