This might seem a little off-subject for this blog, although I do try to maintain the appearance of having a thin veneer of culture.
However, one of the poems is right on-subject for this blog as it is ‘Bowland Beth‘ – the everyday story of the death of a satellite-tagged Hen Harrier on a shooting estate but told in a very different way.
You can hear the author read Bowland Beth here (after 14minutes and 40 seconds) – don’t you find it moving? David Harsent makes the point before his reading of his poem, that birds of prey are fully protected by law but are illegally killed by gamekeepers because they take game. He says ‘none more so than the Hen Harrier because Hen Harriers take grouse and grouse shooting is a high end business‘.
The more mundane story of this satellite-tagged young Hen Harrier, reared in the the Lancashire Trough of Bowland and killed in Yorkshire can be found here and here. The science shows us that the fate of Bowland Beth is common in the north of England where the swathes of estates given over to the industry of driven grouse shooting should be regarded as an enormous crime scene.
If moved by this poem, then please sign this e-petition calling on the government to end this time of slaughter by banning driven grouse shooting in England.