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Dales plan to bring back black grouse

[Tuesday 15 July 2008]

A major campaign to restore one of the Yorkshire Dales’ most threatened birds – the black grouse – will be launched in Swaledale next week.

Black Grouse in the Yorkshire Dales have increased threefold in numbers on grouse moors since 1998 and the drive is now on to expand their range into former haunts.

Phil Warren - Project Officer

Farmers and landowners are being encouraged to help rebuild the black grouse population – once common in the Dales but drastically reduced last century – by joining the newly created English Black Grouse Group.

The group will be formally inaugurated at the Buck Inn, Reeth, on July 22 – and anyone interested is invited. The meeting starts at 11 am.

This will be a multi-organisation project, set up by the North Pennines Black Grouse Recovery Project, a partnership project between the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, RSPB, Natural England, Ministry of Defence, Northumbrian Water and the North Pennines AONB Partnership, with additional funding support from Natural England and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

The new group will play a crucial role in the expansion of black grouse into former haunts in the Yorkshire Dales. Here, black grouse have responded well to management implemented by grouse moor owners, gamekeepers and farmers with an increase in numbers from 58 to 170 males between 1998 and 2007.

Now, the aim of the group is to build on this considerable success and to recolonise areas where they were formerly present. Phil Warren, Project Officer said, “Black Grouse in the Yorkshire Dales have increased threefold in numbers on grouse moors since 1998 and the drive is now on to expand their range into former haunts.”

  • This is a free event, but booking is essential. For further details and to book a place to attend the launch of the Yorkshire Dales Black Grouse Group, please contact Kim Anderton, at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust on 01833 622208 or email: kanderton@gct.org.uk

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