Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Letter to Your MP about DGS debate

If you live in the Dark Peak constituencies or Derbyshire areas please feel free to use this letter or parts of it as a template for your own letter to your MP.

Dear [your MP],

I am a constituent of yours and I signed the e-petition on the parliament website entitled Ban Driven Grouse Shooting That e-petition has passed 100,000 signatures and therefore is expected to receive a debate in Westminster Hall some time later than the 9th of October. In our constituency of [your constituency] [No. of signatures in your area] people have supported this e-petition
You may or may not be aware of the issues surrounding the hobby of driven grouse shooting, but the Dark Peak area of the Peak District has for the last 5 years been subject of a multi-agency project to increase the numbers of birds of prey in the Dark Peak area, following concerns about declining populations of several birds of prey, reported instances of known or suspected illegal persecution and the failure of nest protection schemes to maintain bird of prey populations. You can read the summary of the 5 years of bird of prey initiative at
The overall message is that bird of prey numbers failed to increase (in some cases decreased), this despite birds being observed present and displaying breeding behaviour every year during the project these birds somehow never manage to successfully breed and seemingly disappear, this in comparison to the White Peak areas where the same species are breeding successfully and increasing in number.
Discovering evidence of raptor persecution in vast unpopulated areas of upland is extremely difficult, yet during the initiative period there have been several incidents of raptor persecution discovered and publicised.
2 Common Buzzard found dead, investigations showed these 2 birds where shot
1 Common Buzzard found in a Fenn Trap, this bird had to be euthanised
1 Osprey found alive but subsequently died due to injuries consistent with being caught in a Fenn Trap
1 Goshawk failed at nesting with a shotgun cartridge wadding found under the nest tree, and shot feathers recovered by local raptor workers.
1 Goshawk nest robbery recorded by RSPB investigations covert camera.
1 Goshawk nest shot in the darkness recorded by RSPB investigations covert camera.
2 Goshawk nests under covert protection failed in very suspicious circumstances (both in similar circumstances).
In addition to the above, there has been a widely reported incident of an armed individual on moorland in the Dark Peak with a decoy Hen Harrier, although the police were unable to substantiate who the individual was or what exactly he was doing, the shooting tenant had his lease ended early by the landowner (The National Trust).
Raptor persecution is just one of the issues linked with driven grouse shooting and there are many others which should be considered; Damage to important and protected habitats, water quality issues which increases the cost of water for everyone. Also the use of lead ammunition, a known poison removed from many of uses but strangely allowed to be used to kill something that people (and wildlife) can and will eat, studies show that the lead content even after removal of visible lead using x-ray can be hundreds of times the levels that would be allowed for other meat types. Despite the findings of a government commissioned report that was so 'inconvenient', the results were completely ignored. Anyone would think that if you have enough money you don’t have to abide by the same rules as the rest of society, wouldn’t you agree?
It is hard to see how Driven Grouse Shooting will manage to make the changes required to make it a sustainable and viable hobby, when it can’t accept the vast evidence against the use of lead, remember lead was removed from water pipes, petrol, paint, fishing weights etc. There are widely used and viable alternatives available and yet we have seen all that evidence ignored completely, why is that? To assist a few individuals who found it all just a little bit too inconvenient.
If all of this wasn’t enough, this is all taking place within a National Park on protected landscapes such as those with SPA, SAC, SSSI designations.
Nationally the Hen Harrier is on the verge of extinction in England due to illegal persecution, as reported in the governments own paper “A future for the Hen Harrier in England?”
Please note the “?” at the end of the title! There is suitable habitat to support around 300 pairs of Hen Harrier in England, 2016 sees just 3 reported nesting attempts.
There have only been 3 successful Hen Harrier’s nesting attempts in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District, in recent times, of these 3 nests two were only successful due to human intervention providing supplementary feeding after the male birds disappeared, a phenomena that occurs almost entirely, only, on grouse moors, such areas are largely devoid of other predators due to the management, strange that wouldn’t you agree?
Peregrine Falcons were subject of a national survey in 2014. Overall, the survey provides a strong message that Peregrines are faring better in urban and other lowland situations than in the uplands. Studies show that Peregrine Falcons are far less likely to be successful in areas managed for driven grouse shooting. The Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative reflects these issues and with the highly successful populations in neighbouring areas it is very difficult to attribute these huge discrepancies to anything other than illegal persecution, particularly in light of the recorded persecution incidents for other larger raptor species.
I hope that when the date of the debate is determined you will be able to attend the debate – would it be your intention to do so?
I hope that when the debate occurs you might feel able to represent my views in that debate. I want to see stronger regulation of driven grouse shooting and changes in the way our hills are managed. Do you think you would be able to speak on that subject?
I would be grateful for your response and the opportunity to brief you on the subject if you are planning to attend the debate.

