Hen harriers produce chicks in East Lancashire

Hen Harriers produce chicks in East Lancashire

Hen Harriers produce chicks in East Lancashire

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

ENGLAND’S most threatened bird of prey has taken a small step back from the brink of extinction in Lancashire.

Last year, hen harriers across the country suffered their worst breeding season for decades, failing to produce a single chick anywhere.

However, the RSPB has said that this year is shaping up to be ‘marginally better’ with a pair currently raising chicks on the United Utilities Bowland Estate in Lancashire.

There is also a second nest on the estate with the female sitting on eggs.

The news comes following the launch of a four year £300,000 RSPB project aimed at protecting and conserving nesting hen harriers in the English uplands.

Bowland used to be the English stronghold for hen harriers and the upland bird of prey is even the symbol of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

However, the current nests represent the first breeding attempts in the area since 2011.

The RSPB and United Utilities have monitored and protected hen harriers in Bowland for more than three decades.

Both nests are being watched by dedicated staff and volunteers, as well as CCTV around the clock.

The RSPB’s hen harrier monitoring and protection work in Bowland forms part of the Skydancer project, which as well as protecting nesting sites also includes awareness raising and education about the plight hen harriers.

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with a grant of £317,700, and United Utilities, with additional support from the Forestry Commission.

Jude Lane, the RSPB’s Bowland project officer, said: “After years of bitter disappointment, I am delighted and relieved that hen harriers have returned to nest in Bowland.

However, the species is still in serious trouble and at risk from extinction as a breeding bird in England.”

The plight of the English hen harrier stems from the fact they sometimes eat red grouse, which brings them into conflict with the grouse shooting industry.

This particular type of shooting requires large numbers of grouse so some game managers feel they must illegally kill or disturb harriers to protect their stock.

For more information about the project, visit www.rspb.org.uk/skydancer

Comments (4)

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8:48pm Wed 11 Jun 14

Interocitor says...

Gamekeepers must keep the Hooray Henrys happy. Loads of grouse to shoot at the expense of some of our most endangered species. Doesn't it make you sick.
Gamekeepers must keep the Hooray Henrys happy. Loads of grouse to shoot at the expense of some of our most endangered species. Doesn't it make you sick. Interocitor
  • Score: 15

6:44am Thu 12 Jun 14

Harwoodstblue says...

The Hooray Henry's are the ones who get pleasure in shooting grouse from 15 yards with a 12 bore just for fun and are prepared to drive the hen harrier almost to extinction to do that. A despicable lot in my opinion.
The Hooray Henry's are the ones who get pleasure in shooting grouse from 15 yards with a 12 bore just for fun and are prepared to drive the hen harrier almost to extinction to do that. A despicable lot in my opinion. Harwoodstblue
  • Score: 10

7:29am Thu 12 Jun 14

hasslem hasslem says...

Interocitor wrote:
Gamekeepers must keep the Hooray Henrys happy. Loads of grouse to shoot at the expense of some of our most endangered species. Doesn't it make you sick.
ah - but i thought the rich and landed gentry were the upholders of the land and countryside values and represented all that is good about britain....seems as when a virtually extinct bird eats a couple of their grouse so they can survive the poor hen harriers are blasted to bits - so lord and lady boildespudswell can have their pals over on the glorious 12th to soak themselves in more blood n guts.

if this were kids in blackburn, accrington or burnley - they would be looking at a stretch

hideous hypocrisy from those who really should know better - but i guess generations of inbreeding addles their tiny minds
[quote][p][bold]Interocitor[/bold] wrote: Gamekeepers must keep the Hooray Henrys happy. Loads of grouse to shoot at the expense of some of our most endangered species. Doesn't it make you sick.[/p][/quote]ah - but i thought the rich and landed gentry were the upholders of the land and countryside values and represented all that is good about britain....seems as when a virtually extinct bird eats a couple of their grouse so they can survive the poor hen harriers are blasted to bits - so lord and lady boildespudswell can have their pals over on the glorious 12th to soak themselves in more blood n guts. if this were kids in blackburn, accrington or burnley - they would be looking at a stretch hideous hypocrisy from those who really should know better - but i guess generations of inbreeding addles their tiny minds hasslem hasslem
  • Score: 12

9:23am Sat 14 Jun 14

Terry Rothwell says...

There were 3 active Hen Harrier nests this year on the United Utilities estate, and a suspected fourth nest where Harriers were heard and seen two weeks ago. The third nest which appears to have failed has for some curious reason been left out of all publicity perhaps due to bad press?
There were 3 active Hen Harrier nests this year on the United Utilities estate, and a suspected fourth nest where Harriers were heard and seen two weeks ago. The third nest which appears to have failed has for some curious reason been left out of all publicity perhaps due to bad press? Terry Rothwell
  • Score: 0

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