Grouse moor owners 'welcome drop in wildlife crime'

The owners of grouse moors have welcomed a report on the shooting of birds of prey.

The report is from the RSPB, which has often said it suspects some moorland owners turn a blind eye to the persecution of birds like the hen harrier (pictured).

hen harrier

But Amanda Anderson, director of the Moorland Association which represents upland land owners, said: "This report clearly demonstrates that progress is being made on the issue of raptor persecution."

She said owners were committed to having birds of prey on the uplands, the new figures showed a decrease in incidents of persecution of 15% across the country and 25% in north Yorkshire, and hen harriers had a successful breeding season.

“The report highlights the plight of the hen harriers and there is a commitment to restoring a sustainable and well-dispersed population of this iconic bird of prey in England and there is cause for optimism," she said.