This brought a tear to my eye

Hi Mark,

I have just read your recent blog on the Peak District and the National Trust, and I am afraid it has made me cry. I think they are partly tears of sorrow and partly of hope against hope that what you write about could be true. I love the Peak District. It is now my home but as a child growing up in South Yorkshire it was our escape. It is where I saw my first, well, pretty much everything really, guided by the gentle, expert knowledge of my father. Hen harriers, peregrines, merlins, short eared owls, goshawks, black darters, green hairstreak butterflies, green tiger beetles, ring ouzels, golden plovers, ravens – the list could become very long, and he showed me them all. He was one of the Sodden 570, standing in the rain amongst the hills he knew like the back of his hand. Sadly he was no longer with us for the 2nd Hen Harrier Day, but even when he was very poorly he was asking about “news on the hen harrier front” and “What do you think the National Trust should do with the moorland?” He had a pretty high opinion of you too, by the way!

Your book Inglorious had the same effect on me with its descriptions of seeing harriers and I very nearly wrote to you then, but held back because it seemed a bit strange and I am basically a pretty private person. The moors are a fantastic place, a place where you often will not see much, but when you do you can pretty much guarantee it will be something special. It breaks my heart that there is so much destruction going on up there, that it seems to be getting worse not better, and that the people who should be protecting the landscape and its wildlife are not doing so effectively.

You are doing a brilliant job, Mark. Please keep going. There are a lot of us out here fighting too, but we need someone like you to spur us on. I hope one day the storm clouds will clear and that the “Sunlit Uplands” will indeed shine through in the Peak District.

God willing, I will be there for the 3rd Hen Harrier Day, and as many as it takes.

Likes(172)Dislikes(6)
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8 Replies to “This brought a tear to my eye”

  1. There's nothing that can be said that is as beautiful as what you have said, but I want to acknowledge it, and thank you for it.

    Mark's efforts are brilliant, and yours (and your father's) work in a different way.

    Keep doing what you're doing, and may you be well in it.

    Likes(17)Dislikes(1)
  2. As another one of the Sodden 570 I'll look forward to seeing you in the Peak District on the 7th August. We will win, and your father will have played his part in that victory.

    Likes(6)Dislikes(1)
  3. A beautiful reminder of who and what this fight is for and why it must be, will be won. Thank you.

    Likes(6)Dislikes(1)
    1. We would like to express our appreciation too for a beautiful piece - and thanks to Mark and everyone for your tenacity of purpose.

      It's not just the hen harriers, important though they are - it's all our beleaguered wildlife who are under attack from one faction or another.

      Let's keep up the good work together.

      Likes(8)Dislikes(1)
  4. That letter struck home with me. i am out in the Peak District every day. I know people who work on the big estates. The things you hear.

    Hen harriers are just a dream, to imagine them here in relative peace. Buzzards, ravens, peregrines, kites, hares, otters, badgers. The sooner you move here, Mark, the better.

    Likes(5)Dislikes(1)
  5. Mark,

    Our uplands are a monument to the mismanagement of man. We need to return them to the native woodland they once were. We need to return them to the kaleidoscope of biodiversity they once were. Yet, there are epic bureaucratic hurdles to overcome. This is where you can help. How about it?

    Best john

    Likes(4)Dislikes(1)
  6. That story says it all.
    Over 100 'Likes'.
    What I cannot understand is the 2 'Dislikes'?

    Likes(9)Dislikes(1)
  7. Hilary,most of the peak outside the main grouse areas is very good for birds of prey. I would be interested to know the estates where you have had these conversations. Any thing you have that may be of interest could be reported to either the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group ,or South Peak Raptor Study Group.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(1)

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