Extraordinary effort to raise awareness of illegal hen harrier persecution on grouse moors

For four days last week, ultra marathon runner Henry Morris ran a total of 200 km across the grouse moors of Bowland AONB, Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale AONB.

Henry was accompanied by a relay team of runners including his brother Ed and friends John and Tim, as well as various other runners who joined in on different days to offer support.

[L-R: John, Ed, Henry & Tim at the start of their extraordinary run, photo by Mark Avery]

The purpose of this extraordinary effort was two-fold: to raise awareness about the illegal killing of hen harriers on grouse moors, and to raise money for Wild Justice to use on hen harrier-related projects.

These guys don’t work in the conservation field – their day jobs are a personal trainer, a nurse, an analyst and a music promoter – but they were inspired to take action after reading about the plight of hen harriers (a recent paper showed that 72% of satellite-tagged hen harriers have been taken out, illegally, on grouse moors) and the absolute scandal that those killing hen harriers are never brought to justice.

Henry put together a website (here), a crowdfunder (here) and planned his route to visit the locations of satellite-tagged hen harriers that had ‘disappeared‘ (most likely been killed). Here’s a map of the route, different colours denote the route for each day and the ‘CP’ marker was the Check Point marker of each missing hen harrier:

On Saturday afternoon, the team reached the finish line in Nidderdale where they were met by friends and family for a well-deserved pint or two at the Stone House Inn at Thruscross.

[Photos by PJ]

What an extraordinary achievement, motivated solely by a desire to do ‘something’ to help hen harriers.

Of course, this has come at a cost. Not just the physical cost of running so far, in such terrain, in so few days, but these guys have also been subjected to personal abuse on social media by the usual trolls from the game-shooting industry. These trolls are predictable in that they’ll attack anyone seen to be helping, or associated with, Wild Justice. We’re sorry, Henry, Ed, John and Tim, that you’ve had to suffer such abuse.

Incredibly, Henry’s crowdfunder has raised a whopping £10,365 so far. If you’d like to show your support to these extraordinary runners, please consider making a small donation HERE


15 thoughts on “Extraordinary effort to raise awareness of illegal hen harrier persecution on grouse moors”

  1. Brilliant stuff guys. Donated – only a tenner, but if everyone who sees this story gives at least a tenner then perhaps, just maybe, a Hen harrier will be spared its life as it enters a killing zone.

  2. Well done guys. Donated. And the usual abuse from the nasty brigade is evidence that your fantastic plan to raise awareness worked! Glad to see Mark Avery there recognising your achievement!

  3. Good on Henry, His Friends and all those that supported him. Shame on those that abused Henry & his fellow runners.

  4. Brilliant idea, fantastic effort! If the slaughter of our birds of prey wasn’t enough reason to support this, seeing the revolting underclass behind it venting their bile at good people like these should convince anybody we need to get shot of driven grouse shooting ASAP. A tenner on the way, wish it could be more.

  5. It looks like they ran down Roeburndale in Forest of Bowland, one of the killing fields.
    On a positive note one of the [Ed: the rest of this comment has been deleted to protect the identity and safety of the individual concerned].

  6. The abusers haven’t got enough sense to understand that the abuse would just spur these guys on.
    Great achievement. Thank you Henry and friends.

    1. Maybe it could become an annual event and be open to anyone for an entry fee. As a runner myself I think it would be very popular and I know the entry fee for such an event could be £100 plus extra money from sponsorship. It would be great publicity for the campaign.

      1. That’s a bloody great idea! That will open up the issue to more people, sadly there’s every chance the route would change every year due to new ‘disappearing’ harriers, but that would emphasise the problem. I know that fell runners in the Peak District have been caught in snares, and the estates are trying to blame walkers and runners for driving raptors away, so no love lost. I know lots of running clubs are called Harriers, the one we had in Falkirk was. If this happened and it became an annual event would seriously piss off the wildlife criminals and their supporters.

  7. What we should do on the 12th August is for thousands of us to run across their grouse moors and fuck up their days shooting. It would be a warning to them what kind of disruption we could bring down on them if they continue with the wanton destruction of Hen Harriers and other wildlife.

    [Ed: To be clear, disrupting a legal activity such as grouse shooting would be a criminal offence]

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