I was in the Goyt Valley on Sunday morning with, I guess, 4-500 other folk. Did anyone count? There were certainly fewer than last year in the Derwent Valley – but it’s still a big crowd. And everyone was very welcome.
This was us…
Meanwhile, down south, at the RSPB reserve at Arne, 130 people attended the event …
Jon Thurnell-Read said: ‘Hen Harrier Day south at RSPB Arne, Dorset was a fantastic success, with people traveling from as far a field as Somerset, Reading, London and Hertfordshire to support hen harrier conservation. We had guest speakers – WCO Rob Hammond taking about the importance of public vigilance & wildlife crime in Dorset, Mark Constantine from Lush taking about the bath bomb campaign which will provide major funding for satellite tagging hen harrier chicks and finally Paul Morton from Sound Approach & Birds of Poole Harbour engaging the large crowd about local wintering (and safe) harriers. An very special guest in the form of a Black Stork made a brief appearance as we gathered for the group photo on Arne Heath.
The raffle was extremely popular, consisting of 10 prizes bundles including Signed copies of Inglorious, H is For Hawk and Nextinction, along with a handmade little owl nest box and a very generous selection of titles provided by Langford Press. As the event drew to a close, people were already discussing next years events and the hopes for success for breeding hen harriers.’
And meanwhile, at RSPB Saltholme….
Craig Nicholas Lee said: ‘The event was a complete success – we were completely rushed off our feet, engaging both with those who had specifically come for the event and members of the public visiting Saltholme who were interested to find out more after spotting our stand. The passion and support we experienced was overwhelming. Around 60 people attended David Lindo’s talk, though we easily had 70 people attend for the day itself, which led to some fascinating discussions, particularly around banning driven grouse shooting. . We raised over £172 for BAWC and were humbled to see how generously people wanted to donate to a cause they knew would be helping our hen harriers.‘
And meanwhile, up in Perthshire...
Andrea Hudspeth said ‘Hen Harrier Day Tayside went off without a hitch and was attended by around 70 harrier fans from far and wide across Scotland. Despite the wet weather, our spirits were not dampened and we enjoyed a chingwag over tea and cake, had a raffle for books kindly donated by Langford Press and then rallied around for a group photo at midday. We engaged with members of the public coming for a walk and outlined our issues with grouse moors to some interested local residents. The group managed to raise £272.00 for BAWC by the end of the day, so a success all round’. And there’s an interesting story about it too – click here.
And meanwhile, in the Forest of Bowland …
Terry Pickford said ‘The Forest of Bowland Hen Harrier day was inspiring, the better weather helped enormously. Of the 90 or so people who came to support us at Dunsop Bridge I got the impression the mood was changing for more radical action in the future to get our message across.
We received tremendous support from the Lancashire Constabulary; one of the two officers present during the morning, PC Carl Chew, presented our top raffle prize, a large print of a Hen Harrier donated by the artist Jeremy Paul from the Isle of Man. Overall there is no doubt the day went much better than anyone could have expected. All our supporters said they would be back next year bringing more of their friends to promote our united cause. Everyone at yesterday’s protest were angry and concerned at the disappearance of the 5 male hen harriers, and what methods estate gamekeepers are using to disrupt ground nesting raptors from settling to breed on the grouse moors they manage.
During the afternoon around 50 people joined me for a memorial walk along the Dunsop Valley where we really bonded. I was asked many times what more can they do to change this appalling situation. One supporter asked everyone present to raise their hands if they would be willing next year to disrupt a grouse shoot, without exception we all raised our hands.
Did you know two people travelled up all the way from Kent leaving at 3am in the morning to be with us for 9.30 in the morning.‘
Other Hen Harrier Days were available – elsewhere in Bowland and also on Mull.
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