Tag: hen harrier

RPUK | FOI request reveals more ‘missing’ Hen Harriers

The always excellent Raptor Persecution UK (RPUK) website has posted two blogs (today and yesterday) based on Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made to Natural England, nominally “the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England” but a department which has been so ‘stripped to the bone’ by successive governments that it now appears toothless and ineffective in the face of the rising tide of wildlife crime impacting many of our mammals and birds (and in some examples actually appears to be facilitating the very shooting industry it ought to be monitoring – see Natural England protects shoot from ‘disturbance’). According to the information released by Natural England under FoI regs, a number of satellite-tagged Hen Harriers have gone ‘missing’ since September 2020 including a brood-meddled male whose tag’s last known fix was on 20th September 2020, right next to a grouse moor in North Yorkshire, and another young bird whose last tag’s fix was inside the Yorkshire Dales National park.

Continue reading

Hen Harriers return to Wharfedale moorland

Well, well, well. Who could possibly have predicted this etc etc. In what must be one of grouse shooting’s worst-case scenarios coming true, a previously ‘dead’ moorland that banned grouse shooting activities (ie high levels of raptor persecution and rotational burning) has reportedly sprung back to life, birds of prey have started to roost, and peatland habitats have begun to regenerate. After all the time and money grouse shooting’s lobbyists have spent telling us that without the skilled management techniques (ie high levels of raptor persecution and rotational burning) of the ‘conservationists with guns’ Britain’s uplands would simply curl up and waste away…Nonsense, of course. Kudos NG Bailey, and kudos the Yorkshire Post and journalist Grace Newton for continuing to speak up for wildlife in a region that has repeatedly been acknowledged as the worst for raptor persecution in the UK

Continue reading

Hen Harrier artwork auction

As we and other sites (most notably the must-read Raptor Persecution UK) have noted many times, the relatively recent roll-out of lightweight satellite tags has been crucial in revealing the extent of Hen Harrier and Golden Eagle persecution across the UK. Originally developed to plot the wanderings of birds of prey outside the breeding season, the tags have pointed to the huge scale of illegal killing of raptors by the grouse shooting industry. Now artist Dan Evans is donating an evocative iol paiting of a male Hen Harrier to a fundraiser orgainsed by the Nidderdale Raptor Study Group, in conjunction with the Northern England Raptor Forum, to support the world-renowned RSPB Investigations Team to buy more tags to track more Hen Harriers…

Continue reading

Wiltshire teen arrested on raptor persecution charge

All birds of prey are protected by law (and have been for more than half a century (see The Protection of Birds Act, 1954), but as most of us know all too well illegal persecution is taking place across the UK. Stories like the article we’ve reproduced from the Swindon Advertiser are sadly commonplace, but this one has a particular resonance because the part of Wiltshire featured in the Advertiser is actually pretty close to an important (if absolutely misguided and contentious) raptor ‘reintroduction’ project…Natural England’s Hen Harrier ‘brood meddling’ scheme (see Hen Harrier Brood-meddling 101 for details), which aims to placate grouse moor owners by moving Hen Harrier chicks off grouse moors and putting them – as NE desperately claims – somewhere safe: south Wiltshire.

Continue reading

Wild Justice Hen Harrier Day e-action

Wild Justice are organising another e-action to try to prod our MPs into finally doing something about the disgraceful illegal slaughter of protected birds of prey. Why would you not sign this? Perhaps you think that gunning down Red Grouse is acceptable and if a few Hen Harriers die so that you can have a day out then that’s okay? Perhaps you’ve been told by shooting lobbyists that everything Wild Justice does is aimed at taking away your guns and you’ve not the intellectual rigour to separate fact from propaganda? Perhaps you just don’t like wildlife, especially Hen Harriers even though you’ve never seen one and couldn’t find your way to a grouse moor with Google Maps and an Uber driver…?

Continue reading

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’.

Continue reading

Hen Harrier Day Wales 2020

Today (July 18 2020) sees the first Hen Harrier Day ever hosted in Wales. Which does seem strange given that uber-Welsh conservationist and broadcaster Iolo Williams has been a vocal and passionate supporter of Hen Harrier Day since the first HHD in the Peak District on 10 August 2014, but that makes it all the more welcome as the once-small protest movement against the persecution of birds of prey on grouse moors continues to gather pace. Today’s event is also the first to be held online, as organisers have had to bow the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic and bring the Day inside. There will still be a great cast of speakers though – and the line-up is exactly who you’d want to hear from if you want to learn the truth about raptor persecution, wildlife crime, and the driven grouse shooting industry.

Continue reading

Two more Hen Harriers ‘disappear’ on grouse moors

Just as they did in December last year RSPB Scotland has had to post a press-release talking about the ‘disappearance’ of two satellite-tagged Hen Harriers on grouse moors, this time in the Cairngorms National Park. Once again the birds ‘disappeared’ (legalese for ‘almost certainly killed but we just can’t prove it yet’) during lockdown (a period where the public stayed indoors but which gamekeepers seem to have reacted to by going on a wildlife crime spree). Here’s a stat to chew over: 72% of tagged Hen Harriers were confirmed or considered likely to have been illegally killed, and this was ten times more likely to occur over areas of land managed for grouse shooting relative to other land uses.

Continue reading