Hen Harrier Day is only a week away.
At 10am on Sunday 10th August 2014, hundreds of people will gather at three locations in northern England to protest about the illegal killing of hen harriers on driven grouse moors.
At the same time, over one million social media users will be seeing a ‘thunderclap’ message on their timelines about illegal hen harrier persecution.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a Hen Harrier Day ‘event’ planned in Scotland this year (although there will be next year – we’ll make sure of that). However, this provides us with an opportunity to stand in solidarity with our colleagues south of the border and show our unified support – after all, hen harrier persecution is not restricted to the English uplands – they are just as likely to be killed on a Scottish grouse moor as they are on an English grouse moor.
Here’s one example – this male was caught in an illegally-set leg-hold trap on a driven grouse moor in the Highlands a couple of years ago. Had he not been found and rescued by raptor fieldworkers, it’s quite likely his head would have been smashed in with a stick or a rock and his lifeless, bloodied body carted off to be hidden or burnt. Various red kite body parts were found on the same estate at the same time, their dismembered legs stuffed down rabbit holes. Nobody was prosecuted for these offences.
We know that a large number of our friends and colleagues from Scotland are travelling to the Northumberland rally next weekend, and we (RPS) will be at the demo in the Peak District.
Hen Harrier Day is an unprecedented opportunity to stand up and show you care. We urge as many of you as possible to get involved and show your support. There are a number of ways of doing this, including turning up at one of the demos, getting yourself a Hen Harrier Day t-shirt, joining the social media Hen Harrier Day ‘thunderclap’, downloading the Hen Harrier Day poster and taking a ‘selfie’ and using the #HenHarrierDay hashtag on Twitter. Details about all of these things, and more, can be found here.
You can also join over 10,000 others who have signed a petition to get driven grouse shooting banned – sign here.
Massive, massive kudos and thanks to Birders Against Wildlife Crime, Mark Avery and Chris Packham for their extraordinary (voluntary!) efforts to bring desperately-needed media attention to expose one of the biggest on-going scandals in UK conservation history. We’re very proud to be part of it.