Hen Harriers

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 9th September 2020.

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Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many hen harrier nesting attempts there were in England in 2020; how many of those nests were successful; what the known causes for nest failures were; and how many chicks were fledged.

Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many hen harrier nesting attempts in England in 2020 were located in areas where the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds had primary control over access; how many of those nests failed to have any chicks fledge; and what were the known causes of those nest failures.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

In England in 2020 there were 24 hen harrier nesting attempts recorded. Nineteen of these were successful and 60 chicks have fledged.

Based on information held by Natural England, ten of these nesting attempts were on land where the RSPB had primary control over the access, with five of these being failed attempts.

There were a number of reasons for the five failed nests. One was thought to be predated by a fox, two were abandoned for unknown reasons and a further two nests may have failed due to the disappearance of a breeding male.

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