Questions 2

Photo: Zoological Society of London

As well as Natural England, the Hawk and Owl Trust also has questions to answer over the non-publication of the details of Rowan’s death – Rowan was shot!

Why would a wildlife charity, indeed, a raptor charity, which had funded the tagging of a young Hen Harrier, want the details of his death to be kept secret or, at best, made strangely uncertain? How did Hen Harrier conservation benefit from obfuscation over what was revealed at Rowan’s autopsy?

We can just chalk this recent event down to another peculiar position for the Hawk and Owl Trust to have adopted since Philip Merricks became its Chairman. And we know, thanks to the excellent RPUK blog, that Merricks was keen to discuss this matter with NE before the press release, the not completely clear press release (the ‘likely to have been shot’ press release), was issued.

We’ll just add it to the list of strange behaviours: not wanting to appear on a panel at the Bird Fair to discuss driven grouse shooting, the moving speech made by Mr Merricks at the Sheffield conference, the eco-zealots article in the Telegraph and the support for brood meddling.

I’d be surprised if we get any answers from the Hawk and Owl Trust but they would be very welcome to  a Guest Blog here to explain their position better than they have so far (see here).


PS Don’t panic, don’t panic!

PPS I notice that @Hawkandowluk has blocked me on Twitter.



10 Replies to “Questions 2”

  1. Is it a case of RIP a once respected charity? Has it become the marketing agent for shooting fraternity spin? A real shame

  2. You ask ”Why would a wildlife charity, indeed, a raptor charity want the details of his death to be made strangely uncertain?”

    Remember the motto of the tobacco company strategists, adopted by the oil strategists in their campaign against climate change policies:

    ‘Doubt is our product’

    Uncertainty and doubt is a way of downplaying bad news.

  3. Re: the agenda of the Hawk & Owl Trust.
    Are the trustees/VP’s with connections to the Country Landowners Association a clue?
    Henry Shaw (Chairman, CLA, Bucks)
    Henry Robinson (ex-President CLA)
    Philip Merricks (President Kent CLA)
    Col. Robin Rees-Webbe (past Director of CLA Gamefair)

    Or am I being prejudicial? I am willing to be corrected.

  4. Welcome to the “Blocked by HOT Club,” Mark. The fact that they are blocking people with genuine concerns tells us all we need to know. I’m guessing the list is pretty long now if the mistrust on social media is anything to go by.
    Crazy situation where a conservation charity is blocking conservationists wholesale because they challenge a controversial policy.

  5. After reading this blog post yesterday I looked up Philip Merricks in case he was one of these shooting industry plants. However, after reading, or trying to wade through his hilarious speech linked to on Raptor Persecution UK, and his laughable Telegraph article, it became clear that he’s more a useful idiot than a schemer. Undoubtedly it’s his CLA mates who are pulling the strings. A man who has been massively promoted over his abilities. Nevertheless buffoons who have massive over confidence in their abilities are proving very useful to behind the scenes string pullers, as Donald Trump proves. These people are like putty in the hands of Machiavellian types. It’s just so easy to control them with a bit of flattery, to implant ideas into them, and then let them pass off these ideas as their own thinking.

    I doubt that Philip Merricks is like X-files smoking man in this skulduggery. The string pullers are elsewhere.

    1. SteB1 – I wouldn’t underestimate Philip’s ability to put some tightness on some strings, if I were you.

        1. You have something in common then! Although you try to baffle with BS or just resort to rudeness.

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