spacer spacer


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.



Marked hen harriers at Langholm: An update

We can now confirm that seven hen harrier females successfully fledged a total of 32 young at Langholm (brood sizes of 2-6 chicks), one of them with a replacement clutch after the first attempt failed due to mammalian predation. Two additional females failed either pre-lay or during laying to unknown reasons. Read more >

Monitoring at Langholm

Monitoring work at the Langholm Project continues in 2017 while the project is being written up. Research staff are monitoring hen harriers and other raptors (in collaboration with Scottish Raptor Study Group), have undertaken Breeding Bird Surveys, assessed vole numbers, continued the transects to record fox scats and undertaken black grouse lek counts. The spring counts of red grouse are reported below.

Spring grouse counts

The Spring density estimate 2017 of 34.0 grouse per km2 (95%CL: 29.6-39.1) was comparable to the previous spring.

Harrier update

This year we recorded ten nesting attempts of nine harrier females (one replacement clutch). So far, six females hatched chicks (four broods have fledged with brood sizes of 2-6 chicks), one female lost her first clutch to mammalian predation (most likely fox) and is now incubating a replacement clutch, and two females failed either pre-lay or during laying to unknown reasons.

New papers published

Three new papers have been published by the project team, covering buzzard diets, and the abundance and breeding success of hen harrier and red grouse. You can find them in the publications section. Read more >

Seven Year Review

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

2014 Raptor Monitoring Report

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



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.


Enjoying the view