Patrick Stirling-Aird’s bizarre letter [Hen harrier debate, April issue] is long on speculation and short on the contribution of grouse moor management. In contrast, the RSPB has been clear that the ‘management of land for grouse shooting has protected upland areas from the worst of over-grazing and blanket conifer plantations, while generating income for upland communities and forming a uniquely British form of cultural land use’. This explains why the Government has stated they want to increase the English harrier population alongside economic grouse moors. Carefully managing broods of harriers to unlock this proven conflict is eminently sensible and one of the reasons why it has been used around the world for a range of other species.
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