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Title of the project

Breeding success of Hen harrier on a grouse moor in the Peak District National Park


Hen harrier breeding success is rare in England. There is wildlife conflict between hen harriers and red grouse because harriers nest colonialy and feed their chicks on red grouse.
The aim of the project was to ensure a pair of hen harriers nesting on the High Peak Estate successfully fledged their young.

The Grouse shooting tenant (the hunter) had regenerated the moorland back to heather and dwarf shrub from an overgrazed landscape devoid of the typical moorland suit of birds that is correlated with grouse moor management elsewhere. By providing the habitat and indeed an abundance of wildlife through legal predator control by gamekeepers, the harrier chose to nest there. The same hunter then reported the discovery of the nest and remained a key partner in the nest protection procedure including being present when the chicks were ringed. Grouse moor gamekeepers and their employees in the whole of the Peak District were alerted to the successful nesting and hatching of five chicks and asked to ensure no action by them could lead to the nest failing in anyway.


The nest was successfully kept a secret from the general public despite other nests in the country receiving huge publicity and visitors which can jeopardise success as the birds hate disturbance.The pair of harriers raised and fledged five chicks.Over a quarter of those fledged in England in 2014.Trust and collaboration between conservation workers, the land owner and hunters was trialled and deemed to be a resounding success. The protocol worked well to build this trust.


Country United Kingdom
Level Local
Site National Trust High Peak Estate
Region South Yorkshire

Starting date


Habitat Types

Farmland, Scrub/Grassland, Mountains

Protection status of the areas

Natura 2000, National protected area


Species Caracteristics Huntable species, Protected species, Threatened species
Species Type Birds
Name(s) of main species Hen Harrier (Circus Cyaneus)Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica)

Conservation action(s)

Management of habitats and wildlife (e.g. conservation and restoration activities), Research and data collection (e.g. monitoring, bag data), Communication and education (for different target audiences e.g. hunters, the wider public), Policy work (e.g. positioning of hunting organisations, demonstrating conservation actions), Enforcement (e.g. of hunting legislation, codes of conduct)


Leading partners National TrustMoorland AssociationPeak District Bird of Prey InitiativeNorthern England Raptor ForumNatural England

Estimation of Human Resources needed

Two volunteer raptor workers working 'one on one off' for about four weeks.


http://peakdistrictnt.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/hen-harriers-breed-successfully-in-peak.html http://www.moorlandassociation.org/wildlife-2/