Saturday cartoon by Ralph Underhill



Join the thunderclap – almost last chance


If you have an account on Twitter, Facebook and/or tumblr then please consider joining this thunderclap to raise awareness of the plight of Hen Harriers and of our e-petition to get the future of the uplands debated in the Westminster parliament.


What’s not to like?


This is a nice drop of beer and is supporting a good company and a good cause.

And it’s really irritating a bunch of unpleasant shooters too.



The new old face at BASC

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Christopher Graffius

There have been very titillating rumours of what might be going on inside BASC over the last few weeks including stories of fisticuffs, but it is not for this blog to get too distracted by the travails of others.

However, I couldn’t help noticing that the latest nonsense from BASC is not signed off by the person still named as the Chief Executive on the BASC website, Richard Ali, but by the long-time BASC Communications Director, and one-time guest blogger here, and now acting Chief Executive of BASC, Christopher Graffius. Still, the letter to M&S only trots out the usual lines and pretty closely follows the cribsheet provided by Fieldsports magazine which I dissected here.


Richard Ali

Richard Ali’s tweets have taken a different form recently (see @Richard_uk).

So, added to the abrupt change in Chair of BASC (exit Alan Jarrett (wildfowler from Kent) and enter Peter Glenser, barrister (no, not barista, barrister)) things are certainly happening.

What a shame, in a way, I won’t be able to catch up on the gossip at the Game Fair this weekend as I’ll be doing some burley-mindering of Henry the Hen Harrier at WOMAD where we plan to talk to lots of young people about lead in game meat and lead in Hen Harriers, and no doubt they will rush to sign this e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting.



Leaflets – update.


I’m very grateful to all those who have offered to deliver leaflets promoting the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting. You are a wonderful bunch!

Demand for leaflets has exceeded supply (and funds) and so for now if you haven’t heard that you are getting some leaflets then you are on the waiting list.

Over 35,000 leaflets are out there or on their way to people who know they are arriving soon. I had to prioritise where the leaflets went and I did that as follows: people who wanted lots of leaflets (lower production and postage costs), people I knew would deliver the leaflets, a variety of locations so that they are spread across different groups and localities. And so there are leaflets being delivered from Norfolk to Falkirk and from Watford to Stockport.

Also, I will bring as many leaflets as possible to the Hen Harrier Day event at Rainham on 6 August. Several people have asked to be given leaflets there and I have told them they will get some. If you would like some leaflets to hand out or push through letter boxes and could take away a pack of 250 or 500 leaflets then please let me know by email ( and I’ll see what I can do.

There may be some leaflets available at the Edale Hen Harrier Day event on 7 August but I cannot promise that as the Rainham crowd may collar them all!  But see my at Edale if you would like some leaflets and I’ll see what I can do.

And there may be some leaflets delivered to addresses as I travel around the country on other business. So if you could deliver 250+ leaflets and haven’t yet been in touch then please do let me know and, again, I’ll see what I can do.

To summarise:

  • there may be leaflets heading your way already – but if there are, you already know that
  • you may have arranged to collect leaflets at Rainham on 6 August – but if you have, you already know that
  • you may want to collect leaflets at Rainham on 6 August but haven’t told me – please email me at
  • you may not have been in touch with me at all but would like some leaflets to deliver – please do get in touch at
  • you may have got in touch but I haven’t yet promised you any leaflets – you are on a waiting list but I am very grateful to you for your offer



Paperback Inglorious published today.

Inglorious PB lo

Inglorious is available from all good bookstores and on Hen Harrier Day at Rainham, 6 August, from the RSPB shop (as is Chris Packham’s fantastic new book Fingers in the Sparkle Jar).





64,000 and 65,000

64,000 signatures and 65,000 signatures – we have momentum!

Because 154 by 20 September is an important number for us (the average constituency must get 154 signatures by 20 September if we are to hit 100,000), I am showing you how many have already crossed that line with almost eight weeks still to go.

Here is a list of those already across the line, with how far over the line they already are (roughly – it keeps changing), and a list of constituencies which have already passed 100 signatures (now sorted by political party).  Newcomers to their categories are shown in bold.

And so we hail Calder Valley as the first constituency to pass 400 signatures (and before any other has reached 300!). This is undoubtedly because of the floods which hit this area and the strong local campaigns to Stop the Burn!  Four constituencies have joined the ‘200 Club’: that of the new Defra minister Therese Coffey (Suffolk Coastal) and also Stroud, Thirsk and Malton and Sheffield Central.


