Moorland Birds: their history and future

This project aims to protect and celebrate Dartmoor’s special moorland birds. Many of our British upland birds are under threat, facing population declines and loss of habitat.

Moorland Birds: their history and future

Red backed shrike

Meadow Pipit

This project aims to protect and celebrate Dartmoor’s special moorland birds. Many of our British upland birds are under threat, facing population declines and loss of habitat.

Through this project we will learn more about the moorland birds on Dartmoor, their populations, their habitat, and what can be done to ensure their future on Dartmoor. We will celebrate moorland birds, and share the story of their lives and history on Dartmoor.

The project’s original focus was to be on the red-backed shrike. This rare and unique bird bred on Dartmoor in the two years prior to the start of this project, after nearly twenty years of absence from the British countryside. Sadly, it has not returned to the Moor since the start of the Scheme, so the focus has shifted to encompass other key moorland species such as the Curlew, Ring Ouzel, Dartford Warbler, Meadow Pipit, Snipe and Whinchat.  In 2016 Moor than meets the eye supported a moorland breeding bird survey that was undertaken by the RSPB with the help of specialist volunteers. Additionally in 2015/6, as part of the Scheme, the RSPB held five public events and also attended the Dartmoor Festival of Wildlife at Yarner Wood.  The Moorlands Birds project will protect, conserve and interpret key species on Dartmoor by:
  • Completing the analysis of the moorland birds breeding survey and sharing this important data with partner organisations, farmers, landowners and the local communities
  • Appointing a special land-advisor whose work will be informed by the results of the survey. This role will work in co-ordination with other moorland bird initiatives and organisations to help farmers and land-owners develop best agri-environmental practices for important habitats
  • Continuing to working with the public  through walks and talks to the local community and offering training events for local volunteers and volunteer rangers
  • Sharing the historical, cultural and conservation stories of the moorland birds with visitors and the local community through interpretation at Haytor Visitor Centre

Want to know more?

Speak to Fiona Freshney, Moorland Birds Adviser, RSPB
Tel: 01392 432691

Read more?

Moorland Birds Project Proforma - Revised January 2017

Moorland Breeding Bird Survey Report 2016

Related Articles

Bat Diary part 7

After a busy summer, Bristol University bat researcher Andy Carr and some dedicated volunteers got together at the Woodland Centre in Yarner Woods to review the Bovey Valley barbastelle bat tracking project. It all started back in April when the team of volunteers began training in the use of radio tracking and data recording equipment. Andy then set up a series of trapping nets to capture and tag bats and all was going well until the Dartmoor weather intervened. With various cold and unsettled spells the mist nets and harp traps were not quite as effective as had been hoped for. He initially wanted to track 30 of these rare woodland bats but, through 25 capturing nights, only 19 barbastelles were caught. It was not an entirely gloomy outcome though because there were many useful results and a lot of local habitat information was gained.

Read more

Job Vacancy

Would you like to work in one of the most distinctive landscapes in the country? This is a unique opportunity to lead a new and exciting project to engage young people with the iconic Dart Valley, on Dartmoor. As part of Moor than meets the eye, our HLF Landscape Partnership scheme, this project will help tell the Dartmoor Story; of how people have lived with and affected the landscape of Dartmoor over 4,000 years.The Dart Valley attracts thousands of visitors each year, putting pressure on its special qualities. You will lead a project to help visitors get closer to nature and develop a better understanding of their impact on the valley. You will develop and deliver a programme of targeted events to celebrate its incredible wildlife and engage young people through a film project which will provide training in film making skills, mentoring and support.The successful candidate will be well organised, an excellent communicator and able to work confidently and independently. They will have experience of managing projects, running events and working with young people. A passion for Dartmoor and it’s wildlife is a must.

Read more

Wonderful Woodlands

Young naturalists got a chance to explore one of Dartmoor's best woodlands at the weekend as part of our Spring Woodland Festival. The Festival was organised so that families could meet wildlife experts, go on guided walks or take part in hands on activities. There were also plenty of other things to enjoy from storytelling and cool jazz to a fabulous barbeque run by the local scouts. Over 200 came along to learn more about Dartmoor's woodland wildlife despite there being plenty of alternative distractions such as the Royal Wedding and it being a perfect beach day!For those wishing to get away from it all it was the perfect retreat. As visitors walked from their cars they dropped down into the fresh leaved woods, following flags painted by local schoolchildren, until they emerged from the forest into a secret kingdom full of natures secrets to be discovered.The event was all about raising everyone's awareness of Dartmoor's wildlife and was supported by local and national wildlife organisations including RSPB, Woodland Trust, Natural England, Devon Reptile and Amphibian Group, Devon Wildlife Trust, National Trust and Butterfly Conservation.The smooth running of the event was down to the hard work of a team of staff and volunteers from NE, WT and MTMTE and all the other wildlife organisations, without whom this event could not take place. So a huge thank you to all of them for working so tirelessly throughout the day

Read more

Last update: 21 Feb 2018 9:56am