Brood meddling – no news from the courts

Hen Harrier nest. Photo: Ian Newton

I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m holding anything back from you – we have yet to hear about a new date for our appeal of the Hen Harrier brood-meddling decision. Here is the timeline of events:

Natural England announce that they have issued a licence for eggs/chicks of Hen Harriers to be removed and reared in captivity and then released somewhere fairly near where they could have been sitting all summer (brood meddling) – 16 January 2018

We start legal challenge – 28 February 2018

We are granted permission for judicial review of the legality of the licensing – 27 July 2018

2 days in Royal Courts of Justice – 5 & 6 December 2018

Another day in Royal Courts of Justice – 17 January 2019

We hear that the judge has found against us – 15 March 2019

We decide to launch an appeal – 19 March 2019

We hear that we have been given leave to appeal – 9 October 2019

The first of a planned one and a half day appeal hearing but one of the three judges is taken ill at lunchtime – 17 March 2020

Today, still waiting… 8 June 2020

Not quick is it? It will be very frustrating if brood meddling happens this year when, if things had gone well in court in March, the whole activity might have been ruled unlawful.

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3 Replies to “Brood meddling – no news from the courts”

  1. And of course in the meantime a licence has been grated for this year. I suppose it cannot be helped, except by not issuing a licence, but it is most unsatisfactory.

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  2. Although not answering the legality of it all, if this were to happen again this year, using proven
    technology, maybe no bad thing.

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  3. That the brood meddled birds have been 'lost' and will not be recruited to the breeding population is surely enough to require a review of spending of public money (particularly when there is public disquiet about the 'project')?

    You'd have thought these birds, 'their' birds might have been given a 'pass' so they could be used for propaganda purposes, instead they have simply proven critics of the scheme right.

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