  1. Calder Valley 408
  2. Ross, Skye and Lochaber  264
  3. High Peak  263
  4. Skipton and Ripon 258
  5. Isle of Wight  248
  6. Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey  243
  7. Derbyshire Dales 242
  8. Bristol West  239
  9. North Norfolk 226
  10. Westmorland and Lonsdale  226
  11. Brighton, Pavilion 221
  12. Argyll and Bute  218
  13. Torridge and West Devon 212
  14. Sheffield Central  202
  15. Stroud 201
  16. Suffolk Coastal 201
  17. Thirsk and Malton  200
  18. South Norfolk 197
  19. Lancaster and Fleetwood  197
  20. Central Devon 196
  21. York Central 193
  22. Scarborough and Whitby  191
  23. West Dorset  189
  24. Penrith and The Border 189
  25. Totnes  185
  26. Dumfries and Galloway 185
  27. Sheffield Hallam 185
  28. Norwich South  183
  29. Wells  184
  30. West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine  181
  31. Richmond (Yorks)  182
  32. Cambridge  184
  33. Bridgwater and West Somerset  184
  34. Edinburgh North and Leith 180
  35. South Cambridgeshire 175
  36. Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk  171
  37. Arundel and South Downs  169
  38. Brighton Kemptown  167
  39. Truro and Falmouth 161
  40. Lewes  166
  41. The Cotswolds  167
  42. Exeter  162
  43. North Somerset  165
  44. Hove  165
  45. Edinburgh East  164
  46. Ceredigion  166
  47. St. Ives 166
  48. Mid Norfolk  164
  49. Colne Valley  164
  50. Ochil and South Perthshire 160
  51. Tiverton and Honiton  160
  52. North East Bedfordshire  158
  53. South West Surrey  159
  54. Hastings and Rye 161
  55. South East Cambridgeshire 161
  56. East Devon 157
  57. East Lothian 157
  58. Oxford West and Abingdon 157
  59. Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale  156
  60. Bath 156
  61. Waveney 154


Constituencies with over 100 signatures for our e-petition to get a debate on the future of driven grouse shooting (I’m sure there are some omissions – feel free to point them out):

Conservative: Amber Valley, Ashford, Aylesbury, Banbury, Basingstoke, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Beverley and Holderness, Bexhilll and Battle, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, Bournemouth East, Bracknell, Brecon and Radnorshire, Bristol North West, Broadland, Bromsgrove, Broxtowe, Bury St Edmunds, Camborne and Redruth, Canterbury, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Cheltenham, Chichester, Chesham and Amersham, Chippenham, City of Chester, Christchurch, Clwyd West, Colchester, Congleton, Corby, Daventry, Devizes, Dover, Eastbourne, Eastleigh, East Hampshire, East Surrey, East Worthing and Shoreham, East Yorkshire, Elmet and Rothwell, Faversham and Mid Kent, Folkestone and Hythe, Forest of Dean, Fylde, Gainsborough, Gloucester, Grantham and Stamford, Great Yarmouth, Guildford, Harborough, Harrogate and Knaresborough, Harwich and North Essex, Hazel Grove, Henley, Hereford and South Herefordshire, Hertford and Stortford, Hexham, Horsham, Huntingdon, Ipswich, Keighley, Kingston and Surbiton, Lincoln, Loughborough, Louth and Horncastle, Ludlow, Macclesfield, Maidenhead, Maldon, Meon Valley, Mid Bedfordshire, Mid Derbyshire, Mid Dorset and North Poole, Mid Sussex, Milton Keynes North, Monmouth, Montgomeryshire, Morecambe and Lunesdale, Newark, Newbury, New Forest East, New Forest West, Newton Abbot, North Cornwall, North Devon, North Dorset, North East Cambridgeshire, North East Hampshire, North East Hertordshire, North East Somerset, North Herefordshire, North Shropshire, North  Swindon, North Thanet, North West Cambridgeshire, North West Hampshire, North West Norfolk, North Wiltshire, Norwich North, Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, Poole, Portsmouth South, Preseli Pembrokeshire, Pudsey, Reading East, Reigate, Ribble Valley, Richmond Park, Rochester and Strood, Romsey and Southampton, Rushcliffe, Rutland and Melton, St Albans, St Austell and Newquay, Saffron Walden, Salisbury,  Selby and Ainsty, Shipley, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Sleaford and North Hykeham, Somerton and Frome, South Derbyshire, South Dorset, South East Cornwall, South Northamptonshire, South Suffolk, South Thanet, South West Devon, South West Hertfordshire, South West Norfolk, South West Wiltshire,  Stafford, Staffordshire Moorlands, Stratford-on-Avon, Tatton, Taunton Deane, Tewkesbury, Tonbridge and Malling, Torbay, Twickenham, Vale of Glamorgan, Wantage, Wealden, Weston-super-Mare, West Suffolk, West Worcestershire, Winchester, Witney, Woking, Worthing West, Wyre and Preston North, Wyre Forest, Yeovil, York Outer.

