Keith Betton and I signed a lot of copies of our book at the Bird Fair over the weekend. We also did a little turn in the Authors’ Forum where we talked about the book but also talked to two of the interviewees in the book – DIM Wallace and Debbie Pain. It was a session right at the end of Saturday, and in ‘competition’ with Simon King (no contest) so the tent was not completely full but it was an enjoyable chat. Birders (sorry Ian – he hates the term) are such good fun.
Sunday morning saw a good mention of the book in Stuart Winter’s Sunday Express ‘Birdman’ column where he writes ‘If you are looking for a treatise on the private life of the birder then take a peek at the supremely entertaining and highly informative Behind the Binoculars‘.
Henry reads all the best magazines and gets his information from the best sources…
Henry knew he was amongst friends at the Bird Fair because he kept seeing (and there were a lot) Hen Harrier T-shirts walking towards him. And there were plenty of familiar faces from Hen Harrier Day events in the Peak District (2014 and 2015) and then more people coming and telling him that they had been at Arne or Saltholme or Bowland or another event.
Here are some nice people wearing nice T-shirts.
Our e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting passed the 14,000 signature mark yesterday.
14,000 isn’t 140,000 but it is a lot of signatures.
14,000 signatures was reached in c33 days, less than five weeks. Last year it took eleven weeks to get to the same total. Just more evidence that awareness is growing and spreading all the time. More and more people are realising that the intensive management of land for driven grouse shooting is bad and that the grouse moor managers don’t want to give an inch. If they won’t give an inch then we will take a mile.
Thank you to all who have signed already. Here’s a tip for how you can help make the e-petition even more of a success – please ask your partner/boyfriend/girlfriend to sigh too. I had several conversations at the Bird Fair with couples where both were obviously equally committed to the cause but only one had signed. That’s an easy way to double the number of signatures!
We have now been been waiting 19 days for a response from the Westminster government on our e-petition (since passing 10,000 signatures). We are one of 15 e-petitions to have passed the 10,000 signature and not to have had a government response yet and if they were answered in order than we are number nine in the queue. This is fine, there’s no rush. but the longer the wait, the better-argued one would expect the response to be. We’ll see. The Defra Minister, Rory Stewart, has had a copy of Inglorious for quite a while now and so we should expect a decent response which demonstrates that Defra is properly engaging with the arguments.
Let’s ban driven grouse shooting – let’s deliver a better future for the uplands. Please sign this e-petition.
Henry had a blast at the Bird Fair yesterday (and Friday and Saturday). Here are just a few photos of some of the people he met (more to follow later today and a more thoughtful account tomorrow – also, later today, how to respond to the Daily Telegraph’s pathetic response to complaints about its woeful coverage of Hen Harrier nesting success).
Henry got special treatment at the Bird Fair yesterday. He met lots of celebrities who gave him a cuddle (he liked the Simon King cuddle a lot) and was treated as a special bird by the folk (including the RSPB’s Guy Anderson) at the BTO ringing demonstration.
Henry was ringed…
…and then satellite-tagged…
…in front of a crown of admirers…
…before hurrying off to meet some more celebs…
Martin Hughes seems Game too.
Now Henry is satellite tagged we can learn far more about his movements and survival. We can track his every move and if he comes to any harm then we can find out where it happened. Watch this space.
What a day! Considered thoughts later – but what a day!
See you tomorrow!
50 Bedford Square is the address of the publisher of Inglorious – conflict in the uplands. Henry thought he ought to say hello.