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    KL1 Radio Local Radio for West Norfolk

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    EPISODE 35 OF THE FARMING SOCIAL HUB PODCAST

Local News

Concerns over bringing white-tailed sea eagles to Snettisham estate

todayJanuary 27, 2021 9

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Proposals to reintroduce white-tailed sea eagles to Norfolk have hit a stumbling block with farmers airing their concerns about the move.

A public consultation has been launched on proposals put forward by the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and the Wild Ken Hill estate at Snettisham,

Ken Hill was chosen for the proposed reintroduction because of its coastal location as well as its quiet woodlands, which provide ideal nesting spots.

Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham (44156561)
Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham (44156561)

The proposals form part of national efforts to reinstate the eagles to England, which began with the release of birds on the Isle of Wight in 2019.

But some farmers are concerned about the potential impact on East Anglia’s large numbers of free-range pigs, poultry and lambs.


About 40 farmers discussed the plans with project partners at an online seminar hosted by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

Rob Wise from the NFU (44156363)
Rob Wise from the NFU (44156363)

NFU East Anglia Environment Adviser Rob Wise told the Lynn News: “We are seeking feedback from members on whether or not they support this proposal, what benefits they believe it could bring and what impact it could have on farming operations and land management.

“During an online meeting with the project proposers last week, farmers expressed concern about the impact these predators could have on the large numbers of free-range livestock in Norfolk as well as those in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.

“This eastern area is home to around half of the country’s outdoor reared pigs and poultry and also has a significant amount of sheep grazing.

“While the scheme proposers suggest it is unlikely birds would take livestock, there is evidence from Scotland that sea eagles do occasionally take lambs, as well as scavenging dead lambs.

“There is also a risk that they could take piglets and poultry, and worry stock when circling overhead.

“We are keen to maintain an open and full dialogue with the project proposers to ensure that the interests of the region’s food producers are recognised in the project plans. We recommend all farmers respond to the consultation.”

You may be aware that over the last week there has been a White tailed eagle in the West Norfolk area. This is a rare and infrequent visitor to our area. I have attached an image which you may use should you feel it to be a news worthy item or for you photo of the day.. (44156564)
You may be aware that over the last week there has been a White tailed eagle in the West Norfolk area. This is a rare and infrequent visitor to our area. I have attached an image which you may use should you feel it to be a news worthy item or for you photo of the day.. (44156564)

Only last week, Dominic Buscall, manager at the Ken Hill Estate, said: “We are bringing forward these proposals not only to reinstate this native bird to its former range, but also to inspire people with nature and drive wider nature recovery in East Anglia.

““It is vitally important that we give local people and interests a meaningful opportunity to have their say on these proposals – that is why we are launching the public consultation and asking people to learn more about the project and take our survey.”

A statement on the estate’s website said: “A key element of the project is to liaise closely with the farming community from the outset, and respond to any local issues immediately should they occur.”

“More than 20 landowners, farmers, and countryside organisations including the RSPB have already pledged their support for the project.

For the reintroduction to go ahead, the project must receive approval from Natural England.

The online consultation runs until Sunday, February 14.



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