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Speculation rife after bad news from Bowland

Speculation rife after bad news from Bowland

As bloggers busily report the bad news regarding the disappearance of three Hen Harriers from active nests in the Forest of Bowland. Those with a vested interest in creating drama have immediately suggested foul play…



It transpires from information within these blogs that one male disappeared over the last three weeks with males at two other active nests not being seen since the end of April.  

All three of the nests affected are on the United Utilities Bowland Estate.  United Utilities and their shooting and farming tenants have for many years championed the English breeding population turning the Estate into a hen harrier stronghold. We are certain that their staff and tenants will be as saddened by the suggestions that these birds were somehow disturbed or otherwise removed from the area by those with an interest in shooting.

Raptor conservation has received considerable attention in recent times and consequently we have much information on the actual or potentially deleterious effects that researchers and managers have had or may inflict on breeding raptors, in particular the problems associated with research and management disturbance.

The much referred to paper “A future for the Hen Harrier in England” lists numerous reasons for nest abandonment or failure, ranging from predation to disturbance and too many unknown causes!

It’s unfortunate and unhelpful to immediately point the finger at the shooting community with little or indeed no evidence to support such insinuations at this site(s).

In the meantime, anyone with information in relation to illegal actions relevant to the disappearance of these three harriers should contact the local police.


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