Natural England issued an update on their controversial Hen Harrier brood meddling project on Friday but I’ve only just seen it. They’ve also sent me (and the RSPB) a further update from their legal department because both RSPB and I are taking legal action against this daft project.
First, the Natural England blog. As reported by Raptor Persecution UK Natural England have said that two nests have been brood-meddled this year. Nine chicks were removed from two nests and eight of them survived to be released. Let’s hope they fare much better than last year’s cohort – none of whom (5 chicks) are thought to be alive.
But the blog contains another example of Natural England’s chaotic internal and external communications. Dave Slater, a Natural England director no less, and in charge of species licensing writes;
The 5 year brood management trial is designed to determine how many hen harriers can live alongside grouse before they have an impact on grouse numbers through predating them.https://naturalengland.blog.gov.uk/2020/05/22/hen-harrier-brood-management-trial-licence-renewed/
No it isn’t!! And it’s certainly not what Natural England’s sworn evidence to the court said it was for either. If the Director responsible for licensing doesn’t know why his staff issued this licence who does? Natural England omnishambles continues. I suggest NE corrects this error pretty quickly as it looks as though it may have been there since May.
More on Hen Harrier brood-meddling very soon.