The Scottish Countryside Alliance like many others with interest in the management of moorland has responded to the Grouse Moor Management Groups questionnaire.

Amongst the many positives, we were delighted to be able to include the report of the release of Golden Eagles in the South of Scotland hills.

In the first of a series of groundbreaking translocations addressing low numbers of Golden Eagles in the South of Scotland, conservationists working for the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project have successfully transported three Golden Eagle chicks (named Edward, Beaky and Emily) from the Scottish Highlands to a secret location in the Southern Uplands of Scotland. Project partners include Scottish Land & Estates, RSPB Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Buccleuch and the Southern Uplands Partnership. Funded by The National Lottery, project partners, the Scottish Government and local LEADER Programmes, the initiative is a key project under the Scottish Government’s 2020 Challenge for Scottish Biodiversity (which sets out a route map to protect and restore Scotland’s biodiversity). Earlier this year, led by the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, raptor workers in the Scottish Highlands carefully collected the chicks under license from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and took them to their new home in a confidential location in the Moffat Hills. The birds were then cared for in specially-designed release aviaries and supplementary fed through the autumn/winter period to help them adjust to their new habitat before their release. Experts at the University of Edinburgh Dick Vet School have also provided considerable support throughout the process to monitor the health and wellbeing of the birds.

We look forward to reporting on the birds as they “fly the nest”.