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.