Moor owners join campaign to boost bird of prey numbers

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LANDOWNERS and conservation organisations have joined forces in a bid to halt “disagreement” over how to encourage birds of prey to breed in the Peak District National Park.

The Moorland Association, which represents grouse moor owners, has signed up to a scheme which aims to increase the numbers of birds such as the merlin, peregrine falcon and short-eared owl.

The RSPB, National Trust, Natural England and Peak District National Park Authority are also involved in the group, with authority director John Lomas acting as its chairman.

He said he was aware of landowners’ worries about certain species and added: “We know that issues surrounding birds of prey can be a source of disagreement and conflict, but or aim is to have a shared approach that will gradually ensure a more harmonious future.

“Together with the help of field workers, we are working with landowners, gamekeepers, raptor groups and other organisations to gather information which will check progress and breeding success.

“We recognise there may be some issues of challenge that remain, but with continuing co-operation I believe that we can achieve a good outcome for these special birds and their habitats in a way that considers all our interests.”