We are excited to annouce that we have had two marsh harrier chicks fledge this summer. Thanks to the hard work of the team in managing the reedbed habitat, the birds have bred on the site for the first time since it opened in 2009. Prior to this we believe the last time marsh harrier successfully bred on this area was in the 1990's!

Image credit: Les Bunyan (rspb-images.com)

Image credit: Les Bunyan (rspb-images.com)

Marsh harrier populations declined in the 1970s due to a chemical called DDT, used to control pests, entering the food chain and poisoning the birds. The RSPB campaigned to have DDT banned and succeeded, which resulted in the population of marsh harriers and other birds of prey increasing and using reserves such as Saltholme to raise their chicks.

 We have a whole host of birds of prey using the reserve all year round and to raise awareness we are hosting a Bird of Prey event on Saturday 10th August from 10.30am – 1.30pm. There will be a programme of talks, family activities, a tombola and the opportunity to find out more about some of the UK’s most threatened birds, including the hen harrier.

Image credit: Mark Thomas (rspb-images.com)

Image credit: Mark Thomas (rspb-images.com)

Events such as Bird of Prey Day are vital to educate people about the struggle some of our birds of prey, such as the hen harrier, face in the UK. We were overjoyed to see marsh harrier and hen harrier using the site this year, but they’re still at risk from illegal persecution. By raising awareness of how brilliant these birds are, we hope to protect them.

The talk sessions are free to attend and will be based on a first come first served basis. Usual entry fees apply if exploring the wider reserve.

If you're unable to attend our event why not see if there is one nearer you? Further details can be found here.

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