This is an archived press release
Tuesday 2 March 2004
2 March 2004
UNPRECEDENTED LEVEL OF SUPPORT FOR RARE BIRDS AT BRITAIN'S BUSIEST CLIMBING CRAG
Joint release by PDNPA, RSPB & BMC
Ring Ouzels (the scarce 'Mountain Blackbird') are about to return to Stanage Edge, in the Peak District National Park. Following last year’s remarkable success, when two pairs nested in the middle of the most popular climbing crag in Britain, an unprecedented level of agreement has been reached to help the birds again this year.
The British Mountaineering Council, RSPB, the National Park Authority, English Nature and hang-gliders and paragliders recently agreed a new approach to help the Ring Ouzel's nesting attempts this year.
As part of a whole package of measures, including habitat management, reduced sheep grazing levels and provision of feed sources, visitors will be asked to avoid selected nest sites for the critical period from nest building to fledging.
RSPB officer Tim Melling explained: "We have targeted our advice to the public after intensive observation of the birds' nesting habits last season. The birds seem to be more affected by visitor pressure early in the season, when they are looking to establish their nest sites. By avoiding key nesting areas in April, we hope that the birds will be able to achieve better nesting success."
Graham Lynch of the British Mountaineering Council said: "Following last year's successes, we are sure that climbers will be only too pleased to help this rare bird nest again – after all, they are part of the crag environment which people come to enjoy."
Matthew Croney, the Estate Manager for the Peak District National Park Authority, concluded: "The key to success last year was to move forward carefully, by voluntary agreement. No-one wants to see protection measures enforced - it's just not the way we work. We follow a participatory approach to managing this estate through the Stanage Forum. As last year's successes show, it is really starting to bear fruit. By working together, all parties have been able to improve their understanding of what Ring Ouzels and people want from the area, and to target ways of helping these rare birds. And, as a lot of people have said, if it can work at Stanage, it can work anywhere!"
To find out more, contact Matthew Croney at: Peak
District National Park Authority, Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1AE. E-mail:
Tel: 01629 816351 or visit the website: www.peakdistrict.org/stanage.