Posts Tagged ‘Martin Harper’

RSPB withdraws support for the Hen Harrier Action Plan!

July 25, 2016

There are various opinions as to why the RSPB supported the Defra Hen Harrier Action Plan in the first place and now there are a number of assessments as to the very public withdrawl from it.

Irrespective of the reasoning for either scenario, they may well have, at a very fortuitous point in the calendar dealt a considerable blow to the new politicians at Defra?  Erudite as ever, Avery ponders Ms Coffey’s capability to pick up the pieces left by her departing colleagues.  He reminds us that as Ms Truss departed Defra she rejected the findings of the Lead Ammunition Group and it is certainly worth readers recapping on that ‘saga’ and easy enough to by using the links provided in Avery’s blog posts on the various ‘chapters’ which can be found via the menu on the right hand side of his blog under the heading ‘Lead’.  He also asks us to remember the speech by Theresa May about being on the side of the many rather than the powerful few? Here’s your chance to live up to those fine words. [May et. al.]

Martin Harper suggests that by their withdrawing support licensing is the only viable option.  Many conservationists never believed the [In]Action Plan had any chance of success, despite as Harper writes the RSPB played a full part in the production of Defra’s Hen Harrier Action Plan and despite disagreeing with certain points (notably brood management), welcomed its publication earlier this year.  The RSPB appears to be supporting licensing despite many believing and providing some case studies as to why it is unlikely to work.  Are they following the previous model …. “I’m generally very patient.  My natural preference is to build partnerships and work to make positive change from the inside with those who want to abide by the law and deliver progress.”  Laudable but the decline continues apace for the magnificent Hen Harrier and other raptors.

But, let’s celebrate this announcement and let’s keep the momentum up that this carnage in the uplands must stop.

Please spread the word, persuade friends, family , work colleagues and anyone who loves wild places and wild things to join Avery, Packham, Oddie et. al. to Ban Driven Grouse Shooting.

See other assessments of today’s announcement

RSPB humming Shania Twain

RSPB walks away from Hen Harrier Action Plan

And from the metaphoric horse’s mouth, via Martin Harper’s blog:

Why the RSPB is withdrawing support for the Hen Harrier Action Plan

Another useful site to offer friends in order that they can understand some of the background which has brought us to the current situation is Raptors Alive UK

For more information on events and gatherings this year across the country see details via HHD

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defra’s [In]action Plan for Hen Harrier recovery?

January 23, 2016

I was hoping to write a few words about Defra’s Action Plan when it was published recently, but I decided to comply with one of my New Year’s Resolutions and I spent the day on Thorne Moors instead.  The excursion lessened the variety of emotions the documents elicited, for a while ….

It was cold but who cares, the skies were clear and bright and the light just right for watching those magical ‘silver ghosts’ as they quarter the moor in search of a meal.  Also present was a female peregrine and Short-eared Owl, along with the usual supporting assemblage.

But it is the grey male with its white rump and black ink-dipped wing tips that generate emotions like wonder but also sadness as well as a degree of anger ….

To understand the ‘disquiet’ and disappointment about the “Joint action plan to increase the English hen harrier population” then you need to read it.  An erudite analysis of the document has been written by Dr Mark Avery via his blog Standing up for nature 

It is interesting too to read the comments made via that blog about the RSPB membership of the Upland Stakeholder Group, that is to say as part of the stakeholder group who have published this [In]action plan.  The RSPB’s response to the Action Plan can be found via Martin Harper’s blog.

Hen Harriers breed on upland moors, many managed for grouse.  Leeds University through its EMBER project found issues of water quality etc. This winter has seen astonishing levels of flooding in areas which are downstream of these [mis]managed moorlands.  An epetition to ban driven grouse shooting achieved 33,615 signatures, the RSPB and the WTs collectively failed to get behind this petition and similarly the RSPB have yet to encourage its membership to sign the Ban toxic lead ammunition petition, why?

But, with flooding topical then we should encourage people in power, Ministers, MPs and others that upland moor management needs to be reviewed and where necessary undertaken for the public good not private profit?  Is it right that large estates cause damage and receive public funds as part of land subsidies?  Perhaps the issue of flooding will keep the management of upland moors and public subsidies in the public gaze?  Ministers were quick to be seen out in devastated areas dishing out sympathies and promises, but time will tell if their flood of promises manifest any tangible benefit to the public who suffered from the consequences of failure to take a holistic approach to flood management?

