Hen har­rier breed­ing suc­cess

Sporting Shooter - - Shooting News -

Ru­ral groups are cel­e­brat­ing the most suc­cess­ful hen har­rier breed­ing sea­son in Eng­land for more than a decade. Cen­tral to this suc­cess has been an un­prece­dented 21 chicks fledg­ing from land man­aged for grouse shoot­ing, which is more than 60% of this year’s to­tal young of 34.

The lat­est fig­ures show nine nests in Lan­cashire, Cum­bria, Co Durham, Northum­bria and Der­byshire. Last year, only three suc­cess­ful nests were recorded in Eng­land and they pro­duced just 10 chicks.

BASC chair­man Peter Glenser said: “The hard work and de­ter­mi­na­tion of all in­volved should be ac­knowl­edged, es­pe­cially the game­keep­ers and grouse moor man­agers who have pro­vided the right en­vi­ron­ment for so many hen har­ri­ers to breed this year.

“Clearly, no­body dare say the bat­tle is won; much still needs to be done to al­low the hen har­rier pop­u­la­tion to re­cover in Eng­land’s up­lands. But news of the most suc­cess­ful breed­ing sea­son for more than a decade should be cel­e­brated as a very pos­i­tive step in the right direc­tion.”

Ru­ral groups be­lieve the key to this year’s suc­cess has been Nat­u­ral Eng­land’s de­ci­sion in Jan­uary to is­sue a li­cence per­mit­ting a brood man­age­ment scheme for hen har­ri­ers with the long-term aim of in­creas­ing their num­bers across Eng­land.

An­drew Sells, chair­man of Nat­u­ral Eng­land, said: “The in­crease in hen har­rier chicks this year is truly re­mark­able. These fig­ures are a trib­ute to all those work­ing hard for the sur­vival of this bird and show that re­spon­si­ble man­age­ment of grouse moors must be part of the so­lu­tion.

Amanda An­der­son, direc­tor of the Moor­land As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “We are de­lighted that 34 har­ri­ers have fledged from the English up­lands with a much im­proved range. Grouse moor man­agers and their game­keep­ers are to be con­grat­u­lated for their in­volve­ment in eight of the breed­ing at­tempts re­sult­ing in five suc­cess­ful nests on moor­land man­aged for red grouse across Lan­cashire, Der­byshire and North York­shire.”

An­drew Gil­ruth, direc­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions at the GWCT, said: “For decades, nest pro­tec­tion was never enough. Now we are see­ing the suc­cess of work­ing with landown­ers to re­solve wildlife con­flicts.”

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