A Hen Harrier Day message from Bill Oddie

Bill is one of the strong supporters of this e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting that passed 78,000 signatures a little while ago today (having passed 77,000 signatures this morning).  Please sign to make an old Goodie very happy.


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15 Replies to “A Hen Harrier Day message from Bill Oddie”

  1. Mark, Lets all join forces and take our argument to the Houses of Parliament by standing outside Westminster telling our MP's and the wider public we will no longer tolerate a sport that is dependent upon the illegal killing of our protected birds of prey by criminals.

  2. Hats off to all who were involved in front and behind camera, congratulations.

    Sad to report, as Chris intimated in his Rainham speech that 'they' continue to go for him. See latest attempt http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37010827

    Will this end up like the previous attempt? 81,672 vs 5,031?

    To repeat "ignore, laugh, fight .... now the tables are beginning to turn, so keep up the pressure and we will 'win'!

  3. Just to pop a link to the new 'Don't sack Chris Packham Petition' up;


  4. So five very important petitions relating to raptors in the UK;

    1) Ban driven grouse shooting
    -I'm guessing you all know where!

    2) Don't sack Chris Packham

    3) Suspend Natural England License to kill Buzzards (off to a massive start!)

    4) End all hunting and shooting on National Trust land

    5) Stop the Illegal Persecution of Rare Hen Harriers in England (wow, it's on 80,676 signatures!)


    Plus there is also one for Scotland (closes 22nd August);

    State regulated licensing system for gamebird hunting in Scotland


    1. I agree with and have signed no's 1,2,3 & 5 on your list Jim, but no. 4 is far too general in my opinion and not very well thought through. It would be ecologically disastrous if deer stalking/culling were to cease on all NT owned land. What about pigeon and rabbit control on NT owned farm's?

      1. I think you may be taking the wording of these petitions a bit too literally, Ernest.
        For me, petition 4 is shorthand for something like "Please, National Trust, take a long hard look at hunting and shooting activities on your land. There are lots of people who disapprove of some of the things that go on, and now may be an opportune moment to have a rethink."
        In practice, that's the way it will be taken by the NT and I have no problem with supporting it.

        1. The final paragraph states:

          'Hunting and shooting should NEVER be allowed on National Trust land and I call for a COMPLETE ban on these activities on National Trust land.'

          I think you are expecting too much of the NT to be able to read between the lines in the way you suggest. There is a powerful faction within the organisation completely opposed to banning shooting on NT land - the wording of this petition provides them the perfect excuse to ignore this petition completely out of hand. In cricketing parlance it's the equivalent of a rank long hop going down the leg side.

          1. Thanks for the comments Alan and Ernest. I do agree that the wording is not ideal for petition 4; the wiggle between a 'no sports hunting and shooting position' e.g. 'Shooting and hunting of wildlife for fun should be confined to the last century', and a 'no shooting in any circumstances' e.g. '.....shooting should never be allowed on National Trust land'. I've signed because I do want to see an end to sport shooting (particular grouse and pheasant shooting) on public/national trust land, and err more towards Alan's appraisal of the petitions potential - 'There are lots of people who disapprove of some of the things that go on, and now may be an opportune moment to have a rethink'. I do fully appreciate your reservations, however, Ernest, and do understand why you wouldn't want to sign it. I think it should be up on the list though, to help bring it to a wider audience, and hopefully more people will have the opportunity to make a considered decision whether to sign or not.

          2. There's a bit of a flurry at the moment, I'm not sure but maybe this petition to the National Trust would suit you better, Ernest?


            'We now call upon the National Trust not to replace the soon-to-be-evicted grouse shooting tenant on these two estates around Kinder Scout and Bleaklow. Instead the Trust should work with conservation-minded partners to establish a wilder landscape, free of intensive grouse-management, where wildlife can recover and thrive and with less risk of illegal persecution'.

            The response I got from the organisers is explicitly not anti-shooting, e.g.;
            'For some reason RSPB HQ seem to think we're trying to ban shooting, and they're not in favour of supporting that. As we aren't seeking a ban on anything, it would be really nice if they would permit their local RSPB groups to join our coalition'.

          3. I guess it comes down to how you think negotiations usually pan out in the real world. I think it's often not a bad idea to start by asking for more than you expect to get, to allow some room for compromise and concession.
            If you ask for precisely the minimum you feel you need you may win points for accuracy, but there's a real risk that it will get watered down to something useless.

          4. Jim - many thanks. Signed with pleasure.

            Alan Two - I agree regarding negotiation, but I don't accept the premise that submitting an e petition is negotiation, surely it's more about sending a message and a very clear one at that in order to apply pressure. There is nothing clear about calling for a complete ban on shooting/hunting when really you mean just driven grouse and pheasant shooting - that just serves to muddy the water and provides easy ammunition to the likes of the Spiv Doctor and their paymasters.

  5. Cheers Jim

    Ooops I'd missed one, so thanks - oversight addressed!

    To offer an additional suggestion if I may?

    Rona Fairhead, Chair BBC Trust
    180 Great Portland Street
    London, W1W 5QZ

    or via email to: trust.enquiries@bbc.co.uk

    I'm sure like CEO of M&S Steve Rowe, she'd be keen to receive public opinion?

    It might be somewhat archaic but I'm reminded that an MP once told me that they considered anyone would sign a petition, but they took real notice when they received bespoke letters from constituents.

  6. So, today we added 1958 signatures. That's 6480 signatures in 3 days!
    The 'steady pace' rate has now dropped to 493 signatures per day.


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