THE demise of the hen harrier is primarily due to illegal persecution.

They are not the only species persecuted in these areas but due to their requirements, they cannot reproduce in other areas like peregrine falcons, for example.

This means they are all but extinct as a breeding species in England.

Estimates say that the North of England could hold up to 300 breeding pairs. It appears that some people consider one pair a pair too many!

MikePrice (via website).