Shropshire

BBC Midlands Today visits Shropshire nature projects

As Springwatch continues on BBC Two, Midlands Today visits an important Shropshire conservation project.

Science correspondent David Gregory finds out why red kites, until recently extinct in England, have been gaining a foothold in the county.

The project is thought to be one of the longest and most intense conservation efforts of its kind.

Red kites managed to survive in remote areas of Wales and in 2006 the first few spread across the county border.

It is thought to be the first time in almost a century that native red kites appeared in the skies over England.

In some parts of the country European kites were introduced to boost numbers. Those now roosting in Shropshire are thought to be part of the original, native population.

The number of birds has slowly increased over the last five years, thanks to the efforts of a local conservation team.

This year, up to 14 birds have been seen roosting in one Shropshire location, which has been kept secret to protect the birds.

Red kites have even been spotted circling over the Stiperstones in south Shropshire.

The county makes another appearance on BBC Midlands Today on 2 June as David Gregory goes hunting for mosses.

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