James Marchington’s Blog – Hen Harriers

James Marchington’s most recent blog not surprisingly is all about the hen harrier and we feel what he has to say is well worth a read, if only to understand the views of the shooting fraternity. This is one guy involved in shooting who appears to be promoting a sensible attitude towards raptors and therefore should not be dismissed.Recently Mr. Marchington spear headed a campaign supported by the shooting fraternity providing much needed financial assistance to a raptor rescue and rehabilitation centre. We highlight this detail here to demonstrate not all shooters despise raptors, and Raptor Politics welcome the opportunity to place on record the other side of any argument.  

There is no doubt that Mr. Marchington is respected not only by the shooting community but also by a growing number of raptor conservationists because of his logical and responsible views of raptors. There will of course be times when we will not agree with Mr. Marchington’s point of view. Likewise we must accept he will not always agree with some of the points made by Raptor Politics.

If there were more people involved in game shooting with a similar attitude towards raptors as demonstrated by James Marchington, then just may be the hen harrier problem could after all be solvable.


4 comments to James Marchington’s Blog – Hen Harriers

  • Mike Price

    An interesting read not entirely polarised as some views are but unfortunately not completely unbiased.

    Using Scotland as the benchmark for the number of breeding harriers instead of England was a smart move. I wonder why England has become almost devoid of hen harriers? Wales where persecution is far less has a heathly population.

    There is enough evidence to show persecution of raptors around many og the UK’s grouse moors is happening and is happening regularly, unfortunately the area’s are remote and the number of raptor workers are small in comparison so we can safely assume that not all instances can be discovered.

    Where I do take an issue with the article is the insistance that there is talking up of the problem, I believe and my recent experiences are showing me that (at least in this area) there is absolutely no acceptance of predators on the shooting moorland.

    You have previously condemned certain parties in the game shooting industry because of an apparent connection to wildlife crime on and around their moors, unsurprisingly perhaps you can probably guess the connection with our moorlands.

    The big question that needs to be answered now before it is too late is how do we move forwards, how do we work together to stop these crimes happening?

    After so many years of unsucessfully trying to resolve these problems or see any considerable decrease in reported instances of persecution is it any wonder that some people are sensing a chance to push through increased legislation of these estates?

    The current legislation isn’t working, its close to impossible to police these estates, maybe a different approach would yield better results, I certainly don’t see any reason why an employer shouldn’t be held responsible for the actions of their employee but I also can’t imagine that it will make much difference to those who are currently tarnishing the whole of the shooting community.

  • Mike Price


    I failed to give James and any others involved in the campaign a pat on the back for supporting the raptor rescue and rehabilitation centre, an act of kindness to support someone who’s life is dedicated to the welfare of our wildlife, a big thanks from me and I am sure everyone here would support raptor politics in shaking you by the hand and thanking you.

  • John Miles

    What is needed is the understanding that monoculture creates the problem. £50 million of tax payers money already spent on increasing heather does not expand populations of many species of birds especially waders or Black Grouse. The first Langholm project showed that Hen Harriers also need predators and that by removing especially breeding Golden Eagle which in this case would have made more money than the Red Grouse shooting for the community was the worst act of the estate.

    The new Langholm project with £3.5 million to re-instate the heather will not bring back the diversity which Langholm was once famous for, namely Black Grouse. Interesting that Black Grouse eat a lot of beetles and their lava and what plague is wiping out the heather at Langholm but ‘Heather beetle’!!