BBC North East & Cumbria – The Hen Harrier

After watching this programme the majority of people will have few doubts who has been responsible for the loss of the Hen Harrier in England. We must congratulate Tim Melling from the RSPB for his straight talking, its only a pity that Natural England’s National Hen Harrier co-ordinator was not forthcoming regarding the culpability of the gamekeeper for the current unacceptable situation on England’s uplands. It was we feel most curious that Mr. Murphy did not take this golden opportunity to inform the public where most of the satellite tracked Hen Harriers he had personally tagged had ultimately gone off the radar.

Not surprisingly, it was all too obvious the representative of the grouse moor owners was in complete denial of any wrong doing on the part of  the gamekeeper. Martin Gillibrand from the Moorland Association stated there hasn’t been a single incident of a prosecution of a gamekeeper for the killing of a Hen Harrier, and there was no evidence of it.  Mr. Gillibrand did say  however “such attitudes were outdated and had no place in modern gamekeeping.”

It seems this ongoing issue must now be decided by the English parliament, will our leaders accept the need to follow Scotland by introducing a the law Vicarious Liability, making estate owners legally responsible for the illegal actions of their employees? Will it work if they do? It seems we must all wait and see, but in the meantime it seems doubtful the Hen Harrier will ever return to England’s uplands in the face of so much hostility.

Anyone who missed the broadcast last night can catch up my following the link below. Move your slide bar to 01.10 to begin the interview. We would welcome all your views.

1 comment to BBC North East & Cumbria – The Hen Harrier

  • John Miles

    As I have been saying for years, it is not only the breeding season when the estates want harriers off the moors made clear by that game keeper on the program. It also adds more pressure on other birds of prey especially Golden Eagle, Peregrine and Short eared Owl. Any chance of Black Grouse being excepted on a Red Grouse moor also looks slim.