Readers may recall the story published by the respected journalist George Monbiot which he posted on his own blog in response to an article in the Observer written by Magnus Linklater ( a serious critic of raptors) which severely criticised the RSPB’s bird of prey campaign; here is a link to the story featured by Raptor Politics. Following on from this interesting and expanding debate Mark Avery has recently featured a reply from Magnus Linklater which has been published as a Guest Blog on Mark’s web site ‘Standing up for Nature’. Below we have attached one paragraph and the first line of a second taken from Mr. Linklater’s reply to Mark Avery:
“The exchanges, however, are not for the faint-hearted, and they demonstrate why so few critics of the RSPB – farmers, landowners, gamekeepers, even bird-lovers – are prepared to raise their heads above the parapet. They know they will get them blown off.”
“The only person who is going to control foxes and crows and allow hen harriers to nest and breed is the local gamekeeper.”
What Magnus Linklater stated in the above sentence is perhaps the only factual detail he included in all of the words he wrote. Using Mr. Linklater’s own reasoning, the moorland gamekeeper is well accustomed to making such life and death decisions, that is the main reason no hen harriers are breeding on England’s red grouse moors today because gamekeeprs would not ALLOW their presence.