Hen Harrier brood meddling on trial (1)

Hen Harrier checks. Photo: Gordon Yates

On Wednesday and Thursday this week, three Court of Appeal judges will hear appeals from myself and the RSPB on the subject of Natural England’s controversial licensing of brood meddling of Hen Harriers. The three judges will be considering the legal point of whether Justice Lang was right to dismiss our judicial reviews on this subject back in March 2019 (yes, it really was that long ago) and not whether the brood meddling approach is working or sensible or it’s a well-designed intervention. The hearing will address Justice Lang’s view that Natural England didn’t have to consider alternatives to brood meddling because brood meddling is a piece of science and there is no alternative to a piece of science if what you want to do is a piece of science. At least, in the strange world of the law, that is what I think is happening. And I thought we were all supposed to be conserving Hen Harriers.

My view is that brood meddling is a massive waste of time and money and distracts everyone from properly addressing the real issue which is the very high level of illegal persecution of Hen Harriers on grouse moors. It is also my view that brood meddling isn’t working, isn’t sensible and isn’t a well-designed intervention.

More on this today and tomorrow.

If you would like to ‘attend’ the appeal which will take place online then you may be allowed by the court. If you email me on mark@markavery.info I will send you details of how you can request the log in details.


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