It’s not so long ago that the peregrine became all but extinct in Britain mainly due to the use of poisonous agricultural chemicals.

In recent years such chemicals have been replaced by less toxic substances and this elegant bird of prey has shown a remarkable recovery.

Not everybody is happy and pigeon fanciers regard the peregrine as a sort of mobile slaughter house.

It is easy to understand why racing pigeon fanciers are worried but naturalists welcome the sight of peregrines which like to nest on cliff edges and in quarries.

I remember travelling long distances to see a peregrine but now they are a common sight in both the countryside and the towns and cities.

They nest on the ledges of buildings in the heart of Manchester and Liverpool as well as along parts of East Lancashire.

Peregrines catch their prey on the wing and they stoop down at high speed to catch birds in their talons.

It is easy to see why they have increased in towns and cities because here is a never ending supply of street pigeons.

Obviously the first birds they catch are the ones which move the slowest and it may be that racing pigeons are less likely to be eaten.

There is however a very real worry for those who own these valuable birds.

As peregrines continue to increase – and they are protected by law – the species will have a love-hate relationship with those who enjoy our countryside.