Friday, 5 September 2014

Hen Harriers breed successfully in the Peak District


Five hen harrier chicks have fledged on land we look after in the Upper Derwent Valley - the first time these birds of prey have bred successfully in the Peak District for eight years. 


One of the five hen harrier chicks in the Peak District



Working together for birds of prey
The successful hen harrier breeding is the result of a wide partnership of people and organisations working together to secure the future of birds of prey in the area as part of the Peak District Birds of Prey Initiative. 

‘Having hen harriers breed successfully here in the Peak District is wonderful news and would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment of all the people and organisations involved, which has been truly inspiring’ said Jon Stewart, our General Manager for the Peak District.

We’re committed to increasing the number of birds of prey on the land that we care for in the Peak District as part of our High Peak Moors vision. We’re working closely with our tenants and partners, including the grouse shooting community, which has been very supportive of the successful hen harrier breeding.

Discovering the chicks
Our local shooting tenant Geoff Eyre discovered the nest containing five healthy hen harrier chicks in August and alerted the Peak District Birds of Prey Initiative which set up a nest watch team to protect the birds. Two male hen harriers and one female had previously been seen ‘sky dancing’ (an incredible aerobatic mating routine) in late April but were then thought to have left the area.


Jamie Horner - Peak District Bird of Prey Raptor group, Jon Stewart – the National Trust’s General Manager for the Peak District, and Hardyal Dhindsa - Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire.
Jamie Horner - Peak District Bird of Prey Raptor group, Jon Stewart – the National Trust’s General Manager for the Peak District, and Hardyal Dhindsa - Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire.

Alan Charles, Derbyshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner said he wanted to congratulate the Peak District Birds of Prey Initiative for their positive work, which has been instrumental in bringing about this success story.  PCC Charles has introduced strong measures in his Police and Crime Plan to protect wildlife and specifically persecuted birds of prey and is pleased to continue to support this initiative alongside Derbyshire Constabulary.  Deputy Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa visited the site to see the security precautions in place and said he felt privileged to witness this rare sighting of the birds. He added: “The most important thing now is that everything possible is done to protect these chicks.”




How you can help us
Sightings of hen harriers in the Peaks can be reported to the hen harrier hotline (0845 4600121) or by emailing henharriers@rspb.org.uk. Reports should include the date and location of a sighting, with a six-figure grid reference where possible.
Satellite-tagging will also be used to track the birds’ progress through the Hen Harrier Recovery Project led by Natural England. The tagging will help us learn more about the movements and behaviour of one of the Peak District’s most iconic birds.


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