Hen Harrier Brood Management Trial: Social Science Survey

Natural England has commissioned a survey of people involved in grouse moor management on the impacts of the Hen Harrier Brood Management Trial.
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About the study

Natural England (NE) is involved in several initiatives under the Defra-led Hen Harrier Action Plan (2016), to restore hen harrier numbers in England. 

One of the initiatives under the Hen Harrier Action plan is the Brood Management Trial. Brood management involves taking the eggs or chicks of some hen harriers nesting on grouse moors into captivity, rearing them to fledging age, and releasing them back into the wild in the uplands of northern England.

This intervention has been trialled to investigate whether it can reduce human-wildlife conflict and lead to an increased hen harrier population in England. It was predicted to “increase confidence for grouse moor managers to allow birds to settle in the knowledge that impacts can be managed and bird populations can begin to grow”. (Hen Harrier Action Plan, 2016).

The Hen Harrier Brood Management Trial has been run by a partnership of Natural England, the Moorland Association, the Hawk and Owl Trust, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, and the International Centre for Birds of Prey. 

Natural England is the partner responsible for commissioning social science research for the purpose of evaluating the trial. NE has commissioned this survey to investigate the opinions and attitudes of grouse moor managers to understand how the brood management trial has affected these.

The research is being carried out by an independent research organisation, the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), on behalf of Natural England.  

Why take part and what will it involve?

Taking part will help Natural England understand the effects of brood management, and contribute to planned recommendations on the future of brood management as a method of reducing human wildlife conflict and supporting hen harrier recovery. 

The link to the online survey is being distributed to people working in grouse moor management by membership organisations. 

Taking part is entirely voluntary and the survey should take around 15 minutes to complete.

The survey will be anonymous and no personally identifying information will be collected. Data will be processed according to the NE social research privacy notice.

Why have I been selected to take part?

NatCen are seeking survey participants that are involved in the management of grouse moors. You might have been sent this link because of your involvement in managing grouse moors as a gamekeeper, owner, agent or another associated role. If you are not involved in the management of grouse moors, please do not complete this survey.

What will happen to any information I give?

Your data will be processed by our survey partners Rigour Research, and then passed and held securely to NatCen in line with the UK GDPR. The data collected will be used for research purposes only, and anonymised data will be used by NatCen and Natural England to write a research report. You can withdraw from the study at any time, and will be able to withdraw your survey answers before they are analysed in August 2024. You can read more about how we process and protect your data in our privacy notice.

Who is carrying out the research?

This research is being carried out by the National Centre for Social Research, on behalf of Natural England. 

The research is being funded by Natural England on behalf of the partners in the Brood Management Trial: Natural England, the Moorland Association, the Hawk and Owl Trust, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, and the International Centre for Birds of Prey.

Contact us:

If you have any questions, please contact us on bm-trial-survey@natcen.ac.uk or call us free on 0808 281 9526

You may also contact Natural England via the membership organisation that sent you the survey link.