Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Wavering about joining us at Hen Harrier day? Message from Mark


The Hen Harrier is a threatened bird of prey. In the UK it faces heavy persecution by shooting interests because Hen Harriers eat Red Grouse that shooters want to shoot.  There should be 2600 pairs of Hen Harrier in the UK (including c330 in England), say scientists, but there are just 600-800 (only 4 pairs last year in England).

Here are three things you can do to help the Hen Harrier - and also a way you can find out much more about Hen Harriers and the grouse shooting industry.

1. Come to a Hen Harrier Day rally on Sunday 9 August. Several are planned, from Arne in Dorset to Mull and Perthshire in Scotland. I'll be attending what is likely to be the biggest rally, with Chris Packham, in the Goyt Valley near Buxton in Derbyshire. Full details from this website.

2. If you can't attend a rally (and even if you can) then add your voice to a social media thunderclap if you use Twitter, Facebook or tumblr. This thunderclap, which will send the simple message 'We're missing our Hen Harriers - we want them back!' is supported by the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts, Chris Packham, the League Against Cruel Sports, the British Mountaineering Council and many others. Around 3.5million people will get this simple message through social media on Hen Harrier Day and you can add your voice by clicking here.

3. Add your signature to my e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting. This is a re-run of last year's highly supported e-petition which highlighted the issue. This year over 5,500 people have signed in less than a week - when we reach 10,000 signatures the Westminster government must respond.

And if you would like to learn much more about this issue - wildlife crime in the UK uplands, what grouse shooting is all about, habitat damage caused by heather burning, the economic costs of grouse shooting and what you can do to help, then my latest book Inglorious - conflict in the uplands is published this week and will guide you through the issues. Click here for details.

Many thanks for your support

Dr Mark Avery


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