Hen Harrier Row, BBC Radio 4 Farming Today

One of our followers kindly sent details of a Radio 4 programme where the row started by Sir Ian Botham ‘You Forgot the Birds’ (meaning the hen harrier) is debated by Ian Gregory a representative from the shooting industry, and Martin Harper on the other side from the RSPB. We decided to add the link to the broadcast because we feel the arguments from both sides are interesting and illuminating and in the public interest ; we are not trying in any way to promote one side or the other, although quite frankly some of the ideas being put forward by ‘You Forgot the Birds’ and Sir Ian Botham are rather like pie in the sky. We do however believe the more public interest we can generate relating to the persecution of hen harriers, all the better. We will leave you to make up your own minds. Click onto this link and begin listening at 06.00 minutes on the slider. We would welcome your comments please.

5 comments to Hen Harrier Row, BBC Radio 4 Farming Today

  • Ian Whittaker

    The RSPB is clearly doing its job to generate such desperate attacks from certain sections of the shooting community. The YFTB and the Countryside Alliance completely and utterly failed in their complaints to the Charity Commission about the RSPB, so now Mr Botham’s latest ploy is to threaten legal action against the RSPB for libel and call for RSPB members/donors to let him know if they want to withdraw their donations/subscriptions on the basis that the RSPB is “rubbish at conservation”. Clearly, Mr Botham and YFTB cannot make a sensible, reasoned case so have to resort to trying to undermine the RSPB through un-evidenced assertions, anecdotes, insults, half-truths and often completely illogical deduction. As usual, the voices of those of a more reasonable and thoughtful disposition from both sides of the argument get lost in the lurid headlines and sensationalist accusations and counter-accusations.

  • Total stalemate. Why not forgo all the hassle and expense associated with the suggested Brood Management Scheme and at least try instead a non lethal quota system? Surely this would be worth considering since present situation is without doubt a total conservation mess.
    Can anyone please guestimate the time, money and effort dedicated over many decades into trying to solve this bitter entrenched conservation conflict? Surely it’s time for common sense to prevail and a workable compromise bashed out?

  • nirofo

    It would be far better if the Brood Management Scheme and the quota scheme were kicked into touch once and for all as non starters, whoever dreamed up these ridiculous compromise schemes up must surely be in league with the shooting interests. Why should protected Raptor species be put in this situation just so the shooting fraternity can continue killing unnaturally large bags of Red Grouse in their thousands. They should be told in no uncertain terms that they either stop breaking the law and learn to live with all the birds of prey, or alternatively they can lose their shooting rights and let the moorlands return to what they should be. The time for compromise has long since passed any relevance, not that it ever had any, that road was only ever going to be a one way street in favour of shooting anyway !!!

    The conflict is only there because the shooting fraternity refuse to accept that the Raptors are protected birds by law and will not leave them in peace, they continue to flout the law and persecute them at will with any means at their disposal regardless of all their excuses to the contrary. The facts speak for themselves and are very well documented for anyone who cares to look for them. But, and it’s a big but, the facts are constantly denied by the shooting estates and their gamekeepers who wriggle and squirm in all directions in their attempts to twist the facts to make themselves look whiter than white. Common sense will only prevail when they stop persecuting Raptors and obey the law, then they will still have their shooting and the wildlife may begin to recover. The alternative will probably be that in the long term they will lose their shooting for good and the protected wildlife will have gone forever.

  • Circus maxima

    It really does sound like absolute desperation… clutching at the few straws they seem to have left.

  • Nach

    Exposing the truth always hurts which I believe Ian Botham has done.