Endangered birds nest in the Peaks after eight years

editorial image

The ‘chirps’ of hen harrier chicks can be heard in the Peaks once again – eight years after the endangered birds were last known to nest here.

Five hen harrier chicks have successfully fledged on National Trust land in the Upper Derwent Valley.

This a result of a wide partnership of people and organisations that have worked together to protect the birds and their nest as part of the trust’s High Peak Moors Vision for the area, which aims to restore birds of prey as part of a rich and healthy environment.

Hen harriers have been at serious threat in England for more than 60 years with numbers plummeting primarily due to illegal persecution. Last year, just two breeding pairs were reported in the country and no young fledged for the first time in over 50 years.

Jon Stewart, the trust’s general manager for the Peak District, said: “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. Trust, collaboration and a protocol to limit unintentional disturbance have all played important parts.

“Our High Peak Moors Vision sets out a strong and clear commitment to increase the number of birds of prey on the land that we care for in the Peak District. This can only happen by working closely with tenants and partners.”