Kind Regards

[your name & address]

Saturday, 6 August 2016

More excellent news

What more great news I hear you cry!


The wonderful Alan & Ruth from the biggest twitch have agreed to compère our event.
Huge supporters of Hen Harrier day these world record birders will be keeping us entertained in between our great speakers. 

So all you have to do is turn up, it's that simple.

We have to send a message loud and clear that we wil not stand for the persecution of our Hen Harriers any more.

We are accused on social media as being keyboard warriors, prove them wrong and attend an event. This weekend thousands will attend 12 events all over the UK.
Keyboard warriors we are not, angry, yes we are!!!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Hungry & thirsty in Edale?

If you arrive early for Hen Harrier Day in Edale you may need a top up.

Try one of these local cafe's.

After all the screaming and hooraying you'll probably need a drink.

Let's say thank you to the residents of Edale for making us welcome and support local business.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Latest on Hen Harrier Day 2016 in the Peak

Peak Hen Harrier Day 2016

When is it?

Sunday 7th August 2016

Where is it?

Edale, Derbyshire.

Meeting point.

Derbyshire County Council car park next to Edale train station.

Postcode for Sat Navs - S33 7ZN

Grid Ref - SK122854

Google Street Map

Advice on Travel

Please try and travel by train if you can.
Arrive early as we have limited parking spaces.
Or why not car share if the train isn't an option.

Why not use the comments section on this blog to make contact with fellow attendees
about car sharing.

What Time?

11 O'clock - Try to avoid parking issues by travelling by train or arrive as early as you can.

How to get there

By Rail: Those travelling by train should head for Edale Station.
                    Check out The Trainline

The best exit points from the motorways are:
northbound on M1 - exit 29 to A671
southbound on M1 - exit 36 to A61 and then on to the A57
northbound on M6 - exit 14 to A34 and then on to the A520
southbound on M6/M56/M60 - exit 27 on to the M60 and then on to the A6

From the east (M1/Sheffield/Chesterfield) take the A6187 into Hope. Turn right at sign to Edale.
From the west (M6/Chapel/Buxton) take unclassified road from Chapel towards Castleton. Turn left at Mam Nick into the Edale Valley.

Who will be Speaking?

1st up.

Findlay Wilde 

Young Conservationist & Hen Harrier Hero

'Pirates of the countryside; the theft of our natural treasures’

Hardyal Dhindsa 

Police & Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire 

‘Tackling Wildlife Crime is Good for Derbyshire’

Dr. Mark Avery 

Writer, blogger and environmental campaigner 

"The Peak District – a fulcrum for progress”

Jon Stewart  

National Trust General Manager In the Peak District


"Can the hen harrier be a symbol of renewal in our countryside?”

Natalie Bennett 

Leader of the Green Party

''For the hen harriers, for flood-prevention, for the planet: 
why we need a ban on driven grouse shooting''.

Conservation Manager with The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

“Re-Wilding the Peak”

Most important guests will be YOU

Don't forget your placards

We have been given a fantastic gift to offer as a prize for the best banner or placard at this years HHDay2016 in the Peak District.

The very generous David Culley has filmed the lives of Sparrowhawk & Tawny Owl over a total of 15 years to produce two remarkable films narrated by Chris Packham.

DVD's are signed by amongst others by Sir David Attenborough & Chris Packham


Get in Touch

Email -

Twitter - @Peak_HHDay

Facebook -

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Advice on Parking in Edale

We had an on site meeting on Sunday (19th June) to put in place some final details for the 7th of August.

One thing was very clearly pointed out by the local businesses.

It will be very busy in the Village from around 8:00 am and the public car park will be filled up with people enjoying the village and local area. This of course is great for our event as the plight on the Hen Harrier can reach a much larger audience. However with our starting time of 11:00 am parking could be an issue.

Charges in public car park

We do have the use of the Derbyshire County Council overflow car park next to the Train Station, this is where the event itself will be taking place. There will be controlled parking for around 70-80 cars. We will hold back some spaces for visitors who can't walk far and the remaining will be on a first come first parked basis. This car park will be free for HHDay attendees.

A warning from locals advised that in no circumstances park on the grass verges as tickets will be issued without exception.

Our advice is to try and travel by train

However if you do decide to travel by car, arrive early. Edale is a beautiful village in gorgeous surroundings so there is plenty to enjoy until the event starts. Plus I'm sure there will be plenty to talk about with old friends and fellow supporters.

The locals were all very excited about having the event in their village and many were aware of the issues. One lady, who loves Birds of Prey, was overcome at the thought of meeting Henry and is desperate for a photo with him, so Henry you must make a visit to the Penny Pot Cafe for a Mipit Sandwich.

We have a great opportunity to push the Hen Harrier persecution problem with the people of Edale, with lots of local support, so please come along support the cause and be part of a great day.