A nature conservation project aimed at reversing the fortunes of birds of prey in the Peak District has been given over £90,000.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded a development grant of £91,900 to a partnership made up of the RSPB, National Trust. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and Peak District National Park Authority.
This funding will enable the partnership to progress plans for the Upland Skies project and apply for a full National Lottery grant next year.
Birds of prey should be a common sight on the hills and moors of the Peak District National Park, but they are in trouble.
For some species, most notably peregrines, goshawks and hen harriers, there is evidence showing that they are being illegally killed.
For other birds of prey such as merlin and owls, the decline in numbers is potentially linked to habitat quality and climate change.
Amanda Miller, the RSPB’s Conservation Manager for Northern England, said: “Birds of prey are protected by law, yet they continue to decline in numbers.
“We need to ensure that the moors and hills are looked after in a way that give birds of prey the best chance to thrive. We hope this project will help put these birds back where they belong – in our skies.”
TheUpland Skies project aims to raise public awareness of the threats these birds face and also inspire people to take action.