10 year old boy tells First Minister he’s worried about golden eagles ‘going missing’

Last year, a nine-year-old boy called Freddie Blackman was so upset about the suspicious disappearance of two satellite-tagged golden eagles (Adam & Charlie) that vanished on a grouse moor in Strathbraan (see here) that he, and many others, wrote to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urging her and her Government to do more to protect Scotland’s eagles (see here, here, here, here).

Here’s the letter Freddie wrote to Nicola Sturgeon last year:

The First Minister eventually responded to Freddie and wrote him a letter (here) telling him, ‘I believe that the Scottish Government must do everything it can to look after our eagles’ and then going on to fob him off telling him she was waiting for the Werritty review to be delivered.

Fast forward 12 months and Freddie is now a year older, another satellite-tagged golden eagle (Tom – see here) has gone ‘missing’ in suspicious circumstances on a Scottish grouse moor, in the same raptor persecution hotspot as where Adam and Charlie disappeared, and we’re still waiting for the Scottish Government to respond to the Werritty review, which cost taxpayers £86,000 and which has been sitting on Ministers’ desks since November 2019 (nine months ago).

Ten-year-old Freddie has just sent another card to the First Minister:

How will the First Minister respond this time?

How embarrassing must it be to have a nine and now ten-year-old calling you out on your failure to protect one of your country’s most iconic species?

How many more letters will Freddie have to write and how old will he be when the Scottish Government finally takes effective action against those who continue to kill these eagles?


If you’re sick to the back teeth of illegal raptor persecution on driven grouse moors, please consider participating in this quick and easy e-action to send a letter to your local Parliamentary representative (MSP/MP/MS) urging action. Launched just nine days ago by Wild Justice, RSPB and Hen Harrier Action, over 53,000 people have signed up so far.

This means that over 53,000 pre-written letters complaining about illegal raptor persecution and the environmental damage caused by intensive grouse moor management, are winging their way to politicians of all parties across the UK. If you want your local politician to receive one, Please join in HERE

Thank you


18 thoughts on “10 year old boy tells First Minister he’s worried about golden eagles ‘going missing’”

  1. Good on you Freddie. As a much older person my letters to the First Minister et al have met with a wall of silence. Perhaps you can shame them into action though tbh politicians have no shame.

  2. It would be great if hords of children took up the baton as they don’t take much notice of us so called adults. After all it’s the future of the children who will be most effected by this slaughter.

  3. Thanks for this Freddie. I was thinking about this a couple of days ago how it is really pathetic that we even have to hold our government to account and beg it to do its job, again and again. What a total waste of time, energy and source of unnecessary emotional stress and turmoil. The health benefits of fixing these things should be enough.
    Every day the same, Ravens, Beavers, Mountain Hares, raptors, ‘vermin’, snare by-catch and all this as i listen to trawlers ripping up the sea bed where i live. Invisibly destroying the hidden world of the ocean with over-fishing and pollution.
    We are supposed to be calm when all i feel is simmering rage and disempowerment. I don’t know how these politicians can sleep at night knowing they have done next to nothing whilst the planet burns.
    Politicians, do your job so Freddie doesn’t have to force you to do it.

  4. I sincerely hope the FM takes heed of you seriously this time Freddie. Thank you so much for taking the time to write to her.

  5. Good on you Freddie but they never listen why not do a crowd funding to get some of them posters from last week put up around the country its surprising how many people are unaware of what’s going on in these moors you see the beauty when you visit but when you look closely there is no wildlife at all as it’s all been wiped out to allow them to shoot the max imum ammount of grouse and then dump them after the big sums of cash have changed hands shameful

  6. Sent email to all local MSPs. Only one response received, from Mike Rumbles as follows –

    “Thank you for your recent email regarding the illegal killing of hen harriers. As you say the killing of hen harriers is already illegal.

    I have recently voted to increase penalties for this offence. You will appreciate that the enforcement of the laws we pass are for police Scotland and not for politicians such as myself.”


  7. I love golden eagles and any other birds of prey and there is no reason to shoot any birds of prey over the grouse moors and they share it with the game birds aswell

  8. Just a comment on the e-letter which I was pleased to send to my English Tory MP, not the first time I have communicated with this gentleman. In the past it has required a personal reply, usually unsatisfactory, however, on this occasion a rapid automatic reply followed quickly by another message with a link to his page of “campaign responses”. He had the bare faced audacity to open with a defence of shooting in general and its importance to the rural economy. I understand that a friend of mine receive almost a template of the same message from his Welsh MP.

    1. This was the reply from my local MP

      My colleagues and I recognise the conservation and economic benefits that shooting sports bring to rural communities. A study in 2010 by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust showed that predator control resulted in significant increases in the breeding success of ground nesting birds such as curlew, golden plover and lapwing. I believe that individuals should be free to manage wildlife within the law, and that the Government should only intervene when there is good reason to do so.

      After speaking to the Minister, it is clear that the Government is very concerned about hen harrier populations, which is why it took the lead on the Hen Harrier Action Plan. This sets out what will be done to increase hen harrier populations in England and includes measures to stop illegal persecution.

      All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and there are strong penalties in place for offences committed against birds of prey and other wildlife, with most wildlife crimes carrying up to an unlimited fine and/or a six-month custodial sentence. To address concerns about illegal killing of birds of prey, senior Government and enforcement officers have identified raptor persecution as a national wildlife crime priority. The National Wildlife Crime Unit monitors and gathers intelligence on wildlife crime, including raptor persecution, and aids police forces in their investigations when required.

      Ministers have always been clear of the need to phase out rotational burning of protected blanket bog to conserve these vulnerable habitats. Real progress is being made in promoting sustainable alternatives and I am pleased to hear that legislation is being looked at which could help achieve this. Ministers have also been encouraging landowners to adopt sustainable options and continue to work with them constructively. The England Peat Strategy will be published later this year which will detail further how we can protect, restore, and reduce damage to our peatlands.

      While there are no current plans to carry out a review of the management of grouse moors, I recognise it is vital that wildlife and habitats are respected and protected, and that the law is observed. I am pleased that the Government will continue to work to ensure a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship between shooting and conservation.

      Kind regards,

      Kevin Hollinrake MP

      Member of Parliament, Thirsk & Malton Constituency

      House of Commons


      SW1A 0AA

        1. Hi Mike,
          Standard rubbish I would expect from a North Yorkshire MP–Talk about the problem, learn lessons and do nothing.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: