‘Amazing’ bird of prey returns to Sheffield

A bird of prey which was once extinct has returned to Sheffield, with a breeding pair having two thriving young.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 9:00 am
Gowshawk chicks

The pair of goshawks returned to the Sheffield Lakelands earlier this year, laying four eggs and three young, of which two successfully fledged over the summer.

Goshawks were once extinct in the UK, but this area of South Yorkshire became a stronghold for their recovery in the 1960s.

They then, however, suffered significant declines in the 2000s, and no birds bred successfully for years. This year they returned.

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Mike Price, Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group, said: “It is encouraging to see these fantastic birds returning to historic breeding sites in the Dark Peak.

“We hope that a corner has been turned and that goshawks, alongside other larger raptor species such as peregrine falcons and common buzzards will continue to thrive.”

This charismatic and secretive raptor is one of the key species that the Sheffield Lakeland Partnership is working toward protecting and supporting.

As part of a four year National Lottery Heritage Funded project, raptor experts at The Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group and key habitat managers at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Yorkshire Water and Sheffield City Council are working together to make sure the land management they undertake results in suitable nesting and rearing sites for these birds through to 2035 and beyond.

Liz Ballard, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, said: ‘We should all be able to see amazing birds of prey like Goshawk, Hen Harriers and Short Eared Owls when we walk across our Sheffield Moors.

“They are part of nature as well as our own heritage and culture. The reasons they are missing are varied and complex. But Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust is determined that these fantastic birds will return to our countryside.”

Visit wildsheffield.com.