Hen Harrier Day Online 2021

Hen Harrier Day Online, on Sunday 1 August, hosted by Urban Birder David Lindo and animator Lauren Cook, was a tremendous success. Once again our eclectic mix of great video, competitions, information, art, science and expertise reached an audience of thousands. We hope it also helped raise the profile and urgency of some of the issues affecting the uplands as well as showing some of the nature that could flourish more fully there if allowed.

David Lindo is The Urban Birder - broadcaster, writer, speaker, educator and bird tour leader. His mission is to engage city folk around the world with the environment through the medium of birds. He has written countless articles on urban birds, urban conservation and wildlife in general for many websites, publications and magazines. He is a regular television and radio presenter and has been featured on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 in the UK as well as other TV and radio channels around the world.

Lauren is a PhD student at the Natural History Museum in London, UK, studying molecular ecology, specifically the potential for using minute traces of DNA in the environment as a tool to monitor whole ecosystems. Alongside her studies, Lauren is a freelance artist. She combines her interests in art and the natural world for science communication, specializing in animations to raise awareness for conservation issues. Lauren won our Young Filmmaker Challenge in 2020 and has since contributed to our work in a number of other ways.

From this page you can view the entire Hen Harrier Day Online livestream here.

You can also go straight to each item individually. There is a short description of each and you can click on the thumbnail image to go to the video on YouTube.  Most of the videos are around five minutes in length.

A printable version of the programme for the event is here.

Credit for the photo of David Lindo: Susana Sanroman. Many thanks.


Early in 2021, Andrea Goddard decided to set up the first ever live hen harrier nest camera. Facing daunting natural, logistical and technological hurdles, it was a big challenge. Here, Andrea recounts the tale and then discusses it with presenters David Lindo and Lauren Cook. No spoiler, we did get some great shots of the adults and chicks, and you can see some of them here. But the story is a good one in its own right and, as Andrea explains, we'll be on the case again in 2022.


Young Wild Writer Competition

In 2021 we continued our hugely popular writing competition. Young writers, aged 16 and under were invited to say, in any form: a story, poem or other format, what rewilding meant for them. There were three age groups, with a prize for the winner in each category and an overall winner. During Hen Harrier Day Online, author Gill Lewis announced the three winners in each category and read the winners in each, with the Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell reading the overall winner.


Ghosts of the landscape

Over the autumn 2021, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Hen Harrier Action are running a project 'Ghosts of the Landscape'. Lost and struggling species, exemplified by the hen harrier are the 'ghosts' of this landscape, they are the sights we should see on a visit to the uplands but do not, the sounds we should hear but do not and the species which should be thriving but are not. We want to engage people everywhere in developing and sharing a vision of a better future for nature and people in the uplands. Here, Diane Gould of DWT introduces the project.


The Tarras Valley Nature Reserve

In 2020 we helped raise some £10,000 for the Langholm community land purchase which will turn grouse moor into nature reserve, and we have kept up tp date with it since. Here is Stuart Spray's latest short film which introduces Jenny Barlow and Angela Williams who, as Estate Manager and Development Manager respectively, will have important roles in planning and developing the new nature reserve.


Cruelty on the moors

Renowned young naturalist, Holly Gillibrand, discovers the circle of destruction surrounding grouse moors. With OneKind's Kirsty Leese and Bob Elliot, she first visits a grouse moor unannounced and then the famed Borders rewilding site, Carrifran. OneKind is a charity concerned with the welfafe of all animals, and which has long campaigned about traps and snares in the UK.


Policing raptor persecution

Jenny Shelton of the RSPB's Investigation Team talks to Inspector Matt Hagen, Head of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Crime Team, about some of the issues involved in policing wildlife crime. In this fascinating interview, Inspector Hagen explains some of the difficulties in policing wildlife crime. He suggests that often the villains are known in the community and to the police but that changes in the law are needed to aid effective crime prevention.


Monitoring Raptors, with Logan Steele

Andrea Hudspeth, Hen Harrier Action trustee, talks to Logan Steele, Communications Secretary of the Scottish Raptor Study Group. Their conversation covers the great diversity of people who volunteer, why they do it and what it contributes to science and to conservation. Logan also explains the SRSGs views on driven grouse shooting and the licensing of grouse moors.


Young Filmmaker Challenge

In 2021 as previously, Hen Harrier Action ran a competition for young filmmakers, who were asked to make a short film on an upland theme. This year's winning entry was from Esther Rumsey, who won £250. The second place entry was from Alicia Hayden. During Hen Harrier Day Online 2021, Esther was interviewed by last year's winner, Lauren Cook, and you can see that here.



A new composition by Chris Dowding written specially for Hen Harrier Day Online 2021. Chris describes it as a work in progress and explains that the piece started from words contributed by Hen Harrier Action. Each person contributed three words, all of which Chris translated into musical notes using an alphabet system invented by Devon-based composer Hugh Nankivell and then played on the Ableton Live program and a cornet. The artwork is by Norwich-based musician Morris Masuda.


Kabir Kaul young urban naturalist In conversation with David Lindo

Lockdown during the pandemic saw a great increase in people's interest in nature locally, and, for obvious reasons, much of that nature was urban. As part of our Hen Harrier Day Online this year, David Lindo, the original Urban Birder, talked to Kabir Kaul, an inspring young naturalist who has done so much to put London's nature 'on the map' during these difficult times.


Rewilding what, where and why?

Peter Cairns, Executive Director of SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, has a background as a photographer but has always believed that photographs should communicate meaning. Here he uses some great photographs to convey a vision for how the uplands could be better for both nature and people, arguing that this is can be best achieved, and perhaps only possible, through cultural change.


The hen harrier observed

A sharply and beautifully observed account of hen harriers on Orkney, read by Tom Kane from James Macdonald Lockhart's prize-winning book 'Raptor'. The music is also by Tom and the piece is set with some brilliant video put together by Jenny Shelton. First shown during Skydancer Day 2021.

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Hen Harrier Action is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC049943.

Registered Charity SC049903