The Hen Harrier Programme is a component of the European Innovation Partnerships initiative under the Rural Development Programme (2014-2020) under the remit of Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council
The Hen Harrier Programme is administered by the Hen Harrier Project Ltd.
The participating farmer is free to select an Advisor from this list of approved Hen Harrier Farm Advisors. All advisory costs are borne by the participant. The Hen Harrier Project is not responsible for the actions of Advisors.
the Hen Harrier Programme will co-fund the delivery of actions that directly support Hen Harriers or their prey or enable farmers to improve habitats through management. Actions are voluntary and participants are not obliged to avail of this support.
A total of 62 confirmed and 7 possible breeding pairs of Hen Harrier were recorded within the SPAs (a population range of 62 – 69 pairs) in 2021. The stabilisation of numbers of territorial pairs in 2021 ends a year on year decline in the SPAs observed between 2018 and 2020. However, the 2021 breeding season was the least productive on record.
This report provides an overview of the breeding Hen Harrier population in the SPA Network in 2020. In 2020 there were a total of 58 confirmed territories and 4 possible breeding pairs of Hen Harrier within the SPAs (a population range of 58 – 62 pairs).This is slightly less than the total numbers of territorial pairs recorded in previous years.
This report provides an overview of the breeding Hen Harrier population in the SPA Network in 2019. Overall breeding success in 2019 was
the best since monitoring of the SPAs began, however productivity in 4 out of the 6 SPAs is still below a level required for the Hen Harrier population to be self sustaining or in recovery.
This report provides an overview of the breeding Hen Harrier population in the SPA Network in 2018. In 2018 there were a total of 53 confirmed territories and 15 possible breeding pairs of Hen Harrier within the SPAs (a population range of 53 – 68 pairs).
In 2017, extensive monitoring of breeding Hen Harrier was carried out across all the SPAs in Ireland by experts from the Golden Eagle Trust Monitoring Team. Monitoring will be undertaken in each year of the Programme. This report provides an overview of the breeding Hen Harrier population in the SPA Network in 2017.
Wet grassland can be found on flat or sloping ground in upland and lowland areas. It occurs on wet or waterlogged mineral or organic soils that are poorly-drained.
Wet grassland often contains abundant cover of rushes.
Peatland habitats are also very common throughout the SPAs.There are two main types of peatland that are commonly farmed: Heath - this may be wet or dry heath; and, blanket bog - this may be upland or lowland blanket bog.
Patches of woods and scrub are very common on Irish farms. Gorse (furze), Whitethorn, Willow and Blackthorn are commons scrub species in the SPAs. This scrub can be very important hunting grounds for Hen Harrier and may be nesting sites also.
Species-rich grasslands are usually found on land that has had little or no exposure to lime, fertiliser and herbicide inputs for at least 10 years. Species-rich grasslands support a wide range of flowering plants, along with pollinating bees, butterflies, moths and other invertebrates.
To help us develop optimal supports for farmers the Hen Harrier Project is running a demonstration project on selected farms over the next two years. In this demonstration the participating farmer, the Hen Harrier Project, Devenish Nutrition and Dawn Meats will work towards unlocking the potential of cattle grazing in the uplands.
In Year 4, over 4.3 million euro was paid out to participating farmers for delivering quality habitats and actions in the SPA network designated for breeding Hen Harrier. 1,597 farmers manage c.40,000 ha of land in the Programme.
The report provides an overview of our progress between April 2020 - May 2021.
The number of contracted farmers participating in the Programme rose to almost 1,600 in 2020. These farmers manage 37,000 ha of land representing over 65% of the total agricultural area of the Special Protection Area (SPA) network.
The report provides an overview of our progress between April 2019 - May 2020.