Hen Harrier Protest Day, Dunsop Bridge, Lancashire TOMORROW

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A PEACEFUL day of protest is set to be held  tomorrow in the Ribble Valley to highlight the ‘plight’ of the Hen Harrier. Hundreds of people are expected to attend the event in Dunsop Bridge, organised by the North West Raptor Protection Group. The protest on the village green has been planned to coincide with National Hen Harrier Peaceful Protest Day in Derbyshire and in Northumberland.

Turbury House Bird of Prey Centre will be supporting the event at Dunsop Bridge presenting a static display comprising of an Eagle Owl and Peregrine Falcon. This offers our supporters an opportunity to take images of live birds throughout the event on Sunday.

Organisers have described the ‘landmark’ event as aiming to voice ‘displeasure and concern at the continuing illegal persecution’ of the Hen Harrier throughout England’s uplands where red grouse are shot.

Last year, Hen Harriers suffered their worst breeding season for decades, failing to produce a single chick anywhere.

However, the RSPB recently said that 2014 is shaping up to be ‘marginally better’ with two nests at the United Utilities Bowland Estate in Lancashire.

The free hen harrier walk proposed by the NWRPG in Bowland is now cancelled as the birds appear to have left the nesting valley.

Hen Harrier Logo

The Hen Harrier has been the symbol of the Forest of Bowland  AONB for 50 years, let us all hope that Hen Harriers are allowed to return to breed in peace upon this wonderful landscape alongside the Red Grouse. 

Daniel Marsden, chair of the North West Raptor Protection Group, said: “Dunsop Bridge is a good location for the protest and I think that we will be able to attract a couple of hundred people.

“It’s important to raise awareness of the bird’s struggle and I hope that this protest is a success.”

Hen Harrier Day 2014 has been supported by the RSPB, the National Trust, The Hawk and Owl Trust, The League Against Cruel Sports, and The Peak District National Park. Bowland used to be the English stronghold for hen harriers and the upland bird of prey is even the symbol of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

However, the current nests represent the first breeding attempts in the area since 2011.

The RSPB and United Utilities have monitored and protected hen harriers in Bowland for more than three decades.

Both nests were protected by dedicated staff and volunteers, as well as CCTV around the clock.

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Members and supporters of the North West Raptor Protection Group sitting a gun butt to remind people the killing of red grouse begins here in less than one weeks time.

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