RSPB now monitoring raptor nests on Bowland’s Private Shooting estates

In the aftermath of the removal of Scientific Disturbance licenses previously held by members of the North West Raptor  Protection Group, RSPB licensed field workers have now taken over responsibility to fill the gap covering Bowland’s privately owned shooting estates previously out of bounds to the RSPB. This is a welcome development and would seem to indicate the ban restricting the Society’s entry upon these privately owned moorlands has at long last been lifted.

On Sunday 17 April the first of a number of peregrine nests located outside the United Utilities boundary was visited by two RSPB licensed field workers where a ground nest was quickly located on the Abbeystead estate containing four freshly laid eggs. Today Monday 1 May RSPB workers were observed visiting a second Bowland estate at Bleasdale where licensed field workers began their search for occupied nests on the western side of the estate.

Raptor Politics wishes every success to this approved venture and would like to thank the landowners and their estate keepers for providing access and permitting these visits to proceed, whereas in the past RSPB access to these estates has been denied. Let us just hope, funded provided by the £317,000 lottery grant, the RSPB’s involvement upon all of Bowland’s shooting estates will very quickly lead to the return of a viable population of hen harriers as well as peregrine into these locations.


6 comments to RSPB now monitoring raptor nests on Bowland’s Private Shooting estates

  • John Miles

    Here at Geltsdale the same can not take place. With no Hen Harriers [used to be 6 pairs] or Peregrine Falcons [ used to be 5 pairs] now nesting on neighbouring estates access by any one with a license working for the RSPB is prohibited; even staff from Natural England must first obtain landowner approval to enter.

  • nirofo

    God help the Raptors, that’s all I’ve got to say !!!


  • As NIROFO rightly states – God help the raptors !!
    I would not even let these people near them as I have seen the handiwork of these people in N. Ireland – they should not be allowed out !! If I owned that estate I would have serious reservations about these people plundering aimlessly and clueless over my land – I would have them removed immediately. Talking about the blind leading the blind, these people when let loose are not even trained in raptor management and how to approach the nests of these birds without causing undue and deliberate disturbance. At one Hen Harrier tree -nest in N. Ireland the RSPB field-workers visited the nest not once – but at least 29 times – subsequently the nest failed !! They are a danger not only to the raptors but also themselves. Get the NWRPG reinstated before things seteriorate even further this year. As I have stated previously – it is no circus for Hen Harriers anymore !!

  • paul williams

    RSPB to monitor private estates…why??? What about the mess and total lack of hen harriers, peregrines and now the disappearnce of the pair of eagle owls on their own estates at Geltsdale. How can we trust the RSPB to monitor the UU estate without making a balls up!

  • It has been proven time and time again that a number of licensed RSPB field workers in Bowland did not follow best practice or adhere to their licence conditions as required last year; for instance one serial nest visitor visiting a ground nesting peregrine with his grandson he was asked not to visit. Keeping a pair of peregrines from their ground nest for at least one hour twenty minutes. Visiting three additional hen harrier territories without coordinating any of the visits with the hen harrier coordinator. Placing a camera at a hen harrier nest without even informing Natural England beforehand. And what did the NWRPG do, report these instances for action by Natural England but ended up loosing their licensed for other people’s transgressions.

    God help the Raptors on Bowland, perhaps that is why the land owners are happy to let the RSPB workers visit nests on their property because they know that it will be a sure fired way of nest failure in many cases. If the RSPB are unable to prevent the loss of six pairs of hen harriers, five pairs of peregrines and this year the pair of eagle owls on their own property at Geltsdale, how in Gods name can they expect to protect birds on someone else’s property I wonder!. The whole thing is a farce in my opinion and the dedicated and experienced raptor workers can only stand by and wait for the disasters that will surely happen.

  • nirofo

    My sentiments exactly Chrissie.

    Been there, seen it in action many times, been wearing the same T-shirt for years. I’m afraid a leopard cannot change it’s spots any more than the RSPB can learn by it’s increasingly frequent blunders.