16/03/2016
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Lush raises £100k for Hen Harrier

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More than £100,000 has been raised for Hen Harrier conservation through sales of cosmetics company Lush’s harrier-shaped bath bomb.

The high street cosmetics chain has donated all profits to the RSPB to help satellite-tag as many Hen Harrier chicks as possible over the coming years. This is part of the Hen Harrier project the RSPB are running with support from the EU’s LIFE+ funding scheme.

Launched in August 2015 specifically to help raise awareness about the illegal persecution of one of Britain’s rarest birds of prey, over 30,000 bath bombs have now been sold, raising £101,472 so far.
It is hoped the bath bomb, named ‘Skydancer – far from the madding guns’ by TV presenter and campaigner Chris Packham, will reach the £120,000 target by the end of the campaign in summer 2016.

Paul Morton from the Lush Campaigns team said: “This is a great result for conservation. To think that people all over the country and up and down various high streets want to and can help Hen Harriers in this way is wonderful. With Easter just around the corner, a Skydancer bath bomb would make for a very lovely, scented gift for someone special.”

The word Skydancer originates in the unique acrobatic aerial display male Hen Harriers perform for their partners at the beginning of the breeding season. Unfortunately, due to the bird’s rarity it’s now a seldom seen sight.

Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director, said: “Satellite tagging is a hugely important tool in protecting Hen Harriers and aiding their conservation. The tags provide us with a wealth of information on Hen Harriers’ habits and movements, which ultimately helps us protect them from illegal persecution, the main reason they are absent from vast swathes of the UK uplands.

“Our Hen Harrier LIFE+ Project is a vital program of work designed to help the species recover, so it’s great that the fantastic support from Lush and its customers is helping to fund such important work.”

In 2014, only four pairs of Hen Harrier bred successfully in England, and only six pairs in 2015, a startling fraction of the more than 300 pairs that the country is ecologically capable of supporting. In Scotland, numbers of breeding pairs fell by over 20 per cent between 2004 and 2010, and the birds are absent over a significant area of suitable upland moorland habitat in southern and eastern areas.

Harper added: “There is now support from governments across the UK and landowning community to restore Hen Harriers, and this year’s breeding season is the first opportunity to demonstrate that attitudes towards this magnificent species have changed.”

Help save our Hen Harriers by purchasing a Lush bath bomb, available online at www.lush.co.uk
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