Last week, a response was issued by the Government regarding the petition to Ban driven grouse shooting! The response was let’s say less than satisfactory and very disappointing, it essentially disregarded all the scientific data regarding Grouse shooting and said the grouse shooting is authorised by law meaning it is fine for it to be carried out. Yes, there was 6 successful nests in England this year which all fledged young, which is the positive! Then there’s the negative.. One Hen Harrier went missing this year and plenty more Birds of Prey who were unfortunate to chose a shooting area as their breeding ground, have turned up dead either by poisoned or shot. In Wales, there isn’t that many Hen Harriers but the ones we do have are stable which is positive news, however, wouldn’t it be amazing to get the whole population either stabilised or even just increasing!
|Full Government response can be read here.
Hen Harrier day, which happened in August, was a huge success with people rallying together to show their support for the cause. Inspirational people spoke at the event, people such as Chris Packham, Mark Avery and so many more people who are committing their time to save this precious species. Despite these events being carried out across England, the numbers on the Government petition is only on 19,389. Don’t get me wrong, the number already achieved is a massive relief that there are people who are willing to stand up and help defend the Hen Harrier, but, the petition which people signed to show their support for Chris Packham and the BBC keeping him gathered a whopping 700,00 signatures! It would be amazing if the people defending Chris Packham really believed in what he fights for, went on to sign the petition to Ban driven grouse shooting meaning we can reach the target of 100,000 to have it debated in Parliament.
There are so many organisations and people fighting to save the beautiful Hen Harrier and their work continues despite Hen Harrier day being over. RSPB: Skydancer is a four year project which is ending next month, they have fought to protect the nesting areas of Hen Harriers, work closely with landowners and game organisers to game keepers and hen harriers can live alongside without the conflict, and educating the public on the important of saving the Hen Harrier. Other major companies such as Lush Cosmetics which thrives on being one of the few companies who only uses products which are not tested on animals, they have created a Bath bomb called, you guessed it: Skydancer to raise awareness for the issues and the fight surrounding the Hen Harrier and to raise funds to satellite tag these precious birds. I can vouch that this product is absolutely divine and for a mere £3.95 how can you resist it! After reading Mark Avery’s book: Inglorious, your passion to save the Hen Harrier is fuelled and gives you such a drive to be more involved in this. Birds are not everyone’s favourite but the complete uproar when Cecil, a lion who was shot in Africa makes you realise that people are affected by people killing or harming any animals, however, people are not helping to support the avian kind on their doorsteps. It is partly to do with the lack of media covered of Hen Harriers, and the only time it is covered in the newspaper is when there is a conviction against someone murdering Birds of Prey, by that time it is too late!!
The battle to save the Hen Harrier is not lost, nor is it won. We need everyone to get involved and share the message to protect these wonderful birds. You can be as outspoken and involved as you like, if you don’t enjoy or want to be involved in the major events such as Hen Harrier Day or any conferences regarding saving the species then you can be a silent supporter and sign the petition and get involved with the many ways to raise money to protect the birds which I have touched upon previously with RSPB:SkyDancer, Lush’s bath bomb and other merchandise which you can buy with all the money going towards projects to save the Hen Harrier. Show your support and donate to Birders Against and get a very trendy pin badge as a thankyou, you can wear it with pride!