Join the Hen Harrier ‘thunderclap’


‘Thunderclaps’ occur when lots of people sign up to the same message on social media and it is then automatically sent out to all their followers (on Twitter), friends (on Facebook) and ‘whatevers’ (on tumblr – sorry, I don’t have a clue about tumblr).

The message for Hen Harrier Day is simply ‘We’re missing our Hen Harriers – show your support for #HenHarrierDay’ – so, nothing the least bit contentious there. Nothing political. Nothing about what should happen next. Just an outpouring of support for a marvellous threatened icon of our uplands that is illegally persecuted.

Who wouldn’t sign up to that?

The most thunderous voices to sign up so far are: Sea Wild Earth, RSPB, Chris Packham, the Green Party of England and Wales, the Wildlife Trusts and the League Against Cruel Sports (updated 28 July).  But every voice counts – so please add yours if you do social media.

Here are some suggestions:

The Green Party was quick to sign up – what about the Labour Party, the Conservatives, the LibDems, UKIP, Plaid Cymru, the SNP and many others?  Well, who’s on the side of wildlife? The general election is not that far away – your support, or lack of it, will be remembered (by this blog at least it will).

My MP, Andy Sawford, has signed up too – has yours? Why not ask them?

Let’s please see solidarity from other wildlife groups for this – Greenpeace, WWF-UK, FoE, Buglife, Plantlife, Butterfly Conservation and the rest. We’re not asking for blood – just a single message to your supporters on a serious conservation issue – wildlife crime is wildlife crime whether it affects birds, mammals, plants or insects.

M&S did a good thing last week – they said they won’t sell Red Grouse in their shops this year because of worries over being sure that their sources are ‘harrier-friendly’ (my words) – surely they would like to do one small thing and be the first big supermarket to sign up to this thunderclap – or will they be beaten to it by a competitor?

Shooting organisations are quick to say that they abhor the killing of Hen Harriers – how many of BASC, GWCT, Moorland Association, NFU, CLA, Countryside Alliance will sign up to a simple message in support of a protected wildlife species that is threatened by illegal activity? Let’s see shall we? Note added later: GWCT have signed, they tell me. Good for them.

And those other landowners and land managers in affected areas  -what about the Peak District NP, NYork Moors, Yorkshire Dales, Forest of Bowland AONB, Yorkshire Water, Severn Trent, United Utilities and, of course, the National Trust?  Just join the thunderclap to send a message that you care about legally protected, but actually endangered, wildlife, please.

I will be happy to mention significant organisations who sign up to the thunderclap on this blog.  I’ll be happy to keep pointing out who hasn’t too.

But whatever they do – you can add your voice. Please do by clicking here.



1 Reply to “Join the Hen Harrier ‘thunderclap’”

  1. This is an excellent initiative Mark.
    OSME have just signed up to the Thunderclap. A quick look at the literature suggests that Hen Harriers have been recorded in every one of the countries within our region, from The Middle East, The Caucasus through to Central Asia. Whilst it is primarily a scarce winter visitor in many of ‘our’ countries, it is sad to see that is even scarcer in most parts of Britain.
    Good luck with reaching 2million Thunderclappers by the 10th, and what odds on 12,000 signatories to the petition by the 12th?


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