Northern Ireland HHDay
Hen Harrier Day NI 2017 was a great success and we doubled our attendance from 2016. This year, 70 people from all corners of Northern Ireland travelled to Glenariff Forest Park to show their support for our declining Harriers. With a gloomy forecast of rain, the decision was made to move indoors to the exhibition hall.
Eimear Rooney from the Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group (NIRSG) introduced each of our speakers on the day.
First up was Alan Ferguson who explained the origins of BAWC and why Hen Harrier Day came about.
Second to speak was Marc Ruddock, also NIRSG, who spoke about the 2016 National Survey and the decline observed. Worryingly, our 46 pairs here are a 22% drop on the previous 2010 Survey.
Third, was Richard Weyl from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) who explained to the audience the important and tireless work his organisation undertakes to try and help not just Hen Harriers but a range of vulnerable and much loved species here.
Fourth speaker was Liz Weir, a local storyteller who captivated our audience, especially the younger attendees with her wonderful story about how the Hen Harriers got their colours.
Finally it was young Dara McAnulty, a Chris Packham Conservation Hero Award recipient, who gave us a passionate poem about this amazing bird. It was an emotional finale and Dara finished by reminding everyone that if we love something, we should be prepared to stand up and fight for it.
Supporters were very generous, and as a result we raised a total of £227which will help BAWC continue their campaign to Save Our Hen Harriers.
Thank you to all who attended, spoke, volunteered their time and showed their support at HH Day NI.