The so called Glorious 12th (August) sees the start of grouse shooting season in the uplands.
You may hear lots of stories about how the uplands are managed and all the benefits that come with that for some breeding birds like Curlew for example; but there is of course a darker side to all this in the form of raptor persecution. Grouse moors are intensively managed to produce unnaturally large numbers of Red Grouse, many of which will then be shot. But anything that would naturally prey on the Red Grouse is not welcome on the shooting estates and it is worrying to see a lack of natural predators in these areas.
Something I am learning is that where there is big money to be made there can also be criminal activity. Wildlife crime is not something you hear about enough in the news, as the environment and natural world are so far down the list of priorities in government, business, education etc.
The evidence just keeps getting clearer and clearer that serious wildlife crime is taking place in the uplands. Modern day technology is helping to bring these activities to light more and more.
Just one more statistic for you. In theory, the uplands in England could support over 300 pairs of hen harriers. Last year we had just 4 breeding pairs. Only about 1% of what could be there. Not really a statistic to be pushed down the priority list. And this year's number of breeding hen harriers in England is not looking promising either. But even if the numbers doubled to 8 pairs, it still wouldn't be acceptable.
So as the social media posts about the so called Glorious 12th start flooding in, wouldn't it be great to see #Inglorious12th trending and raising much needed awareness about the criminal activity that continues to plague these important breeding grounds.