There is a dark day looming. The Inglorious Twelfth is just a few sleeps away, and yet it is troubling the sleep of many people; people who care about the wildlife balance in the uplands, people who are angry about the on going illegal persecution of raptors, people who feel like their natural inheritance is being taken from them. I am one of those people.
Hen harriers have not just gone missing. Nature has not just decided that there are too many and reduced them to just 3 successful breeding pairs in England this year. The habitat is there for the birds, the food is there for the birds, so clearly there are dark deeds taking place.
Like many of you, I enjoyed the thrill of a Hen Harrier Day event at the weekend. The hope and determination that spills over at these events is just what is needed to keep people fighting for these birds. But after the highs of the Hen Harrier Days I think there is a time of reflecting, as we know what starts just a few days later. In my head I already hear the guns.
The sound of the guns is just an end point though. You have to think about all that has happened up until the point that the trigger is pulled. The death of that one red grouse does upset me, but the journey to that point fills me with rage. The burning, the persecution, the culling, the medicated grit, the unnatural numbers of grouse, the disregard for a balance of nature, the greed. Red grouse of course breed naturally in the uplands, but there is nothing natural about the intensive farming of them.
So on Saturday, shooters from across the country will swarm to the uplands. They will blast hundreds of bulky, slow flying birds from the sky and return home with great stories to tell. Social media will be flooded with Glorious Twelfth tales, pictures of dead birds and ignorant enthusiasm about this so called great tradition.
But it doesn’t have to be the only story told, and this is why social media can be such a fantastic weapon in the battle against illegal persecution. We have the opportunity to tell the other side of the story on Saturday 12th August. We have the opportunity to raise awareness and talk about the dark side of the upland’s grouse shooting season.
The #Inglorious12th Thunderclap is timed to go out on 12th August at 9:30am. As I write this blog, over 1900 people have signed this thunderclap. They will all have the following message posted on their Twitter and Facebook accounts at exactly the same time:
I want to see an end to raptor persecution in the uplands. Criminal activity needs to be stopped #Inglorious12th
This message will then be seen by all their followers. This is the social reach of the thunderclap, and as it stands today, over 7.7 million people could be reached. We still have a few days to go though, so the more of you that sign up, the more people we can reach.
If you have already signed up, then please get one more person to do the same. If you are unsure about signing, then please tweet or add a message to your Facebook account at around 9:30am on 12th August using the hashtag #Inglorious12th. If we can get the message to trend on social media, then even more people will see it, and more important awareness will be raised.
The uplands may not have a balance of nature yet, but let’s make sure that the message about the 12th August is balanced and that both sides of the story are told.
The link to the thunderclap is:
15 Replies to “Guest blog – Thunder in the Uplands by Findlay Wilde”
Thanks for all your good work, Findlay. You’ve even got through to a bemused old buffer and got him to use Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr (what’s that?) for the first time.
You are an absolute star Findlay! It is a thrill to read your text above and realise that there are brilliant young people such as yourself trying to do what they can for wildlife. People like you will ensure that the evil raptor persecution will stop and in my lifetime as well as yours. All the very best to you Findlay. Go find it!
I have always been very envious of people who can write down their thoughts so succinctly. This is a masterclass in clear, persuasive writing. Your passion for the subject shines through, as does your understanding of the issues involved. I am not sure that I will ever see Grouse shooting banned, but it surely will be one day. You and you generation will eventually be able to walk those uplands and experience more natural surroundings, I have no doubt. Good luck to you!
I would like to echo the above two comments by Murray and Gary. Well done Findlay, what you are doing is brilliant.
Good blog and well done with your excellent campaigning so far!
Just one small point about the blog though…red grouse are neither slow nor bulky. Hence the kudos in downing what is regarded as one of our most difficult birds to shoot, or as some would have it one of the most ‘sporting’.
Well done Findlay, you are an inspiration to us all.
Well done Findlay, it is because of the actions of young men like you that hen harriers will eventually be free to roam the moors without being shot.
Whilst I’d certainly not disagree with your (Sue & Chris) comment about Findlay forgive me if I refer to the ‘men’ bit?
We have Georgia and other young ‘people’ taking up the baton for the future of our natural heritage? Remember https://markavery.info/2016/10/25/guest-blog-spurn-wilderness-fascination-worrying-situation-georgia-locock/ or https://markavery.info/2017/02/07/guest-blog-spurn-development-decision-georgia-locock/
We need to nurture and recruit more, young and old champions for the sake of the natural world and the only home that humanity (ha) has at the moment ….
Great blog Finn’. Let’s hope for some common sense over the next couple of years
Excellent article and hope it can penetrate all the many deaf ears in the shooting-landowning brigade, some hope.
Apologies all, I should have said young people.
I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone for the supportive comments and to Mark for the opportunity to reach out to you all (and all the thunderclap promoting he has done).
Martin WW – I take on board your point. They look slow and bulky to me through the scope compared to other birds, but yes they probably are quicker and smaller than other game birds when shooting.
Nimby – you are quite right, there are loads of young people doing great things and the walk Georgia just did for the Swifts project was amazing.
Murray Marr – I am unsure about Tumblr too!
I have tried to thank everyone on twitter that has signed up, but sorry if I have missed anyone. I am not on Facebook, so sorry I cannot thank you personally if you have signed up that way, bit I am really grateful.
Oh and the 7 dislikes, always a great sign that I am on the right track.
9.4 million social reach now.
Fantastic work and a great example for others to learn from.
Findlay – you’re a star!! The small number of sad people who choose to dislike that you are positive, focused and simply a force for good, are simply those that choose to urinate into a force ten! The time will dawn on them that all they have achieved is to be soaked in urine! (crude analogy I know but not as crude as wanting to derail positivity)
Thank you Findlay, and all young people like you for what you are doing. I’m running out of time to see the outcome to all this, but you aren’t – and when it happens, it will be so sweet.
Keep going, they’ll have to listen eventually.
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