TARGETED birds of prey are starting to show signs of recovery at Beeston Castle.
The rare peregrine falcon has been the victim of various attacks across Cheshire in recent times, sparking the re-emergence of a birdwatch protection group.
The Beeston Peregrine Watch, originally formed in 1992, reformed last year after a nest was ‘violated’ by criminals in 2008.
But since then conservation work and increased security around the castle has resulted in three young peregrines making their home high above the Cheshire Plain.
Saturday Watch member Carol Shadbolt said: “Many people can take great pride in their contribution to this successful outcome.
“We have some 70 volunteers and these are supported by contributions from a number of local organisations with donations and equipment.
“The RSPB supplied a telescope as did an individual member. Caravans and cash, police support and liaison all made this a very smooth and professional operation.”
All three young falcons have now been ringed and are continuing to be monitored by members of the group.
The RSPB reported that last year was one of the worst on record for attacks against peregrines.
A spokesman said: “It’s shocking that in the 21st century these fabulous birds are still routinely shot, trapped and poisoned.
“You may feel that the Government’s move to take the peregrine off the list of protected species has fuelled this persecution. This initiative was withdrawn following protest from conservation organisations and individuals which included many of our members.”
Beeston Peregrine Watch thanked Lord and Lady Tollemache and Janet and Bill Blinkhorn for their hospitality and support throughout the project.