Hen harrier Circus cyaneus, adult female perched on heather at Loch Gruinart RSPB reserve, Islay

Hen harrier appeal

  • 300 Number of pairs suitable habitat would be able to support
  • 4 Number of hen harrier pairs which bred in 2014
  • 18% The amount hen harrier numbers fell between last two surveys
Our Target £1800000
£ 1230000
Help us reach it

Why hen harriers need our help

Shot. Trapped. Hunted down.

Harried to the edge of extinction in England, hen harriers need your help, before it's too late.

There is enough habitat for 300 breeding pairs of hen harriers in England, but in 2014, only four pairs bred. And in 2015, three nesting males have disappeared, and only a handful of pairs remain.

With you on our side, we can save the hen harrier.

Hen harrier Circus cyaneus, female in flight against blue sky, Geltsdale, Cumbria

What we'll be doing

We have an opportunity to put an end to the illegal killing.

Experts from across the RSPB and other organisations have come together to create an ambitious five-year project to save the hen harrier where it is most at risk in England and parts of Scotland.

We've secured £900,000 - half the money we need - from the EU LIFE+ fund.

This means that by donating today, we can effectively double your donation. This will allow us to:

  • Follow hen harriers wherever they go. We can tag and track hen harriers in our project area, discovering where they nest, roost and hunt. We can then send out teams with the latest camera technology to mount round the clock vigils, where necessary. Not only will this act as a powerful deterrent to anyone tempted to harm these beautiful birds, it will also allow us to collect evidence of criminal activity that will stand up in court.
  • Call for stronger laws to deter the killers. Your donation will help make the case to politicians for stronger legal protection for hen harriers in England, with bigger fines and sentences for the criminals who harm them.
  • Show that grouse and hen harriers can share the uplands. At the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project in southern Scotland, we have worked with partners to develop practical, inexpensive ways for land managers to provide alternative food for hen harriers, reducing the number of grouse chicks taken by these birds up to 86 per cent. Your support will help us share these effective legal solutions with other grouse moor managers.
  • Win hearts and minds. Our Skydancer education project in northern England has been raising awareness of the hen harrier's plight among the public and local shooting communities. Your donation will help us to keep this important conversation going.
DeeCee chick male 2017

Why we need your help


will help pay towards a satellite tag. By tagging birds, we can follow them wherever they roam and help protect them if they're in danger.


will help pay towards vital frontline staff. With your support our team will survey and protect hen harriers.


will help pay towards surveillance equipment. Using the latest surveillance equipment we can watch over hen harriers more effectively.

Our partners