The Field - - Letters -

The RSPB spent three years lob­by­ing the govern­ment to pro­duce a “com­pre­hen­sive con­ser­va­tion plan for hen har­ri­ers, en­dorsed by stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing landown­ing and shoot­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions”. The re­sult was the pub­li­ca­tion of De­fra’s har­rier re­cov­ery plan six months ago. It has yet to be fully im­ple­mented but the RSPB has de­cided to with­draw its sup­port.

Some will ques­tion why it has per­formed such a dra­matic U-turn; the har­ri­ers might choose more colour­ful lan­guage. Cu­ri­ously, the plan, which aims to re­cover the species across English moor­land, is now no longer re­liant on the RSPB for its suc­cess. The GWCT will not be walk­ing away be­cause this plan is based on sound sci­en­tific re­search. Decades of it. The GWCT has been deeply in­volved in the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of the wildlife con­flict between hen har­ri­ers and red grouse for more than 30 years. This is why we will not be with­draw­ing our sup­port.

Ian Coghill, Chair­man, GWCT

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