Posts Tagged ‘Hen Harrier Day 2015’

Politics & Packham: Poisoned, shot, trapped Hen Harrier RIP?

September 16, 2015

Environmental conservation has a bit of competition at the moment in terms of newsworthiness, but then that’s probably always been the case to some degree?

Politics has suddenly become lively and isn’t it interesting to see the antics of the Parliamentary playground?  The humanitarian crisis continues to unfold and that of course suffers from media hype, political commentory, filibustering rather than a collective address across the piece be it at local, national or worldwide level?

Nature, quietly going about its business, so essential to all humanity is in the back seat again?  Possibly even demoted to the trailer behind?

There have been a few entertaining bits on the worldwideweb recently?  Andy Richardson / the Countryside Alliance petition calling upon the BBC to “Sack Chris Packham” is limping along with 2,629 supporters.    Packham’s team have thus far fielded a spectacular 76,130 on the “BBC Don’t Sack Chris Packham” counter petition.   Packham’s video thanking people for their support also encourages people to join the various charities he called upon / criticised for being too meek, it also importantly asks that they consider signing the Ban driven grouse shooting epetition, it may be coincidental but the numbers have risen at the rate of around 1,500 a day and it currently stands at around 18,823.  The petition has until 21 January 2016 to run, if it reaches the ‘magic’ figure of 100,000 signatories then it “will be considered for debate in Parliament”. 

In an article in yesterday’s Independent, the BBC make it clear that Packham would not face dismissal for expressing his views.  Excellent news, freedom of speech survives a little longer?  a new nature blog provides interesting background information on the Countryside Alliance and its associates.  It also analyses recent activity by government amidst the excitement and confusion of current affairs.

See also the Hen Harrier Day 2015 video, Packham at his best and promoting peaceful, proactive and democratic campaigns.  He even welcomes those who would attack him at all levels whilst failing to provide any credible science to underpin the view of ‘tradition & country lore’.  There is just one blip, ok possibly two needed for sensitive ears but they received hearty rounds of applause.

Packham’s committment to the campaign is assisted by his generous provision of an assortment of T-Shirt designs which he allows supporters to use, his website explains ….

You can download th[e] design for free for your own personal use. Please be aware that it is the copyright of Chris Packham and strictly not for resale. Action will be taken against any infringement of copyright.

Poisoned, shot, trapped – Hen Harrier RIP

This Hen Harrier t-shirt design has been created by Chris Packham and is free to download so that you can take it to your chosen printers and have made up in the colour and size of your choice.

Packham, sporting the above design (along with Avery) reminded the Goyt Valley audience in the open air arena that the management of the uplands were not best served by driven grouse shooting interests.  Cleaning water for human consumption is more expensive because of heather burning, there is also a risk of increased flooding, see the EMBER Report to better understand the effects of prescribed vegetation burning on blanket peatland hydrology, chemistry and physical properties, and on the hydrology, water quality and biota of rivers in upland peat-dominated catchments. It is the first time that a systematic and comprehensive assessment of burned and unburned catchments has been carried out.

Inglorious is the ideal Ban driven grouse shooting handbook, in its pages are all the details of everything you need to know when contacting your MP, defra, food chain suppliers and restaurants etc. to make a case for it to be outlawed.  It offers excellent references as well as further reading matter.  As Packham said recently “I’m a fully paid up member of this newfangled thing we’ve got.  It’s called science and it’s about truth”.

Out & about & Hen Harrier Day 2015 update

July 6, 2015
York Museum Gardens  Image: Peter Kendall

York Museum Gardens
Image: Peter Kendall

The RES IF15 yesterday was busy, a conservative estimate placed attendance at around 1,700.  York is a popular venue choice, not just for tourists and visitors who might drop in but also for regional entomologists and naturalists.  The marquees (above) were popular with the children as they offered face painting but also hands on with ‘pets with a difference’ whilst the Hospitium (below) housed an array of organisations with a wide range of interests and specialisms.

The Hospitium York Museum Gardens. Image: Helen Kirk

The Hospitium York Museum Gardens.
Image: Helen Kirk

The weather held with the advent of rain only as the day drew to a close and the deluge came as we drove home but it didn’t detract from the day.  The RES hold the event every two years and the Forum have exhibited since it began back in 2009 so it was pleasing to be told by a few visitors that we had an astonishing array of published material which reflected our knowledge base as well as an extensive network , even more pleasing that people took some back with them.

