More than 100 nestboxes have been ‘uncorked’ as Peak District rangers prepare for the return of a rare migrant bird.
Over 30 pairs of rare pied flycatchers arrive in the ancient oak woodlands at Padley Gorge, near Sheffield, from West Africa every spring.
To make sure there are enough nest boxes for the red-listed birds National Trust rangers stopper the entrance holes to 100 boxes in March to prevent blue tits and great tits from using the homes. Around 20 rangers and volunteers return in April to remove the bungs.
National Trust ranger Mark Bull removes the cork bungs from pied flycatcher nest boxes in Padley Gorge, near Sheffield. CREDIT: David Bocking
One of the newly fledged hen harrier chicks in the Peak District. Credit: Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Five hen harrier chicks have successfully fledged on National Trust land in the Upper Derwent Valley – the first time hen harriers have bred successfully in the Peak District for eight years.
This a result of a wide partnership of people and organisations that have worked together to protect the birds and their nest as part of the National Trust’s High Peak Moors Vision for the area, which aims to restore birds of prey as part of a rich and healthy environment.
One of the UK’s most iconic birds of prey – the peregrine falcon – is showing signs of recovery at a key breeding site in the Peak District thanks to the partnership between leading conservation bodies, volunteers and stakeholders to protect these birds.
The peregrine was almost brought to extinction in the 20th century but initiatives to revive its fortunes have been encouraging and numbers are doing well in most parts of England. For many years though the north east Peak District has been a black-spot for peregrines, and birds of prey generally.