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This is 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.




Hen harriers, buzzards and 2015 research

Hen harrier (copyright: Laurie Campbell)An update on harrier wintering and tagging, buzzard research and the summer 2015 fieldwork programme at Langholm Moor. Further information can be found on the news page.

Black grouse on the increase

Scottish Power crew and Simon Lester fitting line markers to power lines at Langholm.Black grouse are increasing at Langholm in number but more importantly in range. Black grouse are regularly seen on areas that have treated with glyphosate, chopped and re-seeded with heather. One of these areas has a power line running through it, which has sadly resulted in the death of two greyhens and two black cock from hitting the power lines. The good news is that Sottish Power have fitted reflectors along the worst stretch of cable and the black grouse are still present. Wed like to thank Scottish Power for their help with this.

Seven Year Review

See here for more information about the Seven Year Project Review.

Simon Lester tells it like it is in Radio 4 interview

Simon Lester was a key contributor to the half hour programme ‘Hen Harriers: Trust in Conservation’, part of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Shared Planet’ series. More here.

2014 Raptor Monitoring Report

The 2014 report on which and how many breeding raptors there were at Langholm this year is available here.

2014 grouse shooting season

There will be no grouse shooting at Langholm Moor this year; more here.

Position Statements for project up to 2013

We have developed statements summarising progress to date. More details can be found here.


We've been on BBC Springwatch...

...and on ITV Border's 'Border Life' programme -

April 2014

The spring grouse counts at Langholm suggested an increase in grouse density with the northern part of the moor in particular, holding good numbers.  The overall grouse density, across all areas, was 87 grouse per 100ha after 'distance sampling' corrections. 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.



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.


Red grouse