GROUSE MOOR owners have welcomed the ongoing restoration of Hen Harrier numbers in England, following a successful recovery plan – with many being born on land managed for grouse shooting.

Coinciding with Hen Harrier Day on Sunday August 11, Natural England announced that the species has enjoyed a record year for breeding, with 47 chicks produced in 2019 as part of an effort to rebuild the population.

Director of the Moorland Association, Amanda Anderson commented: “The Hen Harrier recovery plan has led to 99 chicks since 2016 thanks to partnership collaboration. 81 of those chicks have fledged in the last two years with the help of the Brood Management Trial licence and we believe this signals a turning point in efforts to restore the harrier population.

“In our view, a key element of this achievement was the decision made two years ago to introduce a brood management trial and we are already showing signs of real progress.”

The brood management scheme, which is a partnership project operated under licence from Natural England, is a scientific trial that enables chicks to be transferred from grouse moors to a raptor rearing facility and then released back into the locality from where they were collected once they were capable of fending for themselves. Several chicks have already been relocated and released back into their ‘home territory’.