Funding secured for Black Grouse conservation in North Wales


Funding has been secured to monitor and protect Black Grouse in North Wales.

The species is celebrated for its lively leks, where males gather and display to watching females. A recent episode of Painting Birds with Jim and Nancy Moir on Sky TV featured a Black Grouse lek in the region's hills. However, numbers have fallen by an estimated 45% since 2018.

The funding provides hope for Black Grouse which, like many other upland species, has suffered serious declines in recent years (Jamie MacArthur).

After a successful bid to the Nature Network Funding programme, work will be carried out in partnership between RSPB Cymru, Natural Resources Wales and Clwydian Range and Dee Valley National Landscape to monitor numbers of lekking Black Grouse more accurately in the project area.

The funding will also be used to deliver best practice for sustainable upland management for a wide range of species, as well as enabling the development of a landscape-scale conservation strategy that works for the uplands, woodlands and the communities of north-east Wales. Targeted conservation management is known to work and, as well as sustaining and increasing numbers, can provide multiple other benefits including carbon storage, habitat creation for other wildlife and prevention of wildfires.

Martin Clift, conservation officer at RSPB Cymru, said: "Securing this funding was fundamental. It now gives us a glimmer of hope of securing the numbers of Black Grouse in North Wales. Hopefully everybody who watched Painting Birds with Jimmy and Nancy Moir saw how special the Black Grouse is and understand why it remains a priority species for us in Wales.

"We look forward to working with local landowners in a way that works for both the landowners and securing the future of some of our most important species in north-east Wales."