Defra about to save hen harriers by Andrew Gilruth?

There is a very interesting article published today on the official Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust blog. Its all about Defra’s plans to return the Hen Harrier back to the moorlands of England. This information is not new, we need action not just words. First we had Natural England’s Hen Harrier Recovery Project costing hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax payers money and the result, less Hen Harrier at the end of the project than when it began. Andrew talks about bringing moorland owners, gamekeepers and conservation groups together, again nothing new there. Throughout Natural England’s on-going Hen Harrier Recovery Project hosted by the Environment Council, as the meetings continued over a number of years, Hen Harriers continued to be persecuted on moorland where red grouse were shot, bringing Harriers to the brink of extinction in England as a breeding species.

Hen Harrier Recovery Project 01-1

Members of the Hen Harrier Recovery Project, Abbeystead Moor 2007, the last nesting pair at this location was 2006

According to Andrew Gilruth Defra takes the decline of hen harrier populations  in England very seriously. Andrew  salutes Defra officials who set up a small multi-organisation group, in August 2012, to develop a plan to increase the English hen harrier population. Andrew also admits its a tough one. The 2011 conservation framework report extends to 81 pages and contains a range of conflicting issues and knowledge gaps – to succeed where others have failed you will also need the support of those working on the ground. How would you do it?

Hen Harrier Recovery Project 02-1

His Grace The Duke of Westminster host for the day Abbeystead 2007

View here Andrew Gilruth’s E-Petition asking Defra to publish the new  Hen Harrier Recovery Plan

Read what Andrew has to say here



5 comments to Defra about to save hen harriers by Andrew Gilruth?

  • Macaris

    What a pity (and coincidence)that they only reached agreement after hen harriers became extinct as breeding birds in England. Locking the stable door…

    • Skydancer

      I have a plan to save the hen harrier, one item in this plan, ban all shooting on grouse moors.

  • Circus maxima

    If you flog a dead is not going to get up and walk around.

    We were persuaded to go down the road of “discussions” years ago…we now realise that it was the garden path. They stalled while they killed, they continue to kill, its all they know. Back the ban its the only way to stop them.

  • I do believe its important there should be a discussions with all the relevant parties especially the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Moorland Association & the National Gamekeepers Organisation about a recovery of hen harriers from extinction in England. Those organisations are the ones who could make it happen. For the talks to commence those organisations should have proven their sincerity by establishing 100 breeding pairs between the Peak District & the Cheviots & between Bowland & the North York Moors. After all the hen harrier’s gone through, can’t say fairer than that!

  • The killing of all birds of prey has got to stop. The shooting fraternity say, by predator control they also protect other moorland birds e.g. waders skylarks whinchats etc. This in fact is true, but also a sop. Their only intention is to protect game birds, other birds may benefit, but this is just a by-product so to speak. I’m not against grouse shooting, because local communities do benefit from this. Gamekeepers do an excellent job to enhance the grouse population, which in fact creates an imbalance, and in turn attracts the raptors. To my way of thinking this is like putting nuts out for Blue Tits.