Due to circumstances beyond their control, and rather frustratingly for them, Birders Against Wildlife Crime have had to cancel the planned Yorkshire Hen Harrier day event. Things are also looking doubtful for Cumbria, I believe.
But that leaves the North West Raptor Protection Group’s event in Lancashire, BAWC’s event in Northumberland (the location has been chosen and will be announced soon – watch this space) and the event at the Derwent Dam, by Fairholmes Visitor Centre, in the Upper Derwent Valley of the Peak District National Park.
Discussions are under way for how the large numbers of people who care about Hen Harriers but cannot attend an event can participate through social media and other means.
Last week, the Wildlife Trusts and the Hawk and Owl Trust joined the RSPB in supporting Hen Harrier Day. Thank you – it’s good to have you all with us.
Which other organisations would like to add their support to events where the public express outrage that protected wildlife is killed illegally? How about the Moorland Association? The Peak District National Park? The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust? The British Association for Shooting and Conservation? The League Against Cruel Sports? The National Trust? The Northumberland National Park? The Forest of Bowland AONB? Just let me know and I’ll post your support here next week.
Hen Harrier Day is simply about saying ‘no!’ to criminal acts against a protected and wonderful bird – who wouldn’t support that? We’ll see…
Hen Harrier Day, 10 August 2014, in the Peak District
Details of this latter event (assuming the PDNP and Severn Trent don’t tell us we aren’t welcome) are to assemble on the patch of grass by the Derwent Dam at 10am for a few words and a group photo which will be used to publicise the plight of the Hen Harrier and the fact that people care about it. Chris Packham clearly cares about this issue. Please register here.
Have a look at the passionate Guest Blog posted here last week by Tim Birch, Conservation Manager for the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. He writes about the area of land surrounding the site for our Hen Harrier Day event. Here are some quotes from Tim’s blog:
- It’s clear to me now why as a teenager in the Peak District, I was never lucky enough to spot Hen Harriers sky dancing on the moors – because they were and continue to be relentlessly persecuted by people who won’t tolerate these magnificent birds on their grouse moors.
- Let’s not forget that these birds are legally protected and all this is happening within a National Park
- This cannot be right
- …the persecution of Hen Harriers to the point that we have none breeding in one of our premier National Parks is something that needs to be urgently addressed. It is a national disgrace.
- …when you explain that protected birds of prey aren’t able to breed in a National Park due to persecution every response is one of incredulity. How can that be happening in a National Park they say ? Aren’t National Parks supposed to protect our precious wildlife?
- I now sense a growing movement of people who want to strengthen our links with the natural world and restore it – not destroy it. This is why I and the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust will be supporting the Hen Harrier Day on August 10th in the Peak District.
What Tim describes isn’t news – but it is shocking.
Have a look at these two RSPB reports on illegal killing of wildlife in some areas of the Peak District National Park – Peak Malpractice (from 2006) and Peak Malpractice update (from 2007). The Upper Derwent Valley is, clearly, an appropriate place to have a peaceful protest in favour of the Hen Harrier. See you there!
The following local media have been informed of the event:
Print: Derbyshire Times, Derby Telegraph, Buxton Advertiser, Ilkeston Advertiser, Matlock Mercury, Ripley and Heanor News, Belper News, Burton Mail, Glossop Chronicle, Ashbourne News Telegraph, Derbyshire Life, Derbyshire Magazine, Sheffield Star, Sheffield Telegraph.
Radio: Radio Derby, Amber Sound, High Peak Radio, Peak FM, Ashbourne Radio and High Peak Radio.