The main theme of our December newsletter is about how to join in with Hen Harrier Action in supporting Hen Harrier Days. There are so many ways to do so. You could run an event or contribute to one. Importantly we do also need people to help with our co-ordinating role at the charity. If you want to help you just need to say and you will find us genuinely welcoming and keen to find the best way for you to fit in and contribute.
At the moment we are in particular looking for new trustees of the charity: Board members who can be both hands-on and help guide us towards our best contribution to nature in the uplands.
There's also a fascinating article about monitoring winter roosts, and a wider news round-up.
Click on the picture to read the newsletter
Muirburn in the time of coronavirus
On 23 March 2020, a 'controlled' fire in Yorkshire got out of hand and damaged 200 hectares of rare blanket bog. The blaze, on a mile long front at one point, required the presence of 20 fire appliances to get under control, when all the emergency services are stretched to get the country through the Covid-19 pandemic. The West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service called for a stop to controlled burning on moorland after this incident. Yorkshire Water and United Utilities responded by imposing a temporary halt to all burning on their land, while the National Trust said it would…Written on Thursday, 09 April 2020 21:36 in News
Two hen harriers shot. Two arrests
More sad news. Two more hen harriers shot, both in Yorkshire – England's wildlife crime epicentre. The illegal persecution is relentless. But there is also some potentially good news here – in each case an arrest. Regrettably that’s unusual because this is such a hard crime to detect and prosecute. For all the pleadings of the ‘sports’ shooting industry (and silence), it seems there are still far too many more people willing to shoot hen harriers on sight. Perhaps a couple of convictions – if that's what happens – will act as a deterrent for once.Written on Friday, 20 March 2020 21:06 in News
12 years of illegal persecution of birds of prey
On 13 February, the RSPB published new data on raptor persecution, and it's not good news. 2018 was the worst year in over a decade in England, and whilst recorded incidents have fallen in Scotland there is concern that this is only because the criminals have got better at concealing their crime. There is little evidence of population recovery amongst the most persecuted birds. At the same time, the RSPB’s Raptor Persecution Map Hub, an interactive map of known confirmed raptor persecution incidents in the UK, has now been expanded and updated to show all confirmed raptor persecution from 2007…Written on Sunday, 01 March 2020 14:04 in News
New MP slams grouse shooting
"The countryside in my constituency is beautiful, but it is under threat. The moorlands are on fire, burnt for grouse shooting. These acts of vandalism have made flooding more likely and are putting important species...at risk. Across the country, peat fires have thrown millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere." Olivia Blake, the new MP for Sheffield Hallam in her maiden speech in the House of Commons on 15 January 2020. There are both active grouse moors and defunct shoots in the constituency; some of the latter are now involved with moorland restoration projects.Written on Friday, 17 January 2020 13:28 in News
RSPB Hen Harrier ‘LIFE’ Project confirms appalling extent of illegal persecution
The RSPB has published its Hen Harrier LIFE Project report. It is a great piece of work, revealing much that is new about the hen harrier. Over the 5+ years of the project, it protected over 100 nests and 150 winter roosts, tagged over 100 birds, and helped raised awareness of this beautiful bird. Sadly, the report also provides compelling confirmation that the hen harrier’s main problem in the UK is illegal persecution. The project recorded 328 wildlife crimes and, adding to already overwhelming existing evidence, concludes that “...the main factor limiting the recovery of the hen harrier population continues…Written on Monday, 09 December 2019 10:43 in News