Henry’s Tour: Day 16

Thurs 16 April Copy

Henry’s re-enacting a scene at Dersingham Bog, a National Nature Reserve situated on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

On the evening of 24 October 2007, two hen harriers were allegedly shot at this site, according to an eye-witness account. The police were informed and they visited the site the following morning, after seeking access permission from the estate(!). No bodies were found. The police interviewed Prince Harry, one of his mates, and a Sandringham gamekeeper, who were known to be shooting ducks on the estate that evening, but they said they knew nothing about the incident. The CPS couldn’t progress the case based on such limited evidence (see here).

Sandringham Estate was reported to have undertaken its own investigation and, according to the Telegraph, declared ‘that there was probably no such shooting and that the supposed eye witnesses were, at best, mistaken over their claims’. Friends of the royal prince also claimed that it had all been a set-up (see here).

It’s all very familiar, isn’t it?

Eight years on, things have not improved for hen harriers. There was an estimated 20 pairs of breeding hen harriers in England in 2007; last year there were just four, and all needed around-the-clock protection. Scientists have estimated that more than 300 pairs could breed in England if they weren’t being shot, trapped, stamped on or poisoned.

It’s often inaccurately reported that hen harriers are doing okay in Scotland. In relation to the dire situation in England, they are. However, the story in some areas of Scotland is identical to the story in England; hen harriers are being systematically killed on many moors that are managed for driven grouse shooting (see here).

And just as in England, prosecutions for killing hen harriers in Scotland are virtually unheard of.

Whatever happened to the case we blogged about 15 months ago (see here)? It related to the illegal killing of a hen harrier in Aberdeenshire in June 2013 (almost two years ago now!) – a 58-year-old man had been reported by Police Scotland to the Procurator Fiscal in January 2014. It’s all been strangely (or perhaps un-strangely) quiet since then….

2 thoughts on “Henry’s Tour: Day 16”

  1. Your Henry tour needs more publicity to increase awareness within the public. Everybody needs to know about the abuses within our countryside.
    I have only seen the “Henry Tour” here on RPS.
    Can we help to spread the word?

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