The RSPB has just released the news that there are four Hen Harrier nests in the Forest of Bowland on the United Utilities estate. this area is managed for water resources with low intensity farming and low intensity grouse shooting.
The Forest of Bowland is a large area with several intensive grouse moors within its boundaries. I’ll wait with bated breath to hear how many Hen Harrier nests there are on Abbeystead and other local grouse moors.
I’ll also be keeping my fingers crosssed that the adults are left alone as they forage widely over the moorland and that all four pairs end up as successfully fledging young. Of course, until Natural England and Defra deal with illegal persecution the fledged young will still be in great danger as Natural England’s own data show very clearly.
It’s good to see the usually quiet Forest of Bowland AONB say ‘We are absolutely delighted that there are hen harrier nests again this year on the UU Bowland Estate and have our fingers crossed for the newly hatched chicks‘.
But this is good news. Hooray! And thank you to United Utilities, the RSPB and many volunteers for getting these nests this far – so far, so good.