This is our pictorial story detailing the plight of 18 regional pairs of nesting Peregrine Falcons, and how this threatened species of raptor has been persecuted to extinction to protect red grouse stocks throughout this moorland region of West Lancashire.
Bowland Peregrine nest pre. 2010, containing 3 unfledged chicks. Nest now abandoned along with 17 additional territories – Watch our Video.
In 2010 Natural England, the UK Government’s Wildlife Advisor withheld licenses which had previously been issued by Natural England to Terry’s raptor protection group during the last 35 years. These licenses had allowed experienced members of the North West Raptor Group to monitor and protect peregrine nests throughout the Forest of Bowland during this long period.
The group had regularly posted details of the widespread criminal persecution of protected raptors throughout The Forest of Bowland on social media. This incriminating detail proved a huge embarrassment to shooting estates in the region.
However, the NWRG licenses were then removed by Natural England, preventing raptor nests within Bowland from being monitored and protected by the group, without breaching UK wildlife legislation.
Peregrine’s across Bowland began to disappear from unprotected territories following a campaign of destruction of nest sites and the killing of adult falcons to protect game stocks.
Data collated by the NWRG has highlighted the situation which many, particularly within the shooting fraternity, would prefer to keep secret.
The images show a number of the now abandoned territories that Terry and the rest of the NWRG had protected throughout the last 3 decades.
Although in 2016 there were two nesting attempts made by peregrines, both failed. We, as an experienced raptor monitoring and protection group find this extremely upsetting and without the support of Natural England and the return of our license, the destruction of nesting sites and relentless killing of these protected raptors will continue.
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