This weekend marks the third annual Hen Harrier Day – although such is the growth of this movement that it’s turned in to Hen Harrier Weekend – a time for all of us to stand up against the persecution of this species and send a clear message to the grouse-shooting community that we’re on to them, and we’re not going away.
Here’s a video message from two of the campaign’s most prominent figures (along with a 6ft hen harrier):
There are more Hen Harrier Day events this year than ever before: Two in Northern Ireland, four in Scotland and six in England.
Kicking off tomorrow (Sat 6th August) there are rallies in Co. Antrim, Co. Fermanagh, Perthshire, Yorkshire and London.
On Sunday (7th August) events will take place in Derbyshire, Lancashire, Dorset, Stockton-on-Tees, Cairngorms National Park, Perthshire, Isle of Mull and Isle of Eigg.
Full details of each event can be found on the Hen Harrier Day website here.
These events don’t just happen by themselves. They require a great deal of planning, organisation and hard work. Hats off and a massive thank you to all the organisers of these events, who have been working behind the scenes for months to allow us all to congregate and unite as one strong voice. Well done and thank you also to Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC) who have coordinated and supported these events as well as fundraising and selling HHDay merchandise.
There are three pairs of breeding hen harriers in England this year, in a landscape that could support hundreds. They are missing because they are illegally killed on driven grouse moors. Over 72,000 people have now signed the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting. If you haven’t already, please sign it HERE.
We’re awaiting the results of this year’s national hen harrier survey in Scotland. What we do know is that there was a 20% decline between the national surveys of 2004 and 2010. We also know that hen harriers are still missing from most driven grouse moors in central, eastern and southern Scotland because they are illegally killed there. Almost 3,000 people have now signed the Scottish petition calling for the licensing of all gamebird hunting. If you haven’t already, please sign it HERE.