Chapter 11 of Fighting for Birds gives a fuller account of what was said and written about whatever happened that evening.
My remaining view is that I believe that someone shot two hen harriers five years ago but I really don’t know who that was.
I often think of the ‘Sandringham harrier affair’ – whenever I drive through that part of Norfolk, whenever I see a hen harrier and sometimes it just pops into my head. But I was reminded of it in the ‘police are plebs’ affair a few weeks ago. Basically we are expected to believe the Chief Whip when he doesn’t quite say that he didn’t say what he was said to have said because – why, because he’s an ‘important’ man. As was said in that case, it slightly beggars belief that the policemen involved would be standing around Downing Street thinking up ways to try to get a government whip into trouble. Maybe they misheard – but maybe they didn’t.
And similarly, it beggars belief that a Natural England employee, and, as I understand it, other witnesses, would make up a story of two hen harriers being gunned down. Why, just for one thing, decide that two birds rather than one was shot?
As far as I’m concerned, the Sandringham harrier affair remains a ‘whodunnit?’ not a ‘didn’t do it’ – but I might be wrong.