Project Origins

In 2012, under the umbrella of its Upland Stakeholder Forum (USF), the UK Government – through Defra – established a Hen Harrier sub-group drawn from Defra itself, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Moorland Association, National Gamekeepers Organisation, National Parks UK, Natural England and the RSPB, with the remit of looking, “specifically at the issues surrounding hen harrier populations in England.”

In January 2016 the USF Hen Harrier sub-group published the Joint Action Plan to Increase the English Hen Harrier Population. Download the Action Plan PDF: Click Here.

The plan articulates a set of six actions and two success criteria:

Actions (in chronological order):

  1. Monitoring of populations in England and UK
  2. Diversionary feeding
  3. Work with Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (RPPDG) to analyse monitoring information and build intelligence picture.
  4. Nest and winter roost protection
  5. Southern reintroduction
  6. Trial brood management scheme

Success Criteria:

  • The hen harrier has a self-sustaining and well dispersed breeding population in England across a range of habitats including a viable population present in the Special Protected Areas designated for hen harrier.
  • The harrier population coexists with local business interests and its presence contributes to a thriving rural economy.

The Hawk and Owl Trust is currently providing active support to actions 1 and 4.

For additional information please click on the links in the ‘actions’ numbered list.

It is believed that the information gained through our involvement in satellite tagging will contribute to our understanding of harrier dispersal from their natal areas, their dispersal across the heather uplands and their communal roost sites in winter where they are most vulnerable to persecution.

Each tag will record for 10 hours and then re-charge over the next 48 hours in daylight.