Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Wednesday 5 August 2015

One in Sixty -one!

One of the most exciting encounters that a Kent birder could hope for. A "blue" male Hen Harrier drifting
into an evening roost site. With the current levels of persecution, I wonder if my grand-children will
ever witness this spectacle?

One in sixty-one! What's that all about? I'll attempt to fill in the gaps! I love maths and what numbers can do; it all stems from my statistical process control stuff whilst working for Unilever. The RSPB have come under attack from a pro-Grouse shooting lobby group who go by the unlikely banner of "You Forgot The Birds" - mischief makers, nothing better. A classic distraction tactic in the run up to "Hen Harrier Day" - it's political "old hat" The claims made by this organisation (?) are as about as believable as a Margate Cemetery Bird Report - and that's saying something!

However, I've been reading the comments posted, in response to the article, on the Birdguides website - as unhappy, as I am, with this persecution of my natural heritage, the views expressed by some, in support of the RSPB, are as outrageous as anything offered by the pro-shooting crowd. We all need to get a grasp of reality here - if the RSPB is over a million strong, as claimed, 200,000 members are too young to vote (again taken from their website) This grouse-shooting debate is a battle of wills, and political clout, the CLA (Country Landowners Association) might not boast as many members, but has influence in political circles way beyond the average RSPB member  - money talks, big money talks very loudly!

I looked on a Bing search thingamy and discovered that the UK population is estimated to be 61.4 million people. So the RSPB membership consists of  just one in sixty-one of the populous. Hardly the basis to be making statements on behalf of the "silent majority"? Let me make an assumption, at this point. I'm not an RSPB member and nor are the vast majority of Thanet birders with whom I have contact. If this is also reflected across the whole of the UK (?) then there might be as many as one in twenty of us who are very dissatisfied with the current spate of blatant disregard for the UK and EU laws protecting our wild birds of prey. This by a powerful group of multi-national businesses, employing blood thirsty fuck-wits to carry out their dirty deeds, whilst purporting to be caring, custodians of our countryside and defenders of our natural heritage and traditions. The RSPB going head to head with this powerful bunch is not the only option. There are a couple of other ways in which to approach this situation. Firstly is to use negative advertising - guilt by association - embarrassing the big multi-nationals who masquerade as supporters of our laws and traditions. Full page ads in the national dailies - "Did you know that -blah blah co ltd are systematically in breach of our wildlife laws - don't agree? Don't buy their products!"

Then there are the wealthy punters who pay to "enjoy" the sport (?) of driven grouse shooting. They come from around the globe, bringing with them hefty sums of foreign dollars. No political party, of any clout, is going to stand against this situation with any conviction - Great Britain Co Ltd. does very nicely out of this type of business. The punters, themselves, couldn't give a toss about Hen Harrier persecution - they just pay to shoot grouse and experience the life style of well heeled aristocracy , for a short while. American businessmen or oil rich Arabs, are blissfully ignorant of the situation in their cosseted worlds. Possibly it is now time to target these people, who pay to shoot driven grouse, instead of battering ourselves silly, and wasting money and effort, against these bastions of smug, aloof, politically corrupt institutions that control the moors on which our Hen Harrier population rely? The only thing that any business understands is the end of year balance sheet. Only if profit comes under threat will any actions be taken, not until!


  1. Very well said Dylan and I have just finished Mark Avery's latest book on the subject entitled "Inglorious". While reading that you quickly realise just how big the barrier is that the money people and politicians that shoot the grouse, have put up to protect their "sport". Hitting their profits is a sure way to get the anti ball rolling.

  2. I agree,the persecution of Hen Harriers and other birds of prey needs stopping.The trouble is no Grouse shouting = no Heather! That is certainly the case round here in Yorkshire,looking from my window every piece of moorland that is not a Grouse shoot has no Heather at all,lost to overgrazing and conifer planting.I am not pro-shooting but loosing this Heather moorland would be a disaster.

    1. John, many thanks for your taking the time to comment. Under no circumstances do I have any desire to see (driven) grouse shooting banned. My hope is that, in 2015, the custodians of our moorlands continue to manage this wondrous habitat, yet do so within the statutes as decreed by the UK and EU legislation applicable to our wild birds of prey. At present, the multi-national business interests at the heart of the industry are completely immune to legal obligations - they allow simple gamekeepers to take the rap, on their behalf, without any detrimental effect on their profits. Make the employer responsible for the actions of their employees (as in Health & Safety matters within my industry) then see what difference that will make? At present our apathetic politicians and legal system seem totally incapable/unwilling to enforce the laws, that are already in place, to stop this barbaric persecution of our Hen Harriers. - Dylan

  3. Thanks for the reply Dylan which is spot on.Great blog by the way,I'm an insect enthusiast myself.