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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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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”