My passion for wildlife was stimulated in my teenage years, mainly thanks to my Mum (a biology teacher) who made me look at the world differently and being inspired by writers such as Paul Colinvaux. This early interest developed into biological research in my 20s, when I did practical conservation work in places such as the Comores and Mongolia.
Today, any free time I have I spend pottering around the flatlands of East Anglia or escaping to our hut on the Northumberland coast looking for wildlife and castles with my wife and children.
I studied Biological Sciences at Oxford and Conservation at UCL, and worked at Wildlife and Countryside Link before spending five years as Conservation Director at Plantlife.
I joined the RSPB as Head of Government Affairs in 2004, became Head of Sustainable Development in 2006, before becoming Conservation Director in 2011.
I wanted to give you a brief update you on what’s been happening with our response to Natural England’s decision to issue a license to pilot brood management for hen harriers.
Since I last blogged on this thorny subject (see here) things have been progressing, albeit slowly, and I am now able to tell you that the RSPB have entered the next phase and have applied to the High Court for permission to judicially review Natural England’s grant of consent for a hen harrier brood management trail.
There will be many people interested in what happens next, the legal arguments and the debate surrounding these. Given that this now a legal proceeding it is our intention not to talk more about this matter until it is concluded so as not to prejudice the outcome.
I do just want to reiterate that we don’t enter into legal proceedings lightly and only as a last resort. However, in this case we feel that it is entirely justified. Brood management is about forcing hen harriers to fit in with driven grouse shooting. It should be the other way round.
Female hen harrier (Mark Thomas, rspb-images.com)
I hope that your legal representative is better briefed than the prosecuting barrister appeared to be in the Bleasdale peregrine killing case.
'Brood management is about forcing hen harriers to fit in with driven grouse shooting. It should be the other way round.'
I couldn't agree with you more. Let's hope someone with no ties to the 'industry' gets your case.