100,000 e-actions sent to politicians urging action on grouse moor reform!

Brilliant news!

The e-action campaign to urge politicians across the UK to take action on grouse moor reform has passed the 100,000 mark!

This campaign was launched just three weeks ago on Hen Harrier Day by Wild Justice, RSPB and Hen Harrier Action and the response from the general public has been phenomenal. Massive thanks to everyone who has joined in.

Wild Justice has written a blog (here) outlining what will happen next. Information will be published via the Wild Justice newsletter so if you haven’t yet signed up for that here’s how to subscribe.

The e-action is open until Monday evening so there’s still time to take part and get your local politician involved – see here.

Chris Packham was live with Iolo Williams as the counter passed the 100,000 mark earlier this afternoon. You can watch a recording here:

This evening at 8pm Chris will be talking to Alison Johnstone MSP of the Scottish Greens. You can watch live on Chris’s twitter and Facebook pages.

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to this effort – change only happens when people stand up together.

5 thoughts on “100,000 e-actions sent to politicians urging action on grouse moor reform!”

  1. Hi, I sent the email to my MP from the e-action campaign to urge politicians across the UK to take action on grouse moor reform. I have attached a copy of the letter sent back to me from my MP Simon Fell. His response was disappointing. I wonder if other MP’s have responded in a similar way ?

    Yours, Duncan Cooke.

    1. Hi Duncan, as you have a Tory MP for an English constituency it is highly likely that his reply was a carbon copy of the standard response prepared for Conservative politicians (there is a slightly different variant for Welsh Conservatives), see Mark Avery’s excellent blogs at:




      The first standard response (which I got the Welsh variant of) is dreadful and the second is not substantively much better. Mark has published a guide to how you might like to respond to either version at:


  2. This is a fantastic effort so very well done to everyone involved. It’s not alone, on the 27th of August the Scotgov petition to reduce the number of beavers being culled in Scotland and instead to translocate as many as possible to other parts of the country closed with 16,679 signatures. That happens to be more support than any other Scotgov petition has received in a decade. Usually with petitions they peak at some stage, new signatures fall off then there might be a slight flurry just before they close. With this one support just kept on climbing and climbing and climbing, for very long stretches signatures were coming in at more than a 100 per hour in the last days. More than 1,000 comments were left on the petition which is probably unprecedented.

    I’m not mentioning this to show that there’s generally more public interest in fighting wildlife crime and mismanagement, but because this issue is directly related to grouse moors – thousands and thousands of miles of streams and wee rivers running through essentially treeless sheep farms, deer ‘forests’ and grouse moors are contributing to massive flooding of homes, businesses downstream with associated human misery. We should be embarking upon a national project to put in targeted tree planting in the uplands so they will directly reduce run off, and indirectly help further by letting woody material slow the flow in streams and eventually provide food and dam building material for beavers. This would effectively mean significant tree planting on virtually all grouse moors, plus this would also create firebreaks to reduce the workload on the emergency services. We shouldn’t be killing any beavers when we’re going to need thousands of them to prevent untold millions of pounds of flood damage. The 2005 Carlisle flood alone (it has some of its watershed in Scotland) cost over 400 million quid.

    This is a killing point that we really haven’t pushed yet – how could the grouse moors refuse if not doing so compromised the flood prevention that means fewer families being forced out of their homes and having to mop them out at a later date? How would the public react to that and what politician would risk pissing them off by backing up recalcitrant estates? Perth is the city most at risk of flooding in Scotland and it must have lots of grouse moors in its higher and wettest part of the watershed. In riposte to the glorious 12th crap Hugh Webster wrote a fantastic piece factually debunking and ridiculing all the claims being made for the non existing benefits of DGS. I was extremely pleased to see he mentioned that trees and beavers would be good where the grouse moors currently are to reduce flood risk, this is practically the first time it’s been done. We need to put beavers in the frame by doing this as standard when discussing grouse moors/flood risk so we get over any lingering awkwardness by showing this is a legitimate point.

    There’s even scope that while eco restoration kicks in that we can run trials in upland areas as to the logistics, cost and practicalities of supplementing food and dam building supplies for beavers there while the new trees are growing. The ‘waste’ from tree surgery and unsold root vegetables from supermarkets should be more than adequate. Given the vast cost of flooding I don’t think this is a ludicrous suggestion. At the moment most ‘natural’ flood alleviation schemes seem to involve bringing in surveyors, consultants and JCBs to do some heavy engineering of a couple of miles of riverbank to reconstitute a flood plain etc. Usually on lower land to me they look as if it’s still the same old players benefitting from multi million pound government contracts. Funnily enough there’s hardly any interest in preventing floods by changing what happens in the uplands including grouse moors. This only ‘makes sense’ if you factor in the same political considerations that see raptor persecution and the rest being swept under the carpet. The vilification and drive to persecute the beaver has pretty much the same root as what’s killing mountain hares and hen harriers, maintaining the rural status quo for those who benefit from it to the enormous cost to everybody and everything else.

  3. Yes has Les above says a fantastic effort, thank you so much to all those who made this happen 👏

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