Efforts are being made in Yorkshire to boost bird life and recover the endangered moorland merlin.

A grant of almost £250,000 has been awarded to the ‘Merlin Magic’ project to reverse the decline of the endangered bird across Yorkshire.

The project is being run by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust and hopes to promote public awareness of moorland conversation issues and improve conservation strategies. 

Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Head of Upland Research David Baines said:

“Merlin are an often-overlooked part of the moorland bird community. This project will bring together different groups of people with a shared passion for the uplands, but with differing perspectives on how to drive their recovery. A better understanding of how merlin use upland habitats and what pressures are affecting their numbers will provide a common focus for future management.”

The trust has been awarded the grant from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million-pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery. 

It will cover the Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and North York Moors National Park, and will focus on measuring nesting vegetation, habitat quality, and avian prey to provide a better understanding of the landscape.

The project will also create employment opportunities in the area.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: 

“The diverse and ambitious projects being awarded funding today will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and crucially, help more of the public to access and enjoy the outdoors.

“Through our £80 million Fund, we are on track to support over 2,500 jobs in England, plant almost a million trees, and increase nature recovery at a huge scale across the country, which will help us deliver against our 25 Year Environment Plan.”