Blog Post: Jenn’s Big Bird Bungee Jump – update!

  By Jennifer Lane   Phew!! So as some of you know, this weekend I bungee jumped 300ft to raise money for hen harriers in Bowland. And… it was INCREDIBLE!   We’ve raised a wonderful £543.00 so far. Thank you so SO much to everyone who has donated to this great cause – you’ve been absolutely fantastic !   There’s still chance to visit my JustGiving page and donate: https://www.justgiving.com/Jennifer-Lane2/ And for those who want a bit of a chuckle, here’s it is: https://youtu.be/37mnNK3JZjs (listen out for the squawk…)   Thanks again everyone J ... And here are some great photos of Jenn making the jump, courtesy of Carl Lane.

Blog Post: We want to dance in the Peak District – Hen Harrier Day 2015

Guest blog by Helen Byron, Area Conservation Manager I’m just back from a weekend of hen harrier events in the Peak District, which the RSPB was delighted to support.  On Saturday night, we were at the Palace Hotel in Buxton for Hen Harrier Eve: celebrating the hen harrier , an event organised by Mark Avery. A packed room of almost 300 heard readings about the Peak District, a landscape for harriers, by local duo Stone and Water; saw the RSPB Skydancer video introduced by RSPB’s Amanda Miller and strongly endorsed by the RSPB’s Chief Executive Mike Clarke who was at the weekend’s events.  There was a conversation with Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller; a presentation about birds of prey and their part in our culture from author Mark Cocker; a fantastic video mash up from young campaigner Findlay Wilde, who also announced that he had convinced Ecotricity to sponsor satellite tags for the LIFE+ Project; a video montage of the recent travels of Henry the Hen Harrier; and a passionate speech by Chris Packham.  And all this delivered from a life size model of a grouse butt made by Findlay and with an appearance by Henry the Hen Harrier! A great time was had by all! Photos: Guy Shorrock, RSPB Sunday morning saw around 500 people, old and young, and various dogs including poodles, which greatly pleased Chris Packham, congregate in the stunning Goyt Valley for Hen Harrier Day 2015 - and this year the weather was glorious!   Charlie Moores from Birders Against Wildlife Crime, the event’s organisers, hosted the event which opened with a talk from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's CEO Jo Smith celebrating the Peak District and confirming DWT’s commitment to hen harriers, followed by a rousing speech from RSPB’s Jeff Knott, stirring words from Mark Avery and closing with an engaging speech by Chris Packham.   The passion in the crowd for the plight of the hen harrier was abundantly clear.  You can get a flavour of the speeches, the posters and bird kites that accompanied it on the BAWC YouTube channel  here . Photos: Guy Shorrock, RSPB After the rally in the Goyt there were stalls in the Buxton Pavilion gardens where people who’d been at the rally and others new to hen harrier issues could talk to BAWC, DWT, RSPB and others and enjoy family activities in the splendid sunshine. Photos: Guy Shorrock, RSPB Hen Harrier Day/weekend 2015 in the Peak District was much bigger than in 2014 - the RSPB was delighted to support it and my colleagues and I were so pleased to be part of it. Expect even more next year!!

Blog Post: Smell LUSH and save hen harriers!

Today, the high street cosmetics store Lush has launched a hen harrier bath bomb, proceeds of which will go to the Hen Harrier LIFE+ Project to help fund our satellite tagging operation from next season! Satellite tagging allows us to learn more about their ecology and to find out where they might be at risk.  The bath bomb was named by TV presenter Chris Packham, 'Skydancer – Far From The Madding Guns'. This follow-up campaign by Lush, comes ahead of Hen Harrier Day this Sunday 9th August ( http://henharrierday.org/ ) and the start of the grouse shooting season on the Glorious Twelfth to help inform the general public of the decline in hen harrier numbers over recent years. Jeff Knott, the RSPB’s Head of Nature Policy, said: “We are delighted that Lush has come up with this imaginative way of raising awareness about hen harriers and getting their customers involved in their conservation.  Everyone who buys a bath bomb will be making a valuable contribution towards bringing this amazing bird of prey back from the brink of extinction in England." Please pop into your local Lush store this weekend and help save our hen harriers!

Slow to grow

Things seem to have been really slow in the garden this year. My leeks are still pencil thin, the runner beans are tiny and the sweetcorn and squashes are only just starting to flower. On the plus side the swallows seem to have done well having at least four broods of 4 or 5 young. Unfortunately the sparrowhawk took to hurtling through the barn to ambush them so we had to shut the middle door to prevent this. The wildflower border is doing well attracting bees, butterflies and hoverflies and yesterday a wood wasp flew into the porch. It looks scary but what looks like a sting is actually its ovipositor for laying eggs under the bark of trees.