Sunday, 26 February 2017

Thunderclap - Don't Let The Shadows Win

Firstly, thank you so much if you have made the effort to click on a link on social media today about hen harriers and arrived at this blog post.

Less than 4 weeks ago I wrote the blog below and set up a Thunderclap to try and raise awareness regarding hen harriers. If you want to remember just one fact from this post, then remember this one; last year just 3 pairs of hen harriers bred in England when we have the habitat to enable over 300 pairs to breed. 

Hen harriers breed in the uplands and that is where the trouble starts. Hen harriers, other raptors, mountain hares, foxes and corvids are just some of the animals/birds persecuted to protect game birds, which are then shot.  It is a cycle of destruction.

Grouse moors are intensively managed to encourage unnaturally large amounts of red grouse to flourish in time for the "inglorious 12th".  There is no natural balance on these grouse moors and it's wrong.  

Every generation has the basic right to a natural inheritance. It's time we all spoke up to protect the natural world for generations to come, we can't survive without it.


There is a dark shadow that follows and reaches for our hen harriers.

This unrelenting shadow led to us having just 3 breeding pairs of hen harrier in England last year when there should be over 300 breeding pairs.  Illegal persecution has been a huge part of driving hen harriers to the point of extinction as a breeding bird in England.  

Hen harriers have the power to massively move people, as an earlier post called "Those Thought Provoking Hen Harriers" clearly showed.

If an iconic species like a hen harrier can be so close to extinction as a breeding bird in England, what does that say about all the other species of birds, mammals and insects that face a daily struggle for survival. We all have a responsibility to safeguard the natural world for future generations and speak out against the greed, ignorance and denial that is pushing the natural world to it's limits.

So focussing on the hen harrier for a minute, I would ask you all to sign this Thunderclap that is due to go out as hen harriers make their way from wintering sites back to the upland breeding grounds. Birds like Finn (the only bird tagged as part of the RSPB's LIFE project in mainland England last year that is still alive) who have managed, against the odds, to survive so far, unlike many of their fellow tagged birds who never made it to a year old; birds like Carroll.

So what else can you do? Well, this is where I am going to push back on you this time and ask back "what will you do?".  Awareness raising is a great place to start; please sign the Thunderclap and get other people to do the same.

You can of course use the comments section to offer up ideas, thoughts, comments on what more we should all be doing and how best to bring about the urgent changes that are needed.  

Let's bring those shadows into the light where they will start to disappear.

Thank you.

Every act of evil unleashes a million acts of kindness. This is why shadows will never win while there is still light to shine.
Aaron Paquette


  1. Hi Findlay, Can you tell me a bit more about what's happening to the Hen Harriers? I'm interested to know what can be done to stop their decline. Many thanks, Caroline

    1. Hi Caroline, hen harriers breed in the uplands in England and Scotland. Grouse shooting happens in many of the places where hen harriers go to breed and this is one of the issues they face. Part of their diet is grouse chicks, which reduces the amount of grouse available to shoot during the shooting season from 12th August. So hen harriers and other raptors have faced years of persecution through illegal trapping, shooting and poisoning. Last year we had just 3 breeding pairs in England when the uplands could support over 300 breeding pairs. Their is more information on the following blogs and

  2. Hi Findlay - sorry I'm new to Google and Blogging accounts - the "I don't understand" wasn't meant to be a heading to my comment! Caroline

  3. Great post Findlay! It is awful to hear any bird is driven into extinction. I hope the Harriers can be protected.

  4. This is so sad .. thank you for doing what you can -- I hope there are many more like you.

  5. I am so sad to see that there are still such problems for the Hen Harriers. Sometimes people are just way too involved in reshaping nature and trying to undo what was created for our enjoyment. You keep doing what you do so beautifully and from way over here in KY I will keep lifting my best thoughts in your direction and the passion for saving the Hen Harriers~

  6. I can remember seeing a pair in Lancashires Bowland area many years ago. The work that's gone into protection has met so many hurdles with persecution. It would be a tragedy to lose such iconic birds of our uplands.