Working as a volunteer on the Bassenthwaite Osprey Project you get used to explaining to the public that ospreys were made extinct in England due to human persecution. The response is usually one of utter bewilderment closely followed by the statement “How could people possibly do that?” (or words like that.) Well, sharpen your pencils folks – because we are about to do it again. The latest report into hen harrier welfare here concludes that a mere FOUR pairs bred this year, all of which were on a single estate in Bowland Forest, Lancashire, an upland managed jointly by United Utilities and the RSPB. Its a shameful indictement of our selfishness, ignorance and blood cruelty. Hen harriers are fatally attracted to upland heather moorland. They will take the odd red grouse chick, but mainly feed on voles. However, gamekeepers and landowners purely interested in pecuniary gain, view them as pests to be destroyed. They shoot them and trample their nests. Its obscene.
The RSPB are trying to do something about this desperate situation. They are supporting an epetition to submit to the Government to establish the principle of vicarious liability for raptor persecution in England. In other words, if somebody shoots a harrier, the landowner is responsible for allowing this to happen and can suffer the criminal reprecussions. Please sign this petition here. Its of utmost importance. Thank you.