A New Beginning……
My first three months as Chair of the National Raptor PPDG have literally flown by (sorry). I have been busy meeting the key people that I know will be vital in supporting the work of the group moving forwards. I will use this month’s blog to update on some of these key meetings.
Firstly, I have been asked many times why I volunteered to lead this important work, and my answer has always been this
“It is my duty to leave this planet in a better condition, for my children and their families, than it was when I arrived here. My vocation to become a cop was to ensure the very worst of society aren’t free to roam the streets, and my voluntary role as chair of the RPPDG will ensure I can give my all to support our wildlife too”
To that end, I have been working hard to raise the public profile of the persecution issue, including an interview with The Daily Times newspaper, a recorded podcast with the RSPB, and some early contact being made with a number of other publications. I have also pulled together a presentation for the forthcoming National Wildlife Crime Enforcers Conference (1st and 2nd December) which I hope will obtain further support for the `Enforcement Sub-Group` I will be introducing very soon.
Just last week I was delighted to lead the first ever National Raptor Persecution Workshop, bringing together key people to support the development of a Tactical Delivery Plan (TDP) that I will use to lead activity nationally against persecution. The workshop was attended by a wide range of organisations, including
- National Wildlife Crime Unit
- Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust
- Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group/ Birders Against Wildlife Crime
- Raptor Persecution UK
- National Trust
- Natural England
- Yorkshire Dales National Parks
- Moorland Association
- Countryside Alliance
- A number of Police Forces
I am confident we now have a clear focus on the way forward that PPDG members can work together to deliver. I will report more on the TDP in forthcoming blog posts, the first draft is currently out for review by those attending the workshop. My thanks to all those taking the time to attend London to support this important work.
One of my most interesting meetings this month has been with Natural England, to explore and understand the detail of the National Hen Harrier Action Plan. To some, a controversial document, containing some controversial actions, but one that I look forward to supporting through the PDG wherever I can. Preventing the relentless persecution of this breed will be a clear priority for me.
Just this week I have spent time on patrol with the North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force, prior to the National Wildlife Crime Tasking & Coordination Meeting. I was delighted to spend time with the Yorkshire Dales National Parks Chief Executive, David Butterworth and some of his ranger team. David clearly articulated his personal desire to eradicate raptor persecution and I look forward to working to achieve this with him and his team over the coming months and years. I then got onto the moors with a local gamekeeper, listening to his passion for wildlife and seeing first-hand the hard work that goes into sustainable land management and a fair few raptors in flight too.
I will continue to keep you all updated through this blog, in the interest of openness and absolute transparency and while you might not agree with what I say, I hope you continue to welcome and value this insight.