A new rescue plan by The North Pennines Black Grouse Recovery Project was launched on 30 April in the Yorkshire Dales. The initiative, which aims to expand the range of blackgrouse, has been made possible by a new injection of cash from Natural England (NE) and a contribution from the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and the RSPB are joint lead partners for the Government’s Biodiversity Action Plan for blackgrouse, and are expanding The North Pennines Black Grouse Recovery Project, which is lead by Philip Warren and Kim Anderton.

So far, this 12-year partnership project between the GWCT, NE, RSPB, Ministry of Defence, North Pennines AONB Partnership and Northumbrian Water has managed to increase the English blackgrouse population from just 773 males in 1998 to 1,029 males in 2006 an average increase of four per cent per annum.

The next phase of the project aims to replicate this success in two key areas the Yorkshire Dales and north-west Northumberland. Phil Warren commented: “The launch of The Yorkshire Dales Black Grouse Recovery Group in July will be a real milestone in blackgrouse recovery.

The rest of this article appears in 8 May issue of Shooting Times.

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