In that blog we focused on the unpublished feasibility/scoping report that was being used to justify the project, and we highlighted various concerns about the scientific robustness of that report.
In this blog we’re discussing who’s in the project group and that group’s proposed timeline for project completion.
So, who’s in the project group? Through a series of FoIs, the following individuals/organisations have been identified:
Rob Cooke (Chair) from Natural England
Adrian Jowitt, Natural England
Ian Carter, Natural England (although Ian has since left NE and it looks like Richard Saunders has replaced him in this group)
Phillip Merricks, Hawk & Owl Trust
Jemima Parry-Jones, listed as both Hawk & Owl Trust and International Centre for Birds of Prey
Steve Redpath, Aberdeen University
Teresa Dent, GWCT
Jeff Knott, RSPB (although the RSPB withdrew support for DEFRA’s Inaction Plan in July 2016 so presumably Jeff is no longer involved with this group)
Christopher Price, Country Land & Business Assocation (CLA)
Alex Raeder, National Trust (was invited to join the group in September 2016)
In May 2016, the group produced a draft timeline for the reintroduction project. Here it is:
If you’re struggling to read the small font size, here is the draft timeline as a downloadable PDF: draft-hh-southern-reintro-timeline
As you can see, there’s a long way to go before any hen harriers might be released in southern England (first releases planned for 2020) and there are numerous hurdles for the project group to jump over before those releases can happen. The group has to identify suitable release sites, find some birds from donor countries, get local stakeholder support for this ‘reintroduction’, meet IUCN guidelines, and find some funding.
We’ll shortly be blogging about each of these topics, and some of what we’ve discovered through FoIs will blow your minds. Watch this space.