As part of 2016’s Joint Hen Harrier Action Plan, a trial project will press ahead with plans to test the practicalities of brood management, captive rearing and release of captive reared chicks, and to assess ‘changes in social attitude’ towards the species by upland land managers.

The National Gamekeepers’ organisation welcomed the scheme. “The NGO wholeheartedly welcomes Natural England’s clear thinking in putting conservation ahead of the cant of the naysayers by doing what is best for the conservation status of this iconic upland bird species,” a spokesman said.

He also added: “Gamekeepers know successful conservation isn’t about ideology but comes from putting science and practical measures into action.”


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