Natural England has been carrying out a Hen Harrier study with radio-tagged and satellite-tagged Hen Harriers for years and years (since 2002 in fact). It formed part of the basis for the excellent NE report (A Future for Hen Harriers in England? which was published under a Labour government in 2008). Natural England has been curiously quiet about the results of their (ie our) study since then and only released some data from it after being asked many times by this blog and by others.
This study has formed part of a PhD study by a NE staff member which was supposed to be completed at the end of 2014.
According to NE over £10k of their (ie our) funds was dedicated to the study.
I have asked NE, through an FoI request, to answer the following questions:
- Is the study of Hen Harrier tagging completed?
- Has a PhD been submitted?
- If so, has the PhD thesis been examined?
- If so, has the thesis been approved?
- If so, in which library is the PhD lodged and where can members of the public gain access to it?
- What plans does NE have to publish the data and to publicise the results of the study?
- What would be the process of obtaining copies of the data for personal scientific analysis?
- Were the locations of all Hen Harriers which ‘disappeared’ or whose satellite tags ‘failed’ given to the appropriate police authorities as information which would be relevant to possible crimes? Please supply details.
- Does the £10k published cost of the study include the salary of the NE staff member most intimately involved with the work?
- Does the £10k published cost of the study include the accommodation and subsistence costs of the NE staff member most intimately involved with the work?
- What are the true costs of this study to the tax-payer once NE staff time, supervision, travel, accommodation and subsistence are included?