In past centuries the Hen Harrier has been a common, widespread bird of prey; but due to changes in land use and persecution by game keepers the species has experienced a decline in numbers. Its predation of fowl (earning its present name),thus its effect on the number of grouse available to shoot has caused a conflict, which now threatens its survival in many parts of the UK. A 2011 report stated that in England the illegal persecution is “such a constraint that the Hen Harrier is threatened with extinction as a breeding species” . In 2013, for the first time, no Hen Harriers fledged young in England and this year only three pairs have bred. Hen Harrier Day – Sunday 10th August – is to raise awareness of the unfair persecution of this protected species. The organisers of Hen Harrier Day have arranged with local councils to allow peaceful gatherings at three sites:
- Northumberland – South Tyne Trail at Lambley. Join them by walking along the former mineral railway line, on the “selfie trail”.
- Derbyshire – Dr Mark Avery has organised an event at the Upper Derwent Valley at the Fairholmes Visitor Centre.
- Lancashire – The North West Raptor Protection Group will be hosting at event in the Forest of Bowland at Dunsop Bridge.
For more information on Hen Harrier Day events visit: http://birdersagainst.org/projects/hen-harrier-day/ References:  http://www.snh.gov.uk/news-and-events/press-releases/press-release-details/?id=458
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