Hen Harrier brood meddling on trial (6)

Another good day in court. The three judges were engaged with the subject and asked quite a lot of questions (they seemed sensible questions to me).

Now we wait until judgment is handed down which I guess will be at least a month away – maybe more.

It wouldn’t be wise to comment on how things went but I will say that it brings a smile to my face when hearing lawyers speak confidently about biology and get it wrong. But it isn’t their biological acumen on which the decision rests but on their reading of the law.

We learned one thing, I think, and that was that there is a significant chance that brood-meddling will be off the agenda this year because of COVID-19. That’s what I think I heard, and we’ll be seeking confirmation of that with Natural England as a matter of urgency.

It is in the very nature of judicial reviews (and in this case, appealing a judgment of such a judicial review) that one is operating at the edge of the legal interpretation. But my legal team didn’t leave anything on the pitch – we gave it our very best shot and I am deeply grateful to them as well as to all of us who funded this challenge.

And so now we wait. And as always with legal cases, I remain hopeful of success, but not confident of it. But also sure taht this legal challenge, and this appeal, were the right things to do.


6 Replies to “Hen Harrier brood meddling on trial (6)”

  1. Even should brood management not be sanctioned this year, i remain confident this will have no effect on the inexorable rise in successful Hen Harrier nests on Grouse moors, towards the magical figure of sixty one pairs , and
    thus favourable conservation status.
    Which should be good enough for anyone.

    1. I understand [Mark writes; this comment is on the wrong post and is therefore off-topic. Tou are welcome to put it in the right place]

    2. No it won’t the figure of 60 is a total fudge favourable conservation status should be 320. The fudged 60 is a max figure the grouse criminals/industry wanted.

    3. Hi Trapit, I get your rationale. But 61 or 70 or 80 or 90 pairs wouldn’t be good enough for me – maybe 200 would. I think I have an idea of your background, which is fine with me – we might even have met! But do you not think what with all the advances limiting disease cycles (and increasing the long term bag averages massively!) from medicated grit / burning in tiny patches over last 30yrs, etc that the Guns are getting more than enough Grouse these days? Why is it that they will not satisfy themselves with 100- ish brace days & have to get 200, 300, 400 plus and smash new records every single year? With that mentality reigning that is why I personally don’t think HH status will ever be favourable. Very sad, there is a positive role for some keepering and shooting interests in this country, but not until the “moderates” in the shooting world wrestle control from the greedy big-boys and the Agents. Just my opinion.

    4. Trapit,

      Just how many successful nests were on grouse Moors in 2020? I mean actually on Grouse Moors managed for DGS and not on nearby land or on moors where DGS does not take place?

      How does that compare to previous years?
      How many Hen harriers go “missing” on moors managed for DGS each year?

      When illegal persecution of Hen Harriers and other Birds of Prey is proven to ahve ceased on Grouse Moors, that will be good enough for everyone and it should be easy and quick to achieve, it just requires the cooperation of all those involved in managing grouse Moors, simples!

  2. As long as there are reasonable grounds, and I know Mark that is always the case with you and Wild Justice, I am quite sure these legal challenges are the right thing to do. Whether win or loose these challenges show this Government that they can no longer do just what they like to nature and use it to their own ends as they do so often, without fear of a reckoning.
    During this morning I thought I hear a huge “ how’s that” over the air waves which sounded as though Natural England were plum LBW to a fast ball. Let’s hope so.

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