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Conservationists hail arrival of hen harrier chicks
The Forest of Bowland used to be known as England’s last remaining stronghold for breeding hen harriers.
Nests found on the Bowland Estate for the second consecutive year

Four nests of rare hen harrier chicks have hatched for the second year running in the Forest of Bowland AONB, according to conservationists.

The nests were discovered in the United Utilities Bowland Estate in early Spring and RSPB staff and volunteers have been monitoring them ever since.

In 2018, there were only nine successful hen harrier nests in the whole of the UK. A third of these were on the Bowland Estate, on which land is managed under low-intensity farming and shooting models.

The Forest of Bowland used to be known as England’s last remaining stronghold for breeding hen harriers. Last year, however, was the first time the birds had nested since 2015.  

Experts say that a second successful breeding season ‘indicates its re-establishment as a hen harrier stronghold’.

“It’s great news that hen harriers are breeding on the Bowland Estate for the second consecutive year,” commented James Bray, the RSPB’s Bowland Project Officer. “We were delighted last season when birds successfully nested after two disappointing years but we were fearful it might have been a one-off as the population remains perilously low.

“This gives us some hope for the future. Last year, we saw 13 chicks fledge at Bowland; perhaps this year we might have even more.”

Elliott Lorimer from the Forest of Bowland AONB Partnership added: “We are absolutely delighted that there are hen harrier nests again this year on the UU Bowland Estate and have our fingers crossed for the newly hatched chicks.”

The RSPB is now working in close partnership with United Utilities and the Forest of Bowland AONB to give hen harriers the best chance to breed and raise their chicks. 

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
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SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."