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Shooters’ apprehension over sea eagle introduction

Shooters are concerned by the news that Natural England(NE), the RSPB and the Forestry Commission are currently investigating the feasibility of reintroducing the sea eagle to East Anglia and the Suffolk coast.

“We are sceptical about the benefits of the proposal to reintroduce the eagles,” said the Country Land & Business Association’s president Henry Aubrey Fletcher. “Though sea eagles are undeniably eyecatching birds, it is hard to see
why we need to introduce them to the English coast after an absence of at least 300 years.”

According to NE, a threeyear study of eastern England between the Humber and the Thames has identified the Suffolk coast as offering the best habitat for enabling the fourth largest eagle in the world to re-establish itself in England.

In light of reports of reintroduced sea eagles on the Isle of Mull in Scotland taking lambs, Mr Aubrey-Fletcher said that farming and shooting interests need to be properly addressed. “Land managers must be reassured that the sea eagles will not jeopardise their livelihoods by taking young livestock and gamebirds. There is a concern that conservation projects may also be at risk.”

The rest of this article appears in 30 September issue of Shooting Times.