Run, join, support a Hen Harrier Day
Run a Hen Harrier Day
Our programme of community-based local Hen Harrier Day events will resume in 2021, and we want it to be bigger and more varied and diverse than ever. Could you run a Hen Harrier Day? It's great fun, a good cause and we'll give you lots of support, including promoting your event. If you think it's something you'd like to do, then contact us (details below) as soon as you like for an exploratory chat.
Meanwhile, here are a few pointers to help you consider your approach.
What are Hen Harrier Days about? Well, you probably know the answer to that already, and you'll certainly find lots of information on this website. The hen harrier is not only a wonderful bird threatened by illegal persecution, it is also a symbol for the wider ills of the uplands. Hen Harrier Days are certainly about hen harriers but they are also about illegal persecution of other birds of prey, the wanton killing of many other animals, the destructive burning of peatlands and the consequent increased pollution, carbon release and risk of flooding. In brief, they seek an end to the gross mismanagement of our uplands simply for higher profit from shooting birds for 'sport'.
Hen Harrier Days are days of both celebration and protest. Celebration of the brilliant wildlife of our uplands and protest that so much of it is destroyed just to enable profit from shooting for 'sport'. They bring us together and give strength to our campaigning community. But they also seek to engage a wider community; our campaign is all about drawing more people in, raising public awareness and engagement so that change comes faster because it is backed by a concerned public.
There is no 'one size fits all'. You should run the Hen Harrier Day you want to run. There have been events indoors and out, in the countryside and in towns; the largest had perhaps 1,500 people attending, the smallest, five. In 2020, before the pandemic forced cancellation, we had planned a greater diversity of events than ever before: town centre stalls, music-based events and art exhibitions, as well as more 'traditional' events with great speakers. We want to build on that in 2021. The greater the variety the better. We'd love to see a few walks or hikes, in the country or in town. We hope events will be family-friendly with lots for children to do and we hope they will be inclusive and appealing to diverse communities.
So, where to start? Well, first of all check out our vision and our values, to make sure you're comfortable with those. Decide on who might join you and help form a small team. Then decide what kind of event you want to run and the scale of it. Remember, we really want to encourage new approaches, ones that will appeal to wide audiences. That will set the context for probably your most important early decision: deciding on a venue. You must also, obviously, choose a date. Most events are in the first fortnight of August, but not all are, and venue availability may be one of a number of factors you have to consider.
After that, things follow pretty naturally. You should decide who your speakers and/or other performers should be, decide what side-events you can organise and so forth. You may need a budget. For many Hen Harrier Days in the past that has been zero! Venues are often free, because the venue wants to support you (a nature reserve, say) or gains trade (a pub, say). But you need to think about everything that may be needed, sound equipment for example, and work out how you'll raise money to meet your costs (and hopefully also contribute to Hen Harrier Action itself).
Hen Harrier Action can help you in many ways. Many of us have previously run Hen Harrier Days and will be running them again in 2021. So we have lots of experience and advice to offer, including resources such as check-lists. Depending on your plans, we may be able to help with things like banners, flags and so forth. We can help with speakers and perhaps other performers too. We'll also 'put you on the map' on our website so that people looking for their nearest Hen Harrier Day will know you are there and about the kind of event you are offering. (You should carefully plan your own local and other marketing too, of course.)
Running a Hen Harrier Day is a fun and rewarding thing to do. If you think it might be something you can do, just contact us and we'll do all we can to support you and help make your event a success.
Join or support an event
If you’re not thinking of running a Hen Harrier Day yourself, there are many other ways to join in. You might be:
- a local artist keen to show your work, or a maker of objects;
- a singer or a band, a juggler or an entertainer in another field;
- a local group with an interest in nature, for example a walking or local birding group;
- a local person who could act as a steward, information provider or other helper during the event, or with setting up and packing away;
- a local business or larger organisation keen to show support by providing catering, a venue, sponsorship or other support and assistance.
However you want to engage, please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the right people.