Licensing of upland grouse moors and gamekeepers

This email, which was sent to a large number of birdwatchers, has been posted here by request from Mike Smart.

Dear Colleague,

May I first of all explain that I have extracted your contact details from the Birdwatchers Yearbook 2014. I sincerely hope you don’t feel the following request is an intrusion. If so, then I apologise unreservedley.

In early 2013 I registered an E-petition relating to the licencing of upland grouse moors and gamekeepers as I believe some form of regulation is the only way forward to address the continuing practice of raptor persecution. The explanatory details accompanying the petition adequately set out the provisions I feel need consideration and discussion. After being personally involved with Hen Harrier protection for over thirty years, mainly with RSPB during the twenty years I ran what was formerly NW England Region, the current situation whereby we have lost the species as a breeding bird in England is sad news indeed and an ever present reminder that further action is required.

Whilst I’ve no illusions that a petition will automatically result in suggested measures being brought into being, a well supported proposal will allow that depth of feeling within the wider electorate  to be communicated to politicians in the hope that further debate will arise and the subject kept alive. The petition closes on the 27th February, 2014, has attracted in excess of 7500 signatures, but clearly many more would have a greater impact!  Following its closure the issue will be raised with politicians and others and the support for it quoted as an indication of the seriousness with which the matter is held.

I’m writing to you now in a personal capacity, as clearly you are involved in the “birding world”, to ask if you would promote the petition to family, friends, work colleagues, committee members of your Society or group and, indeed, to as wide a membership or constituency as possible as opportunity allows.  Full details are set out below.  By all means contact me by E-mail if you have any queries.  From time to time updates on progress will appear on my Blog  ( again, full details are given below ) to which you are welcome to refer people.  If you feel it more expedient to simply circulate this E-mail to your personal address book, or to that of your Society or group or any other appropriate list, then I have no objection to my personal details being circulated in such a way or to receiving enquiries from your contacts.

E-mail address:       John Armitage.

Blog address                           

E-petition details                   

Click on any of the above to gain direct access to your required source.

Some of you, I am sure, will already be aware of the petition, indeed may have already signed it. If so, please excuse this duplication and many thanks for your previous support.  However, any further support you can offer in its promotion will be valued greatly and I am very much appreciative of your potential contribution. Thank you.

Best wishes for 2014, good birding and, again, many thanks,

John Armitage.

John S. Armitage
Isle of Islay,
PA47 7SZ

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