Conservationists launch project to restore bird numbers with view to reintroducing them in northern England and Lake District
Tuesday 12 December 2017 10.48 GMTLast modified on Tuesday 12 December 2017 10.56 GMT
Conservationists hope golden eagles will start reappearing over northern England and the Lake District as part of a project to release up to 10 eagles in southern Scotland.
The birds will start to be released at a secret location south of Edinburgh from next year in a £1.5m programme by conservationists and landowners to restore golden eagle numbers in the southern uplands, where they have struggled to survive.
The young eagles are expected to soon fly over the English border in search of food and new territories as they are released in the Moffat hills each autumn over the next five years.
Golden eagles are in effect extinct in northern England after decades of persecution by gamekeepers, the spread of commercial conifer forests and inadequate food supplies, and there are none in Wales.
Although the Cumbrian Fells, north Pennines and the moors of Northumberland could be suitable territories, there was until recently only one golden eagle in the Lake District, an elderly male whose mate died in 2004. It was not spotted at its Haweswater nest last year and is assumed to be dead.