Trust Welcomes Forestry U-turn

Forests Vital for Birds of Prey

The Hawk and Owl Trust has welcomed the Government’s change of heart over forest sales.

“Forestry Commission forests are vital to our birds of prey,” said Hawk and Owl Trust Chairman Barbara Handley. “Foresters have an exceptional record of protecting illegally persecuted species like goshawk and peregrine falcon.”

The Trust is in the middle of a successful partnership to find out more about the enigmatic long-eared owl in the forests of South-west England.

“Our night-time forays by volunteers and enthusiastic Forestry Commission staff have identified four nesting pairs of extremely rare long-eared owls – thanks to the way the Forestry Commission manages its forests,” said Trust Conservation Officer Chris Sperring.

The Trust is now urging the Government to take a positive way forward.

“Let’s make this an opportunity for our birds of prey,” said Mrs Handley. “The Government should think of an effective and forward-looking organisation to look after both our forests and nature reserves. The enthusiasm and commitment of Forestry Commission staff must be directed to delivering for biodiversity.”

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