Public talk: southern reintroduction hen harrier project

Somerset Wildlife Trust is hosting a public talk on Natural England’s proposed southern reintroduction of hen harriers.

This controversial plan is part of DEFRA’s ludicrous Hen Harrier InAction Plan and is due to begin in 2020 with birds donated from Spain being reintroduced to Wiltshire (more on these details in due course – we’re currently reviewing some FoI docs).

The talk is on Tues 11th February 2020 (7.30-9.30pm) at the Parish Rooms in Somerton, where Flemming Ulf-Hansen from Natural England will ‘explain what has been involved’.

£3 on the door for members, £4 for non-members, under 16s free.

We’ve blogged extensively about the southern reintroduction project for the last three years. Here are the links for those who’d like to do some background reading:

28 Nov 2016 – Hen Harrier reintroduction to southern England: an update (here)

3 Jan 2017 – Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: the feasibility/scoping report (here)

8 Jan 2017 – Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: the project group and their timeline (here)

9 Jan 2017 – Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: who’s funding it? (here)

9 Jan 2017 – Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: a bonkers proposal for Exmoor National Park (here)

12 Jan 2017 – Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: Wiltshire (here)

14 Feb 2017: Leaked email reveals Natural England’s views on Hen Harrier Action Plan (here)

23 Feb 2017: Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: donor countries (here)

19 July 2017: Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: new project manager appointed (here)

20 July 2017: Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: Dartmoor as potential new release site (here)

20 July 2017: Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: revised costs (here)

21 July 2017: Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: project team vists France (here)

27 July 2017: RSPB statement on hen harrier reintroduction to southern England (here)

15 Aug 2017: Natural England Board making up justification for hen harrier southern reintroduction (here)

24 October 2017: Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: Natural England delays release of information (here)

11 December 2017: Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: report of fieldtrip to France (potential donor country) (here)

12 December 2017: 2018 start date for reintroduction of hen harrier to southern England? (here)

14 January 2018: Stop illegal persecution then no need for reintroduction of hen harrier to southern England, says DEFRA Minister (here)

13 March 2018: Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: has France said “Non”? (here)

28 Feb 2019: Satellite-tagged hen harrier ‘Vulcan’ disappears nr proposed reintroduction site in southern England (here)

10 March 2019: Hen harrier reintroduction to southern England: Natural England suggests persecution not an issue (here)


10 thoughts on “Public talk: southern reintroduction hen harrier project”

  1. Will Brexit make it harder to bring birds from Spain because of changes to animal health regulations? Not a rhetorical question – I don’t know the answer!

  2. I gather that the MoD, RSPB and NT – all of which own land around Salisbury Plain – didn’t want to host reintroduction aviaries, so they’ll be stuck on an NE National Nature Reserve from which they’ll attempt to nest in arable. Not sure if any of that is correct.

  3. I’ve always thought real live firing ranges (ie the army on Salisbury Plane) were really quite good places for rare birds – surely THE one place even hardened egg collectors avoid and the risk of a stray shell is probably a much better bet than the near certainty of death on grouse moors.

  4. Interesting that this crazy proposal comes at a time when adult and immature Hen Harriers are once again present in the southern English coastal counties throughout spring and summer which may be the start of natural recolonisation possibly from wandering French birds.
    Of course individual birds in such a long awaited natural recolonisation would also have to run the gauntlet on industrial shoots, whether Grouse or other game birds.
    However, they might well stay south, winter south of the English Channel and suffer lower [ criminally planned ]
    mortality on UK shoots.
    The proposed artificially reintroduced HH might do the same of course, but why not let a possible natural expansion of the mainland European population get underway first which would further undermine any such nonsense anyway ?
    Tagging the young of such natural nests would provide hugely important data on their dispersal and mortality and would no doubt put further pressure on the criminals running some game shoots.
    It is often forgotten that HH were quite widespread breeders in the south before the cursed creation of industrial game shooting and later habitat destruction funded by the disastrous EU Common Agricultural Policy, together with misguided UK Forestry policy on heathland etc.
    None of these outcomes reduces the overwhelming need to put the criminals [ shoot managers/ owners and their slaves – the gamekeepers ] in court and out of business of course.

    However don’t expect any data on potentially recolonising birds any time soon for obvious reasons !

    Keep up the pressure !

  5. You only have to ask one question to find out who are the true beneficiaries of this scheme.
    Which group is happy about it?
    The only people i have heard who want it are the grouse shooting lobby.
    Shame on Spain.

  6. They would already be there, naturally – there and very many other sites, if they didn’t have to confront constant persecution on the way. So what’s likely to change in that respect ?

    Why would any other country, France or Spain, provide HHs whose safety can’t be guaranteed ? It would be normal to want to expand the ranges of any wild animal, where possible, but that only makes sense if the risk is assessed, managed and is factored down to natural predation only – anything less than that should make it a non-starter.
    I’m not saying it shouldn’t happen – there are circumstances where it might become more acceptable – if, for example, legislation for the licensing and restricted release of non-native shotgun fodder was in place.

  7. They should be sorting out the shooting lot not pandering to them, the law doesn’t pander to other criminals like this, it’s making crime pay, they will never stop killing birds of prey now because they know they can get away with it, they will be laughing all the way to the bank the bastards, it will be peregrines next then eagles

  8. I am curious about this event. Why in Somerset and is the Wilt’s Trust hosting a similar talk? It’s a bit late for a public consultation exercise so is this aimed at recruiting an army of volunteers to monitor the birds? Certainly, NE won’t have the money to do it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: