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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Goodbye hen harriers

Pete, Nicola, Lola, 9, and Nell, 6, spent three happy months during summer 2007 traveling around Britain. Now we're home but the travel bug is still there. Join us for the occasional sightseeing plus tips on how to shrink your carbon footprint. This post is from Nicola

I've been told off by my friend Jane for knocking Norfolk - she knows the area around Norwich and isn't prepared to put up with my niggles about what should be a beautiful county if you could help green the people who live there. I want to believe her but today on Radio 4 one of the news stories is of two hen harriers being killed close to the Sandringham estate last Sunday. I am incensed by this story as we'd all been at Sandringham and then Roydon Common looking skyward hoping to see these super rare birds. There are only 20 pairs in the country and now there are 19.

Hen harriers are beautiful (I'm judging by the books as we didn't see the doomed birds) but there main diet is game birds which means the shooting obsessed of Norfolk don't much like them and even if it is illegal to kill hen harriers people will find ways to do so, and then deny everything. One of the horriblest elements of using Norfolk roads (OK Jane, the roads around north and west Norfolk) is that they are littered with run-over pheasants. So many birds are killed this way that the local custom is to drive on if you do the hitting, but the car (or person) behind can stop and take the bird home for a road kill tea - assuming you know how to pluck and gut etc. I must find out iif hen harriers take as many game birds as the cars and 4W4s on the county roads? And even if they do (which I doubt) at least they eat them up rather than leaving the carnage on the tarmac.

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