SNP: Aberdeen South, Angus, Banff and Buchan, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Edinburgh South West, Edinburgh West, Glasgow Central, Glasgow North, Gordon, Linlithgow and East Falkirk, Moray, North Ayrshire and Arran, North East Fife,  Perth and North Perthshire,  Stirling.

Labour: Barrow and Furness, Bassetlaw, Bishop Auckland, Blaydon, Bolsover, Bristol East, Bristol South, Cardiff West, Chesterfield, Chorley, Copeland, Edinburgh South,  Gedling, Hackney North and Stoke Newington,  Holborn and St Pancras, Hornsey and Wood Green, Islington North, Leeds North East, Lewisham West and Penge, Liverpool riverside, Manchester Withington, North West Durham, Nottingham East, Oxford East, Penistone and Stocksbridge, Sheffield Heeley, Southampton Test, South Swindon, Stalybridge and Hyde, Tynemouth, Wallasey, Walthamstow, Workington, Ynys Mon.

Lib Dems: Leeds North West, Orkney and Shetland

Speaker: Buckingham

Plaid Cymru: Arfon,  Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Dwyfor Meirionnydd.


LACS crowdfunder to support the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting

The League Against Cruel Sports has been a great supporter of the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting.

Thanks to a lot of people, including LACS, our e-petition has amassed over 65,000 signatures and stands a good chance of reaching 100,000 – and triggering a debate in parliament.  But we need a big push over the remaining weeks, right up until the closing day of 20 September.

LACS are now asking for financial support to spread the word on the e-petition through social media. From what I’ve seen, LACS will do a great job.

That’s why I have given them £50 of my money to help support them support my campaign! Please consider doing the same.


Hedge news

101628.jpgAlthough we are rarely going to agree on things (although we do agree on Fineshade Wood) I cannot help myself being impressed by the energy of my young, new and shiny MP, Mr Pursglove.

This morning I received a letter in the post replying to my email to him of just yesterday!  Mr Pursglove says he can’t show me the letter he has sent/will send to Defra on the matter of hedge-trimming because of data protection issues. Fair enough, I’ll trust you on that one.

He also says he will represent my views to the Secretary of State on the matter so I have emailed him again, thus:


Dear Mr Pursglove

Thank you very much for your very rapid reply to my email and blog.  I’m impressed.

I believe it’s important that Defra considers the science on this matter (don’t you?) and it appears that one species of bird (the Bullfinch – a reasonably common, but declining species) would be badly affected if cutting dates were brought back to 1 August and there is even evidence for harm if the cutting dates were not extended later into September of perhaps October.

Defra ought to look at the evidence that may well be held by the British Trust for Ornithology and consult widely on impacts on birds, but also on other species, of any change in hedge cutting dates before making any hasty changes.

I’d be grateful if you would let me know whether you agree with me or not, and in any case represent these views to the Secretary of State at Defra.



Henry goes to WOMAD

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A six foot Hen Harrier is hoping it does not rain over the weekend as that might cramp his style a bit.

Henry is going to WOMAD and will be showing his moves to any ringtails around.

Here is the list of artists and Henry can’t see his name there…

Henry will be fraternising with people near the Ecotricity stage – but might be seen skydancing anywhere on site – often with Wilde people, especially Findlay and Harley.  That’s the plan anyway.

If you see him, come say hi! to Henry and he’ll encourage you to sign the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting (and save many more Henrys) on the spot. Even if you don’t see him, please sign the e-petition anyway.