YOUNG Scotswoman of the Year Holly Gillibrand is to play a key role in a national campaign aimed at ending wildlife crime.

The teenager, who was awarded the Glasgow Times title earlier this year, joins TV presenter Chris Packham and his stepdaughter Megan McCubbin in the line-up for Hen Harrier Day on August 8.

Holly has interviewed author Gill Lewis for the programme, which has moved to social media in the light of coronavirus restrictions.

Glasgow Times:

“We discuss hen harriers, driven grouse shooting, writing and everything in between,” explains the 15-year-old, who is from Fort William. “Gill really is lovely and so knowledgeable. I want to be a writer when I’m older, so it is thrilling to meet someone who actually writes for a living. I can’t wait to see what else is happening. I think it’s going to be absolutely fantastic.”

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Hen Harrier Day began in 2014 with the aim of ending wildlife crime. Hen harriers, known for their acrobatic ‘skydance’ mating ritual, are one of the UK’s rarest birds of prey, having declined 24 per cent since 2004, largely as a result of illegal persecution.

Glasgow Times:

There is a chance of spotting the birds at Clyde Muirshiel Country Park, not far from Glasgow, during the breeding season between April and August. Sometimes, the park has live video from the nest available to view in the visitor centre.

Hen harriers nest on moorland and will feed on red grouse chicks, often putting them into conflict with gamekeepers managing land for commercial grouse shooting.

Glasgow Times:

Chris Packham said: “I am delighted to be hosting Hen Harrier Day Online and look forward to enthusing audiences new and old about these iconic birds.

“I am delighted to see the event flourishing despite the tragedy of Covid-19. I will be talking to inspiring young people, great experts and many others who want to see urgent change in our uplands so that hen harriers can continue to be part of these landscapes.”

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Holly added: “I was lucky enough to see hen harriers when I lived up in Caithness and they are magnificent. The world would be a much poorer place without them.

“It is really exciting to be a part of Hen Harrier Day Online because it not only celebrates this wonderful bird of prey, but it also gives people a chance to learn about illegal persecution and do something about it.”