Yesterday I NERFed at the North of England Raptor Forum in Bakewell (whence come the tarts, or maybe puddings).
I’ll tell you more about this excellent event later but the first, and, in a way, best, talk of the conference was that of Alan Fielding on the update of the Hen Harrier Conservation Framework.
We should expect nothing much to change it seems. The overall estimates for potential population levels will fall, perhaps by quite a lot, but the population levels in the real world are so low that this won’t make much difference to how the conservation status of the Hen Harrier will be seen. You might say, I wouldn’t, that there are still Llareggub Hen Harriers however many are predicted (in a very Dylan Thomas type of way).
Weather is important, overgrazing by sheep is important and forest restocks are important – it seems. Things are changing all the time except that the role of illegal persecution, wildlife crime, is still as important as ever. Plus ca change… etc etc
There may be too many sheep in Wales, except in SPAs, for there to be many more Hen Harriers, but there are too many grouse shooters in England for there to be many Hen Harriers. Personally, I prefer the sheep.