It’s a day of countdowns...

25 days until the Hen Harrier Day peaceful protests on the 10th August (I’ll be at the Peak District one – more info here)...

... 7 days until voting closes for the National Lottery Awards (cast your vote here)...

 ...and only 9 days until I bid a fond and emotional farewell to Skydancer.

 

Yes, you read that right but don't worry, the project’s not finishing! In fact, I’m not really leaving – merely switching desks to take up my new post as Project Manager for RSPB’s new Hen Harrier LIFE+ Project.

What’s that, you ask? Well I’m delighted to announce that we’ve just received a grant from the European LIFE+ fund for an ambitious five-year, cross-border project covering hen harrier conservation in Northern England and Southern Scotland. The project officially starts this month and I will take up my post as Project Manager in August.

Details of the new project will follow in due course but it will focus largely on practical conservation measures such as nest protection, winter roost monitoring, and satellite tagging, while also building on the great community engagement achievements of Skydancer by extending this work wider and continuing to seek opportunities to work progressively with the shooting communities in these areas. It’s only 50% funded by LIFE+, so we’ve also just launched a Hen Harrier Appeal – see here for more info.

 

Stepping back from Skydancer with just 15 months to go was never going to be an easy decision, and I can already tell that Friday next week is going to be a very emotional day for me. However, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the new job and excited about the opportunities and potential for hen harrier conservation that the LIFE+ project represents.

Most importantly, nothing will stop with Skydancer and we’re already recruiting for a replacement. If you feel passionately about hen harrier conservation and enjoy working with a wide range of people and communities, then I can’t recommend it enough! Check it out for yourself and apply online here:

Skydancer Engagement Officer – you just can’t beat that job title.

It’s been a dream come true to see Skydancer through to the National Lottery Awards and what an incredible high it would be to leave on if we manage to win...!

Please, please, if you haven’t already – vote here and encourage all your friends and family to do the same, and share on Facebook and Twitter. Winning would mean national media attention for these amazing birds and what better leaving present could I ask for than that?

To every one of you who has been involved in Skydancer in whatever small way over the last three years, even if just by following these blogs – from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.