Today Henry went to visit the Hawk & Owl Trust.
He wanted to hear their view on the ‘disappearance‘ of three adult male hen harriers from active nests in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland.
What does the Hawk & Owl Trust think might have happened to those three breeding birds?
Does the Hawk & Owl Trust think their ‘disappearance’ has anything to do with the grouse-shooting community in Bowland?
How will the ‘disappearance’ of those three breeding birds affect the Hawk & Owl Trust’s proposed brood-meddling trial?
48 hours after the news broke, the Hawk & Owl Trust has yet to publish a formal statement on their website or even casually mention it on their Twitter account.
Perhaps they’re still in talks with other pro-brood meddlers as to how to play this one, because the GWCT, Moorland Association and National Gamekeepers’ Organisation are all still to make formal statements.
Meanwhile, the RSPB has issued a second statement and has offered a £10,000 reward for any information which leads to a conviction. They clearly think crimes have been committed, as does Lancashire Constabulary (who are investigating) and as does anybody with a passing knowledge of the history of hen harrier persecution on driven grouse moors.
Even Natural England, the Government’s statutory conservation agency tasked with protecting hen harriers has managed to make a statement (here), for what it’s worth. Although they still haven’t managed to release the full results of their hen harrier satellite tagging study which began 8 years ago (see here).