The Skydancer project, run by the RSPB, is the first grassroots initiative to protect hen harriers in England. Focusing its work in three areas – the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, Geltsdale in Cumbria, and North Tynedale in Northumberland, the project aims to inspire and teach people about this magnificent bird of prey and so preserve an important part of our wildlife.
With many people unaware of the bird or its plight, a key part of the project is raising awareness and understanding. It also aims to bring together shooting and conservation communities, working in partnership for the benefit of hen harriers. The project’s work in schools and gamekeeping colleges is generating a lot of interest and enthusiasm. It recently launched the Hen Harrier Hero Awards, designed to encourage children, families and schools across the UK to find out more about the birds and spread the word.
As well as raising the campaign profile at local events, the project also put on its own show, The Hen Harrier Carnival Event, at The Alnwick Garden in July 2013, attended by over 3,500 people. The project has also engaged a network of volunteers, who not only help with the conservation effort, through nest protection, but feel the benefits of joining with others in a good cause.
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