Hen Harrier Day August 9 2015.

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Hen Harrier Day 2015 (HH Day) – Sunday 9th August, the weekend before the start of the grouse shooting season. Christmas and New Year is over – it’s time to get our activists heads back on and get organising again.

So HH Day.

Last year’s HH Day was successful but – if we’re being honest – it could’ve been better. Neither we here at BAWC nor Mark Avery (who co-organised HH Day 2014 and did a fantastic job in Derbyshire as I’m sure all of us remember) really knew what to expect, who would support the initiative, and what we might achieve. Had we known what people actually wanted and how much support there would be for a day devoted to Hen Harriers and illegal persecution we might have done things differently.

Which is why Mark has written a short blog post today (linked to below) asking – er, what people actually want, and it’s why we’re setting out now a few thoughts on what we think HH Day 2015 should look like.

Firstly, as Mark says, no-one is really ‘in charge’ of HH Day – it’s bigger than that now and belongs to everyone – but we do think it would be best to coordinate together so that a unified message is sent out at the same time and we’re all seen (by the national media especially) to be focussed on the same thing: stopping the illegal persecution of Hen Harriers (possibly include other raptors, but focussing on Hen Harriers as a symbol of wildlife crime against birds of prey).

We”d like to suggest that anyone taking part uses a similar logo – again so we are all seen to be talking as one, and everyone can use the same flyers and info is they want to.

We’d like to see HH Day extended to every part of the UK.

We don’t think that a single event is best: not everyone can travel, many people want to support their own ‘area’, and ‘spreading the load’ amongst other organisers takes the pressure off what are essentially volunteers.

Lastly, we – as last year – aren’t convinced yet that ‘committing a crime to stop a crime’ is the way forward. We still have concerns that we would lose the support for HH Day of eg RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts, and our feeling is that their enormous reach and credibility is important to getting the message out to a much larger audience that we might otherwise reach.

We’ll be meeting up with Mark next month to discuss ideas and we’ll be discussing HH Day at our ‘Eyes in the Field’ Conference in Buxton in March (sorry, tickets are long sold out – next time round we’ll book a bigger venue).

In the meantime though, what would YOU like to see and do on HH Day 2015?

Forest of Bowland August 9th

North_West_Raptor_logo-web2Although the venue for this year’s Hen Harrier day in Bowland has not been decided, the North West Raptor Protection Group have informed Raptor Politics they will be hosting this year’s event once again.  Further information will be posted on this web site as soon as possible. In addition e-mails will be sent to each person who attended last year’s rainy event at Dunsop Bridge, let’s just pray the rain this year stays well away.

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