Hen harriers to return to southern England

A new captive breeding programme is being established by Natural England, Zoological Society of London, and the International Centre for Birds of Prey in Newent, Gloucestershire in order to repopulate the West Wiltshire Downs & Salisbury Plain.

The first ten birds have been imported from France where they are regularly found breeding in lowland arable fields and have successfully completed quarantine at the ICBP where they will form a breeding population from which captive-bred birds will be released into the wild, hopefully as soon as 2023. The programme aims to release around one hundred birds to establish a sustainable breeding population, as with previous bird of prey reintroduction programmes all released birds will be satellite tagged and monitored in an effort to protect them from persecution.