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Protected sites and species

Establishing a conservation breeding programme for hen harriers in southern England

Male hen harrier, part of the Southern Reintroduction project

By: John Holmes, NE Strategy Director Natural England, in partnership with the International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP), is establishing a conservation breeding programme for hen harriers as part of a pioneering project to reintroduce this iconic species to …

Beavers are now legally protected in England – the licensing regime explained

Beaver wetlands slow, store and filter water helping to reduce downstream flooding, improve water quality, increase biodiversity, and resilience to drought and adaptation to climate change. Photo credit: Giles Wagstaff, Natural England

By Stephanie Bird-Halton - Director of National Delivery Protection of beavers and why it’s important On 1 October 2022 the legislation changed to protect wild-living beavers in England. Beavers are now listed in Schedule 2 of the Conservation of Habitats …

The death of Asta, a Natural England-tagged hen harrier

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Biodiversity, Hen Harriers, Protected sites and species, Wildlife
Typical hen harrier upland breeding habitat

By: John Holmes, NE Strategy Director Hen harriers are currently extremely rare in England due to illegal persecution and nest disturbance, primarily in areas associated with grouse shooting. Natural England satellite-tracks hen harriers in order to investigate patterns of dispersal …

More than 100 hen harriers fledge in England for the first time in over 100 years.

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Biodiversity, Hen Harriers, Licensing, Protected sites and species, Wildlife
Satellite tagged hen harrier in flight

By: John Holmes, NE Strategy Director This year has seen another encouraging increase in the breeding population of one of our rarest birds of prey. Natural England and partners are pleased to report that a total of 49 hen harrier …

Nutrient mitigation scheme can help provide the nature and housing we need

By Mel Hughes, Director of Sustainable Development, Natural England Solutions to the pressing issue of how to bring forward plans for sustainable new homes without adding further nutrients to our already polluted waterbodies have been strengthened this week by Natural …

Conservation comes full circle - Natural England licenses translocation of red kites to aid conservation efforts in Spain.

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Biodiversity, Licensing, Protected sites and species, Wildlife
Red kites in aviaries in Spain ahead of release

By John Holmes, Operations Director The most successful species reintroduction to England ever - the red kite - has come full circle this year, with Natural England licensing the translocation of red kites back to Spain to help bolster low …

Springing into Action with Protected Site Strategies for Nature’s Recovery

The Environment Act 2021 sets out the Government’s aim to put nature on the road to recovery for future generations. It has given us some of the tools needed to deliver for our environment, from cleaning up the country’s air, …

Wildfire: Why following the Countryside Code is essential in reducing the risk of fires in the countryside

Fire burning corn fields

  Wildfire. The term conjures up images of raging fires and smouldering forests, something we would usually expect to see on television from international news stations, caused by freak weather events. Unfortunately, so-called wildfires are all too common in England …

Licensing ‘diversionary feeding’ of Hen Harriers on and around grouse moors

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Hen Harriers, Natural England, Protected sites and species
Hen harrier

This is one of a series of blogs intended to share updates on our Hen Harrier recovery work. The last blog was on Hen harrier monitoring, and the actions taken when a tagged bird is lost, while this one covers …

Creating the new homes and the healthy natural environment we need

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Biodiversity, Environment Act, Protected sites and species

Natural England and Government have provided advice and support this week to help local planners and developers tackle two challenges that can sometimes be seen as in competition – building the homes the country needs while also protecting and restoring …