Monthly Archives: May 2012

Trust Calls for Pledge on Buzzard Protection

Conservation Bodies Welcome Minister’s U-turn

Common Buzzard31 May 2012 | The Hawk and Owl Trust has joined a dozen other environmental bodies in calling for government pledges never to sacrifice wild birds of prey to protect game birds or other livestock.

The call follows a successful campaign, championed by the Trust, to reverse government plans to allow buzzards to be caged and their nests destroyed as part of research into alleged buzzard attacks on young pheasants. The proposals, from Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), were withdrawn on 30 May 2012.

“As organisations who care deeply about our rich and beautiful countryside and wildlife we were horrified to learn of the proposals to use tax payers’ money to imprison buzzards and destroy their nests for the purposes of protecting pheasants,“ the environmental organisations wrote.

“And of course we welcome Defra minister Richard Benyon’s decision to drop the proposed research project. But we now urge him to go one step further in order to draw a line under this issue.

“We all want to see healthy populations of birds of prey, from the buzzards that are widespread in our countryside to hen harriers which are down to just one pair in England. For this to happen, full legal protection must be maintained and action taken to stop illegal killing of these birds.

“Given the understandable strength of public feeling and lack of evidence for a problem, we are calling on Mr Benyon to confirm that no licences will be issued to kill birds of prey in order protect game birds or other livestock. Then we can all concentrate on protecting our natural environment so that our countryside is a place where people and wildlife can live side by side.”

The letter was signed by the Hawk and Owl Trust and representatives of RSPB, the National Trust, Greenpeace UK, Friends of the Earth, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, The Mammal Society, the Badger Trust, the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, the Northern England Raptor Forum, Humane Society International, Butterfly Conservation and The British Mountaineering Council.

Trust Joins Successful Buzzard Persecution Protest

Conservation Bodies Attack Proposal 24 May 2012 | The Hawk and Owl Trust has joined other conservation bodies in protesting against government proposals to permit wild buzzards to be caged and nests destroyed to protect young pheasants. Nigel Middleton, Hawk and Owl Trust Conservation Officer for the Eastern Region, said: “We are totally against persecution… Continue Reading

Eyes Peeled for Marsh Harriers in Dispersal Study

Look Out for Bright Green Wing Tags May 2012 | Three young Norfolk marsh harriers are helping settle the mystery of what happens to the species after they disperse for winter. Two males and a female specially tagged at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve last summer have been sighted in the East of England, mainly in… Continue Reading

Late Harriers Return to Sculthorpe

Weather Delays Marsh Harrier Broods Marsh harriers can be seen for the eighth successive year at Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve, near Fakenham, North Norfolk, but the breeding season has been dramatically delayed by appalling weather. Hawk and Owl Trust Conservation Officer Nigel Middleton is confident that there are at least two active nests. One… Continue Reading