From the removal of Predators such as Foxes, Stoats, Buzzards, Corvids(some legally) as well as the culling of large numbers of Mountain Hares due to the fact they may pass on diseases to the Grouse and of course the Hen Harriers(definitely not legally).The estate management aims to create a landscape devoid of biodiversity in order to breed an unnaturally high population of Grouse.All that matters is the size of the Grouse bag after the "Inglorious 12th" so anything that affects those numbers needs to be removed by the management.Throw in intensive heather burning, destruction of carbon-dioxide storing bogs, higher flood risks, lower biodiversity in waterways, then you have a lot of WRONG things being done just to please a few.
Anyway , back to the "Good Guys" and Hen Harrier Day 2016.Twelve events were planned around the UK including the great day organised by the tirelesss Stewart Abbott that we had at Edale in The Peak District though due to adverse weather The Cairngorms event had to be cancelled :(
We stayed over the previous night at a local pub which had great food and now new beer mats :)
Around 400 people travelled to the High Peak and joined us to say "We want the law upheld and our Hen Harriers protected!" The stage was set(literally) by Nigel, Findlay & Harley Wilde though I'm sure Heather helped too ;)
Henry was already out and about mingling with the increasing crowd of his adoring fans.
Alan Davies(author of The Biggest Twitch) had offered to be host and after a slight sound system problem(rectified with rope and a step ladder) he soon had the crowd cheering and applauding every word and was an inspiration in between announcing the guest speakers.
Instead of me trying to get the speakers passion across, you can listen to them yourselves.Just click each click and watch each of the amazing speeches.
First up was Findlay Wilde, Young Birder Of The Year, Young Conservationist Of The Year and someone who will be a massive influence on conservation in the future.
Hardyal Dhindsa, Police & Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire.
Dr.Mark Avery, environmental campaigner, blogger and author of "Inglorious"
Jon Stewart, National Trust General Manager for Peak District
Sorry no link yet but he is part of the team responsible for making a big statement and removing a grouse shooting license from a nearby estate :)
Natalie Bennett, Leader of The Green Party who made an 8 hour round trip to come and support Hen Harrier Day.
Tim Birch, Conservation Manager with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
Sorry no link yet for Tim but he spoke very passionately about what the vision is for the Peak District.Think of a return to a natural ecosystem with Hen Harriers, Peregrines and Golden Eagles back among the moors.
Told you they are a passionate lot ;) It was also great to meet new Twitter friends for the first time like Mike(@EYbirder) and @MancRockChick and also other friends who were at their first Hen Harrier Day like Linda & Ron Lowndes :)
With organiser Stewart Abbott,Lynne and Natalie Bennett.
Mark Avery, Natalie Bennett and Henry
Link to Chris's speech at Rainham.
Momentum is building and we will not go away quietly as the BASC, Countryside Alliance and others may hope, we will FIGHT and we will WIN!! On the Eve of the Inglorious 12th, 84,000+ people who joined the cause and signed the petition.
Please sign and share with everyone you know that cares about our wildlife and environment.Let's get it to 100,000 and raise the awareness even more by having Driven Grouse Shooting debated in the House Of Commons.
Thanks to everyone who have continued to support Birders Against Wildlife Crime and this important cause by organising, attending or donating to support Hen Harrier Days over the last 3 years.
Remember all we are asking for is that the law is upheld and criminals who continue to abuse that law be prosecuted for murdering Birds Of Prey that have been legally protected for over 60 years.
Thanks for reading and watching the speakers.Please share to raise awareness of what's happening in our uplands.