UK Return of the White Tailed Eagle

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Eagles were persecuted to extinction in England by the early 19th Century. The white tailed eagle has already been reintroduced to Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Wight by the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and has ranged as far as Norfolk.

Wild ken hill in Norfolk is a coastal location with quiet woodlands which are perfect for nesting. More than 1,000 acres of farmland, heath, marsh, and woodland are rewilded and beavers have already been reintroduced to the estate. Plans to reintroduce eagles to this Norfolk coast have been given the go-ahead. 60 young eagles have been given the go-ahead to be released at Wild ken hill next year, between king Lynn and Hunstanton by Natural England. They have carefully assessed the project, potential environmental, social and economic impacts and are satisfied that there are no significant risks. The juvenile birds will be translocated from Poland.

In the past the white tailed eagle reintroductions have been met with some negative responses. Some sections of the farming community believe the birds could pose a threat to free-range poultry and livestock. Research states otherwise and show that they have a preference for fish, waterbirds, and for carrion and there have been no issues elsewhere. Evidence shows that the white-tailed eagle can live successfully alongside people and fit in the landscape very well.

White-tailed eagles usually do not breed until they are five years of age, and so it will take some time for the population to become established. Natural England have also said that the project makes a positive contribution to both people and wildlife.

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