Hen Harrier Day Wales – livestreaming online Saturday 18 July 2020

The first ever Hen Harrier Day Wales takes place tomorrow (Saturday, 18 July 2020) and will be live-streamed on Facebook from 12 – 4pm.

Hosted by two outdoor companies, Mountain Escapes & Julian Cartright Mountain Adventures, this is the first of two online Hen Harrier Day events this year, with a UK-wide event taking place in three weeks time on Saturday 8 August. More info to follow on that one.

Hen Harrier Day Wales has the following line-up:

  • 12.00-12.05 Introduction
  • 12.05-12.30. Iolo Williams. The history of Hen Harriers in Wales, recolonisation and persecution.
  • 12.50-13.05. Dr Cathleen Thomas. Join us to find out more about the RSPB’s Hen Harrier LIFE project, which ran from 2014 to 2020. We’ll tell you a bit more about our work in Wales, and our hopes for the future of Welsh hen harriers.
  • 13.15-13.30. Alan Davies. The magical experience of watching Hen Harriers on Welsh moorlands, a sight which everybody should have the chance to see. He will then move on to highlight the terrible persecution of these spectacular birds and will wrap up with how we can all help Hen Harriers by spreading the word about these fantastic endangered birds.
  • 13.40-13.55. Dr Ruth Tingay. Topic to be confirmed.
  • 14.05-14.20. Rob Taylor. Topic to be confirmed.
  • 14.30-14.45. Dan Rouse. Young people and Hen harriers: what has been achieved and what people can work towards doing if they want to get involved in helping hen harriers.
  • 15.00-15.45. Chris Packham. Topic to be confirmed.
  • 16.00. Thanks/ Close.

For further information about Hen Harrier Day Wales, please visit the web page here

For a bit more background, there is also this blog (here) by Alan Davies and this blog (here) from RSPB Wales.

[Chris Packham with an illegally-killed hen harrier – full story here – photo by Ruth Tingay]


2 thoughts on “Hen Harrier Day Wales – livestreaming online Saturday 18 July 2020”

  1. The main point I’m reminded of when watching this is the complete failure of governments to introduce the proper powers to police and other authorities to detect and deal with this orchestrated and organized wildlife crime and then the power to give proper sentences, punishments and fines proportionate to the crime.

    In all other areas of persistent crime, where the authorities are failing to deal with the problem and existing laws, powers, deterrents are inadequate, they are updated. Yet here you have to situation where even when there is obvious evidence of persistent raptor persecution, the investigating authorities are hampered by restrictions which mean that those responsible for this just laugh at them and run rings about them. When a case is constructed, you have obstacle after obstacle, where even though there is cut and dried evidence of the crime taking place, the expensive lawyers defending those accused come up with a load of legal contrivances to make the evidence inadmissible. Then, even if after all this someone is eventually convicted, they are given a paltry fine, and often continue to be employed by that estate.

    It’s all talked about as if the law is some immutable thing carved in stone which can’t be changed. But in nearly every other field, when the authorities are made to look powerless, new legislation is introduced with gives the police these powers, and gives the courts these powers. You only have to look at the situation as regards hunt saboteurs etc, where because of the powerful landowning and field-sports lobby, new offences were created such as aggravated trespass, new powers, sentences.

    The persecution of raptors is a very calculating activity. We are not talking about these birds being accidentally shot, or the odd bad apple gamekeeper killing the odd raptor out of frustration when someone isn’t looking, even though the law is framed in a ridiculous way that assumes this is what is happening.

    What this demonstrates is institutional corruption, where powerful vested interests and their political friends keep in place a deliberately weak legal framework which allows the perpetrators of raptor persecution to commit their crimes with impunity, and where they have to be seriously incompetent to get caught. This isn’t an accident. Both politicians and senior civil servants know very well how to deal with persistent crime like this because they have used this in about every other field of crime. Therefore, that this corrupt situation exists is because these politicians and establishment figures want it to be like this. This is why I call it institutional corruption. Because driven grouse shooting is the chosen sport of the upper echelons of the establishment, and they improperly use their power and influence to maintain this corrupt system to protect their own interests.

    The reason I am saying this is that I feel we have to be blunt about this and to stop being cautious about saying these self-evident truths in public, because certain powerful people are sensitive to this and don’t want the wider public to become aware of this situation, because they would have little sympathy for the perpetrators of this organized and orchestrated wildlife crime.

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