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Funding secured to help iconic Black Grouse

31 May 2024 2 minute read
Black Grouse

Black Grouse numbers are in decline but a new project and TV feature alongside Jim Moir has offered populations in Wales a glimmer of hope.

Viewers of Painting Birds with Jim and Nancy Moir on Sky TV were treated to a spectacle on a recent episode (May 29) as Jim and Nancy wandered up the hills of north-east Wales and into the RSPB project area in search of a Black Grouse lek.

A lek is a display area used commonly to attract a mate. The male Black Grouse (Blackcock) gives a strange rhythmic call that is interspersed with a sneeze-like call to the female Black Grouse (Greyhens) as well as displaying some interesting dance moves.


The timing of this programme couldn’t have come at a better time. Like many upland birds, Black Grouse is in decline. Since 2018 it is estimated that there has been a 45% decline in lekking males in Wales.

But hope is not lost. Thanks to a successful bid to the Nature Network Funding programme, work will be carried out in partnership between RSPB Cymru, Natural Resources Wales and Clwydian Range and Dee Valley National Landscape to monitor Black Grouse lekking numbers more accurately in the project area.

Targeted conservation management is known to work and as well as sustaining and increasing numbers, can also provide multiple other benefits including carbon storage, habitat creation for other wildlife and prevention of wildfires.

The funding will also be used to deliver best practice for sustainable upland management for a plethora of species, as well as enabling the development of a landscape scale conservation strategy which works for the uplands, woodlands and the communities which call north-east Wales home.


Martin Clift, Conservation Officer, RSPB Cymru said: “Securing this funding was fundamental. It now gives us a glimmer of hope of securing the numbers of Black Grouse in north Wales.

“Hopefully everybody who watched ‘Painting Birds with Jimmy and Nancy Moir’ saw how special the Black Grouse is and understand why it remains a priority species for us in Wales.

“We look forward to working with local landowners in a way that works for both the landowners and securing the future of some of our most important species in north-east Wales.”

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