BASC commits to hen harrier recovery plan

BASC has committed to contributing £75,000 towards Natural England’s hen harrier recovery work over the next three years, via its Legacy Fund.

Three annual payments of £25,000 will aid Natural England’s objectives of winter roost monitoring, support and education around diversionary feeding, and the southern reintroduction of the species.  

The three-year agreement follows initial support of £10,000 towards the funding of two Natural England field staff to undertake winter monitoring. 

This new funding will support Natural England in its work to proactively liaise with land managers on immediate protection and longer-term conservation measures. It will also enable experienced Natural England staff to provide practical advice and reassurance to land managers on how to successfully implement diversionary feeding.

Part of the funding will support a programme of stakeholder engagement around the southern reintroduction site, particularly with shoot managers and gamekeepers.

John Holmes, Natural England director of operations, said: “We are proud of our work supporting the recovery of hen harriers, both directly on the ground and through successful partnerships. Working closely with landowners and land managers underpins Natural England’s broader work to stop the illegal persecution of vulnerable nesting hen harriers and promote best practice.

“We are pleased to be working with BASC to show that birds of prey like the hen harrier can be a welcome part of well-managed land across England.”

Caroline Bedell, BASC’s executive director of conservation, said: “We are delighted to support the hen harrier conservation work of Natural England and make a significant contribution towards the recovery of this iconic species in England.

“It is our aim to see the hen harrier reach favourable status in England through supporting research and positive interventions.”  

Last year saw a further increase in the number of breeding hen harriers in England, with 31 breeding attempts, of which 24 were successful, fledging 84 chicks. These are the highest numbers in modern times and represent the latest in a series of annual increases following a low in 2016. 

Click here to find out more about BASC Legacy Funding and how you can help.
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