Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Breeding Hen Harriers return to Peak District

One of Britain's most threatened birds, Hen Harrier, has bred on the National Trust's High Peak Moors in the Peak District National Park for the first time in four years.
The four chicks are said to be in a healthy condition after hatching just a few days ago on land managed by the conservation charity.
Hen Harrier is one of the most charismatic sights of the British uplands in summer and is famed for the adult's mesmerising and dramatic 'sky dance', which male birds perform as they display to impress the females in spring.
Jon Stewart, the National Trust's General Manager for the Peak District, commented: "We're delighted to learn of this nest.
"Hen Harrier has been one of the most illegally persecuted birds of prey in Britain for many years and we have set out on a mission to work with others to create the conditions for the harrier and other birds of prey to thrive once again in the uplands.
"We hope this will be a positive model for improving the fate of our birds of prey and providing the healthy natural environment that so many people care about and want to see."
In 2013 the trust published its High Peak Moors Vision, which put at its heart restoring wildlife, including birds of prey, and involving people in the care of the moors. The conservation charity leases much of its High Peak moorland for grouse shooting and all shooting tenants have signed up to actively supporting the project. In addition to the Hen Harrier success, initial signs are promising this year for other species such as Peregrine Falcon, Merlin and Short-eared Owl.
Mr Stewart continued: "It is critical the birds are now given the space and security to rear their young without the threat of disturbance or worse."
"The trust will be working with its partners and tenants to give the birds the best chance of success. We are also working with the RSPB's EU-funded Hen Harrier LIFE project to fit satellite tags to the chicks. so that we can monitor their movements and learn more to inform the conservation of this very special bird.
"There is a great sense from everyone closely involved that we want this to work not just for these birds now, but as a symbol for the whole future direction of our uplands. Uplands that are richer in wildlife and beauty, widely enjoyed and providing huge public benefits."

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