The Cheshire and Wirral Raptor Study Group was reconvened formally in 2017, following 15 years since the last meeting!
The group covers the county from the Dee and Mersey Estuary in the west through the lowland farmland, heathland and woodland up to the Cheshire Peak District in the east.
We are a dynamic group with a growing membership, we have close links to the local and county ornithological societies and ringing groups and wildlife trust.
The group aims to build on the work currently covered by barn owl groups operating within the county to broaden the species groups to include other farmland raptors, for example sparrowhawk, kestrel, tawny owl, little owl and buzzard all of which are currently undergoing variable population trends.
The group has formed partnerships with key land owners, local authorities and Forest Enterprise in order to develop raptor and owl education and monitoring programmes on their land holdings.
An exciting and positive relationship developing is that between the group and Chester University, it is planned to collaborate on a number of studies to explore the ecology of raptors and owls in the county and publish the findings.
An important role for the group is to protect and monitor raptors and owls through the county, this also involves investigating persecution. This is difficult in such habitat, however the groups future presence at the county show and developing network will aid this as will its future links with the RSPB and local Police.