August – a top month

Signatures on our e-petition

Can you remember how many signatures our e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting had, as we entered August? 68,000. And we left August with 118,000. That’s 50,000 signatures in a month. Did I mention that we had momentum?

Wasn’t that phenomenal?

Hen Harrier Days, the Inglorious 12th, and the Bird Fair all played their parts, as did a splurge of media coverage, some videos and some good old-fashioned leaflets.  Thank you for all you did to get us over the 100,000 signature line and to an expected Westminster Hall debate (the date of which we should hear next week).


Firm briefing

As we entered September ‘Firm briefing’ was well under way – over 400 of you have contacted 262 MPs from Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP and DUP political parties.

  1. If you haven’t written to your MP on the subject of driven grouse shooting yet then please consider doing so today. You can use these words or, of course, your own.
  2. If you have written to your MP about driven grouse shooting and haven’t let me know then I’d love to hear from you (
  3. If you get a reply to your letter then I’d love to know. If it is a standard reply like these (Conservative, Labour, SNP) then just let me know. If you get something different then that is even more interesting.
  4. Conservative MPs appear to be being briefed to respond to constituents with poor and inaccurate responses (see here).  The more Tory MPs who are written to the better. In particular, the more letters that go to Defra Ministers (Andrea Leadsom (South Northants), George Eustice (Camborne and Redruth) and Therese Coffey (Coastal Suffolk)) and former ministers (Owen Paterson (North Shropshire), Liz Truss (South West Norfolk), Richard Benyon (Newbury) and Rory Stewart (Penrith and the Border)) the better.  In addition, supporters of shooting such as Geoffrey Clinton-Brown (The Cotswolds), Simon Hart (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire), Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire) and James Gray (North Wiltshire) will all value, I’m sure, hearing from their constituents on this subject. Please don’t hold back if your MP is a Conservative, we need them to move their position to a more positive one on tackling wildlife crime and addressing the damage to the environment caused by driven grouse shooting.  You can help that happen. Firm briefing!

This blog

August 2016 resulted in the highest number ever of page views of this blog (177,686; previous highest 114,935 in April 2016) and the second highest number of unique users (34,602; highest ever 38,128 also in April this year).


Thank you for your support.


9 Replies to “August – a top month”

  1. Interesting reading that Register of Financial Interests for House of Commons.
    E.g. – Geoffrey Clinton-Brown
    “Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
    Name of donor: British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) Address of donor: Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0HL
    Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: one day’s shooting and one night’s accommodation at Hoar Cross Hall Hotel Staffordshire; total value £772
    Date received: 17 December 2015”
    That’s what he does when he’s not “flipping” his house for expenses purposes or voting to keep down gun licence fees and vote for welfare cuts!

    1. Many thanks for the info, not seen that register before. In fact, never would have thought of looking for it. Perhaps, just maybe, it explains why my Hon Mem has so far been too busy to even acknowledge my 2nd email as well as the first!

  2. So the moral of the story …. all voters / constituents need to check on their own MPs? Then there’s also the age old adage “know your enemy” and there’s a vast amount out there which can be obtained through diligent research.

    Politics, sadly, has become a dirty game. The additional income for many of the 650 can be considerably more than they receive for simply being an MP. Look up a few safe seats, some key Ministerial posts, in conjunction with their voting record etc. and you soon begin to build up an interesting picture? In due course, how many speaking on any particular issue will declare any interests? Of course, they will simply claim to be representing their constituents interests ….

    For sure, this issue is certainly bringing under scrutiny the conduct of the ‘establishment’ (that is to say all elements and associates)? Good, healthy, open and transparent conduct of governance, crucially to my mind we also need accountability for democracy to stand a chance?

    1. I’m still feeling pretty naive. It’s only a short while ago I found out that MPs didn’t just rely on their MP income! Green or what?! (me, that is) So, 2 requirements for the next election:- all candidates must have served at least 5 (10?) years as a district/county councellor where they are intending to stand for election; local TV channels/papers publish the equivalent of the register of financial interests of all candidates. Any chance?!

  3. Today’s word: perky
    The signature total today was the best since 25th August.

    Petition total (3rd Sep): 119,288
    The day’s signatures: 211

    (I took last night off but did catch the close of play;
    Petition total (2nd Sep.): 119,077
    The day’s signatures: 130)

    Week: 27th August-3rd September
    Petition total: 119,077
    Week’s total: 985
    Daily average: 140.7
    Constituency average (end of week): 183

    Week: 20th-26th August
    Petition total: 118,092
    Week’s total: 3271
    Daily average: 467
    Constituency average (end of week): 181.7

    Week: 13th-19th August
    Petition total: 114,821
    Week’s total: 16,926
    Daily average: 2418
    Constituency average (end of week): 176.6

    Week: 6th-12th August
    Petition total: 97,895
    Week’s total: 25,635
    Daily average: 3662
    Constituency average (end of week): 150.6

    17 days to go.

  4. In terms of actually getting driven grouse shoots banned (which I assume is the object of the exercise?) what strikes me is the absence of signatures! Have the RSPB let you down here?

    What I found from past experience is the overwhelming majority of people, birders and nature lovers included, don’t give a monkeys about Hen Harriers!

    People will empathise with the plight of other people who are suffering at the hands of the rich and powerful however. The downstream effects of grouse moor management is therefore the thing to focus on. imho. From this blog:

    “According to the Environment Agency the years in which Hebden Bridge has been flooded seriously are: 1946, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2012 again and 2015. Richard Bannister acquired Walshaw Moor and started the increased drainage, building of tracks and car parks etc which got him into a dispute with Natural England in 2002. So in the 13 years since Walshaw Moor changed hands there have been five Hebden Bridge floods and in the 56 years before there were two such events as best we can tell. That’s quite a change. Makes you think doesn’t it?”

    The Hebdon Bridge community website forum is very exercised about this. Not surprising since they report many effected households and businesses have yet to fully recover from the last flooding event. If ever there was an opportunity to highlight the attitudes of “establishment MPs” to the actions of a tiny interest group in the removal of a first line defence against flooding, this is it!

    1. Fight dirty – you are catching up. Thanks for your advice. Which is the constituency with the largest number of signatures?

      1. Mark, I came into this via an email from British Birds magazine so yes you’re right I am catching up with the millions of words you’ve written.

        Having observed the Brexiters and “The Donald” I’m just reiterating what to me is likely to be the most productive element of your campaign. I want you to succeed with this!

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