New Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (PPDG), a new beginning?

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Let me start with an introduction, I am a Police Superintendent and I have been a police officer now for approaching 18 years. In that time have had the privilege of working with some of the finest people you will ever meet, let it be known that I work with everyday heroes and I am immensely proud to be a cop. I live in a rural village, and while writing this blog can see and hear a Red Kite out of the window, importantly may their continued resurgence be everlasting.

I have recently been appointed as the new National Chair of the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group. The Raptor PPDG is one of six such Priority Delivery Groups nationally, and I am extremely proud to have been asked to lead this important work.

This article has been published with the full approval of the author, Police Superintendent Nick Lyall,  the new National Chair of the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (RPPDG).

You can read the original blog written by Police Superintendent Nick Lyall and read the comments posted on his blog HERE.

2 comments to New Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (PPDG), a new beginning?

  • This is a breath of fresh air. Someone keen to take positive action as well as make statements is most welcome in this role.
    Many of us are trying to take positive action, held back by the attitude of people he will meet.

  • Terry Pickford, North West Raptor Protection Group

    I have been involved with the conservation and protection of raptors for over 5 decades and throughout this period I have witnessed first hand the sustained killing of these species, including the destruction of their nests, their eggs and chicks contained in nests on red grouse moorland here in the N.W of England.

    Although since 1974 my main focus has been on moorland in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland, I have also been closely involved with protecting peregrine nests in the Lake District National Park, and since 2002 have had a close licensed relationship with Poland’s White-tailed eagle.

    I continue to be amazed at the attitude of denial demonstrated by shooting groups like the Moorland Association and the National Gamekeepers Organisation when it comes to persecution of the hen harrier and peregrine. Despite what these two groups may say or claim to the contrary which flies in the face of reality, the facts tell a different story completely.

    There is no denying what has been taking place on grouse moors in our country throughout many many decades, and has now brought the hen harrier close to extinction in England. This position is also reflected by the way the peregrine falcon has also been treated by many moorland gamekeepers, reducing their number on all northern England grouse moors to critical levels.

    Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland, once upon a time regarded as the main English stronghold for the hen harrier, where in 1974 39 breeding females were recorded distributed across each of Bowlands shooting estates; this number has been reduced to just 3 successful nests restricted to a single estate owned by United Utilities. The peregrine has done far worse in Bowland having been reduced from an average of between 16-18 breeding pairs in 2009 to a single successful pair this year. It is no coincidence this singe pair is also located on moorland owned by United Utilities. Neither is it a coincidence that the peregrine and hen harrier are completely absent from all the additional shooting estates in the Forest of Bowland, and because of ongoing persecution of raptors in this region today the situation is unlikely to chance any time soon.

    This trend was graphically illustrated by the slaughter in April 2016 of the last breeding pair of peregrines established on a private estate in the Forest of Bowland. Unbelievably when the case came to court the presiding Judge ruled the video evidence which captured the killing of these falcons at their nest was inadmissible; it seems when the camera had been installed over looking the nest without the correct authorisation and without the land owners approval, the Judges ruled the camera had been installed illegally.

    Raptors like the hen harrier and peregrine have a common link with the majority of English grouse moors, these species are conspicuous within these areas by their complete absence from such habitats.

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