Since we are definitely having a Hen Harrier-fllled day…
On 27 July this blog pointed out to Natural England that it was all over the place with what it said about the reasons (there are no good ones) for the Hen Harrier brood meddling trial – see here.
Natural England’s blog, written by their Director responsible for species licensing issues (including brood-meddling licences I assume), Dave Slater, had written that;
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.
This isn’t anything to do with what brood-meddling is for and was not consistent with Natural England’s sworn court testimony on the subject.
I know that this text did not change very quickly but I noticed yesterday that it now has and the offending sentence has been replaced with;
The aims of the brood management trial are to understand if it is possible to rear hen harriers in captivity and then release them to become successful breeding adults in the English uplands but also to investigate the effects of this technique on the perceptions and behaviour of the moorland community.https://naturalengland.blog.gov.uk/2020/05/22/hen-harrier-brood-management-trial-licence-renewed/
That is the convoluted excuse for brood-meddling. There is no note on the blog that it has been changed and that an error has been rectified, which is poor practice as it amounts to rewriting history without any admission. Dominic Cummings?
I’m still shocked that a senior member of Natural England, but that the organisation as a whole, could screw up on the facts of a high-profile project. It’s not an approach that builds trust.
I’m getting very impatient about the timetabling of our Appeal Court hearing on brood-meddling (see here). There is still no date allocated.
Oh, and by the way, in July, on that same blog, Natural England said that there were over 20 successful Hen Harrier nests in England this year – today, they said that there were 19 nests (but actually, it seems there were 24 nests of which 19 were successful). You simply can’t believe what Natural England says on this subject because they show no sign of knowing what they are doing. Someone needs to get a grip of the staff, and of the truth.