Hen Harrier Day – 9 August 2015

Hen-Harrier-Day-300pxI think I know what will be at least one focus for Hen Harrier Day 2015 so please ‘save the day’ as they say.

There is a long way to go before that sunny Sunday before the opening of the grouse shooting season but we have the beginnings of a plan…

The full plan will be unveiled at the BAWC conference on 21 March, and there are lots of discussions to be had before then.

See here images from a very wet Hen Harrier day 2014.

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9 Comments

  1. I'll be there.

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  2. Lin Murray says:

    See you at the BAWC Conference and at the next Hen Harrier Day. Until raptor persecution is successfully addressed, we cannot take any discussions with Defra or land owners forward.

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  3. Mary Arnold says:

    Hope I shall be able to be there. My t-shirt is washed and ironed ready!

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  4. Philip Merricks says:

    As someone who, with a number of Hawk & Owl Trust staff and volunteers, was please to attend your Hen Harrier Day last year, I repeat what Lin Murray says above. Namely that raptor persecution must be successfully addressed..
    The Hawk & Owl Trust is utterly committed to ending wildlife crime especially against Hen Harriers. Very many conservationists think that this can be most effectively and long lastingly achieved by getting those who work in the wider countryside on the side of protecting and enhancing wildlife rather than, as sometimes happens today, where some perceive that it is in their interests to act illegally. Which with non satellite tagged Hen Harrier adults and chicks is difficult if not impossible to detect.
    Whilst I much hope that, by the 9th August, there will be a significant increase in the number of Hen Harriers on the moors of Northern England, I doubt that this will happen if the current vilification of an entire community of gamekeepers continues. One of the phone calls I received yesterday suggested that I look at your blog of 6th October last year together with the very many perjorative comments that followed. Which led me and I am sure many others to wonder how representative of the conservation community are those who comment on your blog. A hatred of grouse shooting and all associated with it is not a good basis for constructive conservation and conflict resolution for the real and long term benefit of Hen Harriers.
    I was heartened that there were so many supportive phone calls to the Hawk & Owl Trust main office yesterday (over 30 apparently) and some new members joining up which included a very senior and seriously well respected figure from the world of ornithology, who in answer to the question on the line on the membership form that asked “Where did you learn about joining the Hawk & Owl Trust” wrote “From the responses on Mark Avery’s blog”.
    As you know Mark the Hawk & Owl Trust has a long and productive history of working with land mangers for the benefit of conservation. So my point is that your Hen Harrier Day will achieve most benefit for Hen Harriers if you get on side those who have the ability to work for Hen Harriers across the whole of the moors. Of course the Hawk and Owl Trust utterly condemns those who persecute Hen Harriers bu, like many conservationists believes that it is counter productive to vilify a whole profession when they are capable of doing so much good for conservation. Which can do little else that turn those, who have the ability to do an enormous amount of good for conservation in general and Hen Harriers in particular, into doing the opposite. Which would be a disaster for all those who want to see Hen Harriers and other wildlife thriving across the moors. And for the Hen Harriers themselves.

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    • Mark says:

      Philip - On the Hawk and Owl Trust's position - watch this space.

      On Hen Harrier Day - Hen Harrier Day is open to all, and as an attendee last year at the Peak District event, you will know that the focus was firmly on the plight of the Hen Harrier and the need for wildlife crime to be a thing of the past (which I'm sure was the focus at the three other events across the country). If landowners wanted to attend that event they would have been very welcome. In fact, apart from yourself, I recognised two people whom you would probably have classed as landowners in the crowd although there may have been many more in the 570 attendees.

      You can rest assured that Hen Harrier Day, 9 August 2015, will involve many more events and many more attendees and land owners who wish to speak out against wildlife crime will be very welcome at all of them.

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    • Steve J says:

      Philip: this isn't about the general denigration of shooting interests - it's about tackling wildlife crime, and about whether the 'brood meddling' proposal now being championed by the Hawk and Owl Trust is a necessary or legitimate component of the recovery plan.

      Many people have posed some very clear and specific questions which you and the Trust continue to fail to address. Is your 'brood meddling' legal? You aught to know, being the proponent of the scheme, and having given this long and detailed consideration.

      Will the remains of satellite tagged hen harriers shot by game keepers be traceable - if so, how (satellite tracking data would need to be downloaded in real time and people would need to be 'on the spot' in real time to catch the culprit before they retrieved and destroyed the evidence)?

      Will the membership details of GWCT, MA etc be released to the Hawk and Owl Trust, potentially contra to data protection laws - if not, how on earth will you know if anyone convicted of killing a hen harrier is a current member of any of these organisations?

      Skim through the comments here and elsewhere and, please, answer people's specific questions.

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  5. Dennis Ames says:

    How can a intellectual like Phillip Merricks accuse us commenters of being unfair on gamekeepers while they so obviously kill lots of BOP and just as bad almost absolutely slaughter pits full of innocent wild animals except that they may mean a few less Grouse to shoot for rich visitors to their shoots.
    You surely should know better than almost joining them Phillip,we all must find what you say unbelievable if it was not in black and white and you repeat similar things in several comments.

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