A recap: the Hawk and Owl Trust has, unbeknownst to most of its members, become very keen on Hen Harrier ‘brood management’ (known to many as brood meddling). This move has positioned the H&OT very strangely in one of the most contentious debates in UK conservation. Rare Bird Alert held an online poll which showed a large majority of respondents were against the H&OT position, and the President of the H&OT, Chris Packham, resigned his position over ‘policy differences’ thought to be not a million miles away from differences over this particular policy. But not to worry, grouse moor owners are flocking to support the H&OT in their droves – well, Philip Astor tweeted that he had joined the H&OT in any event.
A couple of weeks ago the H&OT trustees were meeting and the departure of their President and the storm of controversy in which their chair, Philip Merricks, had placed the organisation must (surely?) have been the main items for discussion.
But the outside world, and the H&OT membership. remain in the dark about whether those discussions led to any change in policy. Is Philip Merricks now about to attempt to impersonate the grand Old Duke of York and get his 10,000 men down in the placid valleys again? Or are they staying encamped on a turbulent hilltop?