According to George Monbiot, writing in the Guardian  This flood was not only foretold – it was publicly subsidised.

 

 

 

‘Thunderclaps’ & rough weather to benefit environmental justice?

November 11, 2015

Technology as a tool for conservation campaigning is something we should all embrace?

This has to be where the knowledge and the expertise combine to create a collaborative critical mass for the benefit of the cause?

It looks like there is to be a bit of rough weather out there soon?  Rumblings in the region of 5,000,000?

The ‘Thunderclap’ that is scheduled to break at the end of November in support of justiceforannie is being promoted by Mark Avery who appeals through today’s blog post to sign up in support of the appeal from Moving Mountains Nature Network. There is a network of groups and organisinations working collaboratively to seek justice for protected species and for legal compliance with the legislation.  See also Birders Against Wildlife Crime website, not just about birds but Wildlife Crime in general.

Let’s help them get a debate in Parliament?

Image: Tim Melling

Image: Tim Melling

 

So, who was ‘Annie’?  For readers not familiar with the ongoing issue of declining raptor numbers and particularly Hen Harriers in the uplands, then read and sign up to Standing up for Nature and there are occasional references on Martin Harper’s blog, a recent one ‘Reflections on the Hen Harrier season’ provides a flavour of the issues involved.

‘Other brands are available’ …. please contact the Execsec@thmcf.org if you would like to submit a guest blog.

 

Diary date reminders:

Northern England Raptor Forum Conference: Saturday 21 November 2015.

DaNES Insect Show: Saturday 21 November 2015.

South Yorkshire Archaeology Day: Saturday 14 November 2015.

 

Campaigning, what’s the alternative?

December 10, 2014

The Rally for Nature went to Westminster on Tuesday, at the end of the shooting season for Red Grouse, and it was by all accounts a successful event and reported by Mark Avery in his Standing up for Nature blog.

Martin Harper, Conservation Director RSPB also comments on the state of SSSIs  analysing Defra’s 72 page Biodiversity 2020: a strategy for England’s wildlife and ecosystem services Indicators summary December 2014 which makes pretty depressing reading.  Effectively it echoes the 2013 State of Nature Report.  The Govt. answer – to cite the £7.5m worth of Nature Improvement AreasMonitoring of the outcomes are provided by Natural England, but generic rather than specific in the nature of any detail.

Avery also celebrates the creation of an infographic which challenges an earlier one by the Moorland Association and BASC which extolled the virtues of the ‘inglorious 12th’, the latter has we understand been referred to the Advertising Standards Agency.

FRACKING: For, against or still an agnostic?

Despite the chilly wind there was a reasonable turn out last night to the Haxey Memorial Hall, where the local premier showing of “The Dash for Gas” was ‘enjoyed’ by around sixty people gathered to learn about the benefits of fracking.  The film itself, in my humble opinion presented a reasonable and balanced case.  It was just a shame that previous attempts to get industry advocates to allay local fears has repeatedly failed as many there were keen to hear both sides of the scientific case that provided assurances of safety, no impact upon water supply or to human health or that of the natural environment.

The following planning applications have already been passed for exploratory drilling.  Depending upon outcomes a fracking application may follow.

Planning permissions to site a rig for an appraisal bore hole with associated works and equipment COMPOSITE ENERGY

Cottage Farm, Crowle, DN17 4BH

Land to the north of the A161, Eastoft Road, Crowle, DN17 4LR

Pasture Lane, Amcotts, DN17 4AW

Temple Gardens, Land to north of, Off King Edward Street, Belton

Haldenby Hall, Track adjacent to, access road to Haldenby Hall, Luddington, DN17 4QU

Access Road to North Moor from White House, Land to the southeast of Pilfrey Bridge, Althorpe, Keadby, DN17 4DH

Land North West of, North Street, West Butterwick

Planning permission for the construction of a temporary wellsite for drilling of an exploratory bore hole with associated structures and works EGDON RESOURCES

Lodge Farm, Clapp Gate, Broughton and Appleby, DN15 0DB

Help us keep the local community network updated:

Check out areas under investigation for exploration (or exploitation?) near you, do drop us a line with your findings and updates

Check out any Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs) near you …. locate Recent Licences through a Department of Energy & Climate Change Energy Portal.

LOCAL GROUPS

Frack Free Lincs

H.E.Y. Frack Off is another local community group active in Hull & East Yorkshire

Frack Free South Yorkshire  

Frack Free Gainsborough

 

 

 

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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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