Over 500 people turned up in torential rain and stood to listen to Chris Packham and Mark Avery. There should be coverage of the rally on TV (tonight) and in the papers tomorrow (and perhaps on breakfast TV too). (and on Mark's blog http://markavery.info/blog/ ). Some photos below.
Tomorrow (Sunday 10th) is Hen Harrier Day when people will gather at three locations in northern England to show their concerns for the plight of this bird which is all but extinct on English grouse moors (there should be at least 250 pairs but illegal persecution keeps them excluded from their moorland home).
The Derbyshire gathering is at the top of ladybower Reservoir but the event is now 'full'.
So if you are not already booked to go, here's what you can do:
First read Mark Avery's blog to understand the background - scroll down a bit (but not that far!):
And second, if you are into social media, here are some options as set out by BAWC - Birders against Wildlife Crime, who originated the idea:
"If you can't make it to one of our events but would like to have your say and speak up for Hen Harriers...all you need is a smartphone or a computer, and maybe a camera and a willingness to take a 'selfie'!
Thunderclap: The groups organising Hen Harrier Day are co-ordinating a 'Thunderclap' — a method of using Twitter or Facebook to create an amplified message across social media. The message is sent out at the same time to all of the followers of the supporters who have signed up: in effect it explodes across social media like a thunderclap bursts across the sky. BAWC would like to thank the team who met (online) and discussed the message and timing of this campaign, and especially Naomi Rose of the RSPB who took the lead on creating it.
Twitter: Let's get #HenHarrierDay trending! If you'd like to show your support on Twitter please use the hashtag #HenHarrierDay when promoting or discussing Hen Harrier Day.
Twibbon: We've launched a Twibbon campaign for both Twitter and Facebook which, after just a few weeks, has attracted over 1000 users! Note that it is very easy to remove the Twibbon — just go back to the Twibbon website, find this campaign, and revoke permission for the Twibbon app to 'see' your account. Not sure what a twibbon is or why you might want one? Have a look at http://birdersagainst.org/bawc-twibbon-campaign/ .
'Selfie': Yes, we know, 'selfies' (photos of yourself posted online) have a bit of poor reputation now (thanks all you Z-list celebs) but actually they are a great campaign tool. And if you can't make it to a Hen Harrier Day event, how about being part of the action without even having to leave your home. We've uploaded a 'We're Missing our Hen Harriers' poster and simple instructions to http://birdersagainst.org/were-missing-our-hen-harriers-selfie-download/ . It couldn't be easier. Please do read the T&Cs, though; we wouldn't want to use your image using our image without your consent”.
|Male hen harrier by Chris Baines|
|Chris Packham and Mark Avery|
|500 folk listen to Chris Packham (left foreground)|
Incidentally, both Nicks were present in the rain (and played an active part in the preparations for the day) plus several other peregrines volunteers (Sue peregrino included) plus a large contingent from the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. Ian L was due to have motor biked over from Notts but the rain was just too impossible - the roads were deep in puddles everywhere.
BIRD FAIR at Rutland Water is this weekend - Friday, Saturday and Sunday 15-17 August http://www.birdfair.org.uk/ . If you have never been it is an experience for sure! Massive event!
I'm going on Saturday this time and hope to catch Ed Drewitt talking about his book Urban Peregrines at 1.30 in the author's marquee. There's so many stalls and events/talks it is always difficult to know which day to go on!