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Welcome to the website of the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, a partnership between Buccleuch Estates, Scottish Natural Heritage, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Natural England.

More project details can be found here.

Langholm Moor Demonstration Project Website – Introductory Text for Position Statements

With the Project now in it’s seventh year, the hard work of the gamekeeping team is starting to show benefits.  The scientific staff have assessed a number of factors and have developed statements summarising the progress to date.  These have been agreed by the science leads in each of the funding partner organisations, the Project’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Group and the Project Directors.

More details can be found here.



Hen Harrier Update Spring 2014

Update 23 June:

We have just confirmed two more harrier nests at Langholm, one has already well grown chicks and the other one has just started laying, which brings the number of active nests up to 11! They certainly keep our keepers busy with diversionary feeding.

Stephen Murphy (Natural England) has fitted a satellite tag to a female harrier chick today (19th June) (from Grainne's nest, so the second generation of tagged birds). Updates will be available as usual on the "Making the Most of Moorlands"blog.

Hen harrier current state is 9 active nests, 8 with hatched chicks and one which has just started incubating. The first brood is already close to fledging and chicks were rung today (15th June).

This  year we are seeing an increase in hen harriers on the moor, as of mid-may we have six nesting females with four males in attendance, as well as a few others of both sexes which have not settled yet. Of the six nesting females, two are young, satellite-tagged Langholm hens from last year, known as “Hattie” and “Grainne” to followers of the Making the Most of Moorlands Blog.

Link to Natural England Report from BBC Springwatch -

link to the bit from ITV Border's 'Border Life' programme -

April 2014

The spring grouse counts at Langholm have shown a good increase in grouse density with the northern part of the moor in particular, holding good numbers.  The overall grouse density, across all areas, is 87 grouse per 100ha.   Analysing  data from both the counts and also the radio tracked birds, also suggest that the winter survival rates, while still low when compared to other moors, were better at Langholm than in the previous years. Details  can be found here.  

March 2014

Our statement on the licenced raven control by Langholm Farms Ltd can be found here.

February 2014

An update on the 2013 raven tagging project can be found here.

September 2013

Breeding time is over and it's time to assess the year.

Grouse counts indicate a rise in numbers. For more info see here and for the trend since 2008 here

The Project has decided to build the grouse population rather than shoot this year; more here

THE two pairs of hen harriers have successfully fledged six young from one nest, and four from the other nest.

The separate Natural England project to track 4 of the young can be followed here

Red Grouse


Upland moors of heather and blanket bog are important for nature conservation, landscape and recreation. Grouse shooting, as well as supporting the rural economy in the uplands, has helped to retain heather by holding back plantation forestry and, less successfully, over-grazing by sheep. Grouse moors are good areas for breeding waders like curlew and golden plover, but are poor for some birds of prey like the hen harrier.

On grouse moors breeding hen harriers can kill many grouse chicks and so they are still not tolerated on many moors, in spite of legal protection.

Langholm Moor was the main study site of the Joint Raptor Study (1992-1997) which measured the effect of hen harriers and other raptors on red grouse numbers. This study's report, and subsequent published research papers, document this.

Subsequently Langholm Moor became part of the Newcastleton Hills Special Protection Area (SPA) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which are notified principally for the hen harrier population.

The Langholm Moor Demonstration Project is a partnership between the moor owner, Scottish and English conservation agencies, and conservation and research charities. It is an outcome for Scotland's Moorland Forum and will link with the Environment Council discussion on reconciling bird of prey conservation with grouse shooting.


Cotton Grass