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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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RCVS launches photo contest for Mental Health Awareness Week

News Story 1
 The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is holding a photo competition for Mental Health Awareness Week to highlight the link between the natural world and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) aims to encourage people to talk about their mental health and reduce the stigma that can prevent people from seeking help. This year's theme is nature - notably the connection between the natural world and better mental health.

The RCVS is calling on aspiring photographers to submit a photo on this theme to Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters manager, at l.quigley@rcvs.org.uk with a short explanation about their submission and why nature improves their mental health and wellbeing.  

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WSAVA to host free webinar on illegal online puppy trade

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has announced a free webinar to update veterinary professionals across Europe about the illegal online puppy trade. Taking place on Tuesday, 25 May, the webinar will also discuss the importance of the new EU Animal Health Law to help prevent illegal pet sales and make sellers accountable for their actions.

WSAVA chair Dr Natasha Lee said: "Veterinary professionals regularly have to deal with the repercussions of illicit breeding and trading when presented with clinically ill and sometimes dying puppies and distraught owners. Our webinar will equip veterinarians in Europe with the knowledge to play their part in upholding the new legislation and to contribute to new solutions for regulating the online puppy trade."

For more details visit wsava.org