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Scottish Countryside Alliance sees lessons for English hen harrier conservation

Scottish Natural Heritage have recently commented on the "striking findings" of the Heads up for Hen Harriers project. Thirteen participating estates, many of them managed for grouse shooting, installed cameras to capture what exactly was happening on and around hen harrier nests to improve our understanding of why nests fail. The loss of chicks to poor weather and fox predation were documented, losses that would have been unexplained without the cameras.

Heads up for Hen Harriers is a Partnership Against Wildlife Crime Scotland project, bringing landowners and conservation organisations together to work towards a secure future for the hen harrier. This success in gathering and sharing information shows the potential for similarly collaborative approaches elsewhere, such as the Hen Harrier Joint Action Plan which brings together conservationists and landowners in England despite the unfortunate absence of the RSPB.

Jamie Stewart, Director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: "The findings of the Heads up for Hen Harriers project are indeed striking, and contribute to our understanding of why hen harrier nests fail. The more we know, the more readily we can adjust our land management practices to help boost this magnificent raptor. What is even more striking though is the power of collaboration. By working together, rather than taking entrenched and extreme positions, we can achieve so much more for the hen harrier. This is the model for England to follow."

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