Tim Melling – Hen Harrier

Tim writes: according to the RSPB, 2019 was a record year for Hen Harriers in England with 33 young fledged from 9 nests. But it is within my memory that 30 pairs nested in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland alone. Nine nests for the whole of England is perilously low. Quoting from RSPB recently “Hen harriers are on the verge of disappearing as a breeding bird in England owing to ongoing illegal killing associated with driven grouse shooting, and they aren’t doing much better in the rest of the British Isles. Scientific research published in March this year, based on data from Natural England, showed that 72% of satellite-tagged hen harriers were considered or confirmed to have been illegally killed on British grouse moors, and the birds were 10 times more likely to die or disappear over grouse moor than any other type of land use.” It is worth adding that none of the nine successful nests were on intensive (driven) grouse moors. 

Chris Packham’s petition to ban driven grouse shooting exceeded 85,000 signatures, but needs 100,000 to be considered for a discussion in Parliament. Petitions usually have six months to reach their target, but suspension of Parliament on 12 September is likely to mean all petitions will close, in Chris Packham’s case, 5 months prematurely. It would be great if his petition could reach the necessary milestone before 12 September. Please consider signing it if you haven’t already done so. Here’s the link:  petition.parliament.uk/petitions/266770  

Ban Driven Grouse Shooting: Wilful blindness is no longer an option Chris Packham, Ruth Tingay and Mark Avery (Wild Justice) believe that intensive grouse shooting is bad for people, the environment and wildlife. People; grouse shooting is economically insignificant when contrasted with other real and potential uses of the UK’s uplands. Environment; muirburn impacts negatively upon climate change and drainage leads to flooding and erosion. Wildlife; the wholesale culling of all predators and Mountain Hares has a disastrous effect on the ecology of these areas and the industry is underpinned by a criminal tradition of raptor persecution which shows no signs of abating. It’s time to provide an opportunity to implement immediate, legislative and meaningful measures to address this abhorrently destructive practice. 

Please sign this e-petition by Chris Packham calling for a ban of driven grouse shooting.


11 Replies to “Tim Melling – Hen Harrier”

  1. Is it correct that all petitions will be terminated when parliament is suspended? I thought it was only if an election is called? It would be extremely unfair if this (and other petitions) were brought to a close prematurely in this way.

    1. Jonathan – I believe that is what happens but am seeking confirmation. I read rumours (rumours! rumours!) that a general election might be announced this Thursday which would settle it once and for all. Prorogation ceases all parliamentary activity – bills which are passing through parliament will fall, however close they might be to becoming law (and however worthy or unworthy) so a little matter like a petition must hit the buffers too! I believe though (though I am not completely sure of this either) that our owed government response for having reached 10,000 signatures (on Day 1 some 19 days ago) would emmerge in the next parliament and a debate would also be likely but not absolutely certain. We live in uncertain times.

      1. ‘We live in uncertain times’.

        There’s no denying that!

        In any case, whether the petition is prevented from passing the 100,000 mark or not and irrespective of whether it results in another WH debate, the rapidity with which it has garnered the 85,000 signatures already recorded is a clear indication of the widespread strength of feeling on the issue. They may not acknowledge it but the government, the statutory conservation agencies, the shooting organisations and everyone else with an interest in the management of the uplands will all have taken note so those signatures will not have been gathered in vain. The case for maintaining the status quo will have been eroded a little bit further.

          1. Yes, if the 570 sigs/ hr keeps up from now — ETA should be at ~ 1800 hrs. If not, drinks are still in order.

  2. In fact the large number of signatures are really due to the followers of Chris Packham than the Hen Harrier cause in my opinion.
    I think whatever petition Chris started the followers would sign in great numbers.
    Let’s face it when less known people have started petitions on behalf of Hen Barriers they have never got anywhere near the number Chris has got in a very short time.

  3. Yes we should all have a favourite tipple at the ready for the remarkable progress of this petition. I have just leafleted my local village and had a favourable response from those I spoke to.It’s really uplifting.

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