Every so often my daily commute is enlivened, energised by a natural event or sighting. Certainly that has been the case twice recently. My rat run from the M6 motorway takes me through a small slice of rural Cheshire, where I have twice now glimpsed an unidentified hawk as I sped by.
Just the sight of this creature perched majestic and menacingly on a fence pole or as yesterday, in a hawthorn hedgerow, is enough to lift my spirits.
Quite why the hawk is such an inspiration, I cannot say Perhaps it is simply the rarity of these sightings, or perhaps it is the impressive size and the powerful presence it projects.
Sadly the hawk does not have such an uplifiting effect on everyone though. The RSPB have been campaigning strongly recently against the routine killing of wild birds of prey in the British countryside.
Indeed they have presented a 210,567 name petition to DEFRA wildlife Minister Huw Irranca-Davies in January, with each signatory proclaiming their objection to the killing of birds of prey and demanding action to curtail it.
Encouragingly this was the biggest petition the RSPB has ever handed in and Irranca-Davies responded by describing the killing of birds of prey as “a serious issue”, one which “we need to stamp out”.
Of course in order for that to happen, we as ciitizens have the responsibility as individuals and organisations to report crimes against birds of prey so that action can be taken.
What else can you do? Well you can ask your MP what they intend to do to protect birds of prey in your locale. With a general election pending it would be an opportune time to canvass support.
Especially as many MPs are signing up to an Early Day Motion, which recognises the importance of the RSPB’s work for birds of prey, and underlines the need to stop the killing.