Other than the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows we were the only other organisation which had as its focus a geographical area, yet despite that we were able to help people with their IDENTology requests and sundry entomological enquiries.  People still ask about the peat extraction and if it has actually ceased, they are sometimes aghast that the Reviews of Mineral Planning Permissions (ROMPPs) have not yet been concluded by the Local Planning Authorities as required under the EU Habitats Directive and that planning consents are still extant on areas of Thorne & Hatfield Moors SSSI.

2015 HH Day logo

It was good too that people easily recognised the Hen Harrier Day posters displayed on our stand, and that they were aware of the issues.  Of HHD 2015, it’s great to be able to report that the PEAK DISTRICT HEN HARRIER DAY 2015 has had its location confirmed as Goytsclough Quarry, The Goyt Valley, Derbyshire, OS Grid Reference SK 011 733  To keep abreast of news on the events planned across the country bookmark and regularly visit   Other useful sites include Standing up for Nature and BAWC.


Whilst members of the Executive were engaging with the next generation others were out in the field ….

This stunning Ringlet was one of 246 counted by Martin Warne on Thorne Moors recently.

This stunning Ringlet was one of 246 counted by Martin Warne on Thorne Moors recently.

Recording the wildlife we seek to conserve. 

Another of Martin Warne's stunning images, this time a pair of Large Skipper.

Another of Martin Warne’s stunning images, this time a pair of Large Skipper.

Martin’s patience was certainly rewarded or perhaps the target species were a little distracted and otherwise occupied to worry too much about a photographer?

Hen Harrier Day 2015

June 7, 2015





2015 HH Day logo

Negotiations are ongoing for the venue, but it will be within easy travelling distance of Buxton, Derbyshire.

Also, there will be an evening event to celebrate the Hen Harrier on Saturday 8th August 2015 in Buxton. A host of celebrities will be involved including, we hope, Chris Packham, Jeremy Deller (Turner Prize winner), Mark Cocker (author), and Mark Avery. Last but by no means least, Henry the Hen Harrier will appear live (unlike many others) on stage. Details to follow, watch this space and save the date. Tickets to go on sale soon.

Other events on Hen Harrier Day will be held across the country. If blog readers are organising one and would like details to appear here, please e-mail us at

Make sure you bookmark this site and return to it regularly, as we will shortly be posting full details of the Peak District Event, Saturday Evening Celebration and the other Hen Harrier Day related activities.

Our friends will also have news and announcements. Links to their sites, blogs and Twitter streams are below.

Finally, we still need help to keep @HenryHenHarrier flying, publicise the plight of the Hen Harrier and advance BAWC’s 3Rs campaign. Please click on the “Donations” button, to see what’s on offer in exchange for your support.

2015 HH Day logo

The BAWC 2015 Conference in March was a sell out and an excellent event which saw the creation of a network which will work to address all wildlife crime including the illegal persecution of raptors, especially the Hen Harrier.  For a more detailed analysis of losses to this magnificent icon see Standing up for Nature.  Raptors Alive, Raptor Persecution Scotland and Raptor Politics websites all provide lurid detail of the persecution suffered by these fabulous birds.  Even BBC Springwatch reported on the illegal persecution, much discussion was had following this recent episode and even if it was not as strong as many would like it did raise the issue to viewers who may not have been aware of the issue and that can only be good.  Investigative journalism was suggested, Panorama was mentioned so perhaps readers might consider writing to the BBC promoting such an investigation?  One of the key messages coming from the recent BAWC Eyes in the Field Conference 2015 was the need to have wildlife crime as a reportable and recorded crime.

The National Wildlife Crime Unit struggles to address the increase in case work. Wildlife crime is a relatively low priority for most police forces, this may well be be because wildlife crime is not a reportable crime and so resources are focused elsewhere.  Killing of protected species is illegal and should be reported and recorded.  Perhaps that is something readers might like to consider encouraging their MPs to look into?  Perhaps a letter to Defra Ministers?

Don’t forget that this coming week, Wednesday we learn the result of the Vote for the National Bird, David Lindo aka ‘The Urban Birder’ will appear on Wednesday’s Springwatch to reveal the winner.

Will it be the Hen Harrier?  Expert commentators on these matters suggest that the general public will choose a well known, popular easily recognised species like the Robin or Blue Tit.  Ok, nothing wrong with the species but the ambition behind the drive to get the HH into the ‘top ten’ and higher was that by raising its profile and its fate that it would benefit from the media coverage.  Makes sense?  All will be revealed on Wednesday ….


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Hatfield Moors Birding Blog

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Mark Avery

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a new nature blog

I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

UK and Ireland Natural History Bloggers

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