Former Green Party leader among those calling for end to illegal Hen Harrier killing

As the hen harrier population continues to decline in Britain, one set of campaigners are determined to do something about it.

Hen Harrier Day returns to Rainham Marshes for a third year on August 11 and aims to inform people how the spectacular birds of are being killed with little regard or respect.

The speakers at the free event include former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, the day’s co-founder Dr Mark Avery, TV’s Urban Birder David Lindo and RSPB director of global conservation Martin Harper.

Natalie said: “It’s great to see the movement growing, demanding an end not just to the illegal killing of hen harriers and other raptors, but to the mass slaughter on our uplands that is claiming mountain hares and foxes, corvids and mustelids.”

FIGHTING FOR THE HEN HARRIER: Former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett

Since the 1950s, Hen Harriers have had full legal protection, but they are still absent from vast areas of the UK, attributed to illegal persecution on intensively managed areas of upland driven grouse moor.

The fifth Hen Harrier Survey, published in June 2017, showed there were just four territorial pairs in England in 2016 – down from 12 in 2010 – despite evidence from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee that shows there is ample habitat to support more than 300 pairs in England alone.

Martin said: “Hen Harrier day is a fantastic opportunity to send a powerful message to landowners and politicians that the public demands an urgent reform of the way our hills are managed.”

Hen Harrier Day has raised nearly £3,000 across 2016 and 2017, to fund raptor satellite tagging by the campaign group ‘Birders Against Wildlife Crime, through raffles and Hen Harrier merchandise.

More details of the other 2018 events can be found at

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