RSPB loses hen harrier judicial review

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The Court of Appeal has dismissed legal challenges by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and its former conservation director Mark Avery into Natural England’s research into hen harrier brood management.

The court confirmed that the trial management scheme was legal and is the second time it has thrown out challenges from the organisation and Avery, who is also a founder of Wild Justice

The brood management scheme is part of a six-point recovery programme to see hen harrier’s reach favourable status in England. The scheme is supported by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and part-funded by the Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust (WHCT), the grant-giving body set up by BASC to support conservation projects.

Caroline Bedell, BASC’s executive director of conservation, said: “BASC is fully supportive of the hen harrier recovery programme and has welcomed this decision by the Court of Appeal.

“The decision is the correct one for those that wish to see hen harrier numbers grow in the UK.”