Saturday cartoon by Ralph Underhill


There are just six days left to sign our successful e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting.  Ask your friends on Twitter, Facebook and in real life!

Although the ills of driven grouse shooting are far wider than just wildlife crime directed at birds of prey such as Hen Harriers, systematic illegal persecution of birds of prey is reason enough to ban driven grouse shooting. There has been no let-up in the level of wildlife crime despite decades of discussion with grouse shooters.

Peregrine Falcons on grouse moors in northern England are either absent from traditional nest sites on grouse moors or, year after year, their nesting attempts are disturbed, eggs removed or destroyed or adults ‘disappear’ during the nesting season. A five-year attempt to improve things in the Peak District,  involving grouse shooting interests, failed completely to restore Peregrines within one of our National Parks. In Scotland, the North East Raptor Study group published a paper showing that although Peregrine Falcons were increasing on the coast they were declining (against the overall trend) on grouse moors. And the preliminary findings of the 2014 National Peregrine Survey showed that although this bird is continuing to recover in numbers in the lowlands and in our cities its numbers are declining in the uplands where the men in tween hold sway.

It’s not just Peregrines: Golden Eagles, Goshawks and Red Kites all too often have short lives on grouse moors.  But the Hen Harrier is the species most affected by driven grouse shooting.

There should be 2600 pairs of Hen Harrier Nesting in the UK but there are just 6-800 pairs.  The difference is almost entirely due to wildlife crime.

Hen Harriers are more or less restricted to the uplands of the UK these days, and they make the mistake of including Red Grouse in their diets.  In Northern Ireland and Wales, where there is little driven grouse shooting, Hen Harrier populations are increasing, as they are in those parts of Scotland with the least driven grouse shooting. In contrast, Hen Harriers are basically absent as successful breeding birds from those swathes of the uplands dominated by driven grouse shooting such as east and south Scotland and northern England.

In England there should be c330 pairs of nesting Hen Harrier but last year there were just 6 successful nesting attempts.

Defra released a poor Hen Harrier plan on Thursday, we have a better one: ban driven grouse shooting.

Please sign this e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting and save the Hen Harrier.


Or, if you have any ideas on how to arm the harriers as in Ralph’s cartoon, then please let me know.




8 Replies to “Saturday cartoon by Ralph Underhill”

  1. Yes, if something was shooting back most of these psycho fools would run a mile.

    BTW could we make more of the fact that enjoying killing another living creature must be a pretty psychopathic characteristic? Do we really want to encourage that desire in a society? It’s entirely different from regretfully killing something because some greater objective requires it. Very sick really.

      1. I hadn’t realised pigs, chickens, cattle and sheep were flushed towards shooters in butts, I thought people had to be paid to kill them in slaughterhouses.

  2. “I really hope you are a vegan.”

    Is this the Hypocrite card? If you don’t eat meat you cant comment on others killing to eat, bit of a lame response, we all have the right to question what we think is wrong. I think its wrong in a country of 61 million people one man can own so much land, be allowed to strip it of all its wildlife so he and a couple of his friends can blast away thousands of birds for fun and then start again for the next year.
    I think its wrong this is called Sport, if I walked into a few pheasant rearing pens and shot all the birds would this make me a brilliant shot, no it wouldn’t obviously, would it be sporting? Again no that’s obvious! So why isn’t it obvious when close on a thousand birds have been shot in a morning (as has been documented) that this isn’t sporting,
    I think its wrong so much money is going to these estates in the form of subsidies, £250,000 was the average for each of these estates I am led to believe, they employ an average of six men full time on minimum wages and a few more on casual money during the season. With all respect there cannot be work to keep these men busy during the seven months were there is no game shooting and this is were the problems seem to arrive with respect to illegal killing of our protected wildlife, the devil makes work for idle hands
    I think its wrong these estates keep claiming to be running at a loss, subsidies alone cover the cost of the wages the biggest expense I would imagine, I’ll stand being corrected on that, 1,000 plus birds shot at £150 per brace, then sold on to local restaurants at nominal amounts, plus deer stalking and fishing rights on some estates, seems virtually impossible to me for an estate to run at a loss, also seems strange that many are registered over sea’s.
    just a few points from a omnivore

    1. Yes I do think its hypocritical to say enjoying killing an animal is psychopathic if you then tuck into a chicken sandwich. There is many things wrong with grouse shooting and that is why I have signed the petition, but I am also aware that many animals die for my enjoyment every time I eat bacon or chicken or steak.

  3. Please don’t sway from the main issue here; that the UK’s raptors, particularly our Hen Harriers and Peregrine Falcons, are being ILLEGALLY slaughtered by people who work under the landed gentry.

  4. What I said, half asleep, at some ungodly hour listening to flailing bird in chimney.
    Hope I hadn’t offended anyone Mark ! ?

    All the best.

Comments are closed.