Friday, 28 November 2014

Harrier plan: our letter published in BBC Wildlife Magazine

Below is our letter which is to be published in the next issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine:

Harrier plan

There is genuine conflict between hen harriers and red grouse (A Brush With Nature, October) but science has shown that if you lose red grouse shooting, you lose both hen harriers and the incentive to manage heather moorland.

For two years a group of stakeholders, including the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, the RSPB, the Moorland Association and Natural England, has been working to produce a recovery plan for hen harriers that also ensures the future of grouse shooting and the moorland that provides a breeding habitat for waders such as curlews, golden plover and lapwing.

Andrew Gilruth
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

FREE Hen Harrier Recovery Plan guide

Download your FREE guide to the hen harrier & grouse shooting issue >

What's inside your FREE guide

✓ essential hen harrier facts
✓ details of the hen harrier recovery plan
✓ summary of the issues and arguments surrounding a proposed ban on driven grouse shooting
✓ key figures and scientific findings

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  1. If you've been working so closely together for the last two years, Andrew, why have you chosen recently to launch a tirade of childish attacks on one of the participants, the RSPB? Your poor judgement, as Director of Communications at the GWCT - an organisation hitherto associated in my mind with evidence-based advocacy - is puzzling. Could it be because you fear the outcome of any public consultation on hen harrier 'brood management'?

  2. Of course the RSPB never attacks shooting, grouse management, landowners and gamekeepers sdoes it? It appear to be the RSPB who fears brood management surely as they are blocking the publication of the report

  3. Prof Steve Redpath of the University of Aberdeen and his team have proposed brood management as one element of a conflict resolution mechanism for the current divisive, energy-sapping, goodwill-destroying, resource-squandering, impasse (, and the technique is used successfully in Europe to mitigate conflicting interests during harvesting operations where both Hen and Montagus Harriers nest in cereal fields - (,) so why on earth is anyone concerned about the implementation of brood management as part of the Joint HH Action Plan?

    In any case, the technique needs to be piloted in the UK uplands to see if the theory translates into the desired outcome before full scale, UK-wide implementation is countenanced. Therefore, let's get a pilot scheme underway asap so that if successful, all elements of the Joint HH Action Plan can be harnessed to produce more HH in the uplands and elsewhere - something everyone purports to want. What's not to like here?