Yorkshire’s first genocide in centuries ‘nothing short of a miracle’


According to a conservationist, it is “nothing short of a miracle” that the first breeding pair has settled in Yorkshire for hundreds of years.

The young adult couple, who make their home on the Bolton Castle estate in Wensleydale, have two children – a boy and a girl.

Sacha Dench, known as the “human swan” for his journey from Arctic Russia to the UK after Buick’s swans through Paramount, nested in the Yorkshire Dales as part of his Flight of the Ospreys campaign. was visiting the site, tracking the birds. The migration route from Scotland to Africa.

Sacha Dench visiting a nest site in the Yorkshire Dales (New Hope/Conservation Without Borders/PA) / PA Media

She met Tom Orde-Powlett, son of Lord Bolton, and others who helped create the nesting grounds of the Yorkshire Dales.

Ms Dench said: “I am incredibly proud to be able to visit the first breeding pair of ospreys in Yorkshire. What Tom and his colleagues have achieved is nothing short of a miracle. Is.

“Our campaign is designed to highlight some of the wonderful efforts that organizations and individuals like Tom are making to address the challenges facing ospreys and other migratory birds.”

Ospreys have not been recorded breeding in Yorkshire since they began in the 1800s and were generally extinct in Britain until their initial return from Scandinavia to remote parts of Scotland in the 1950s.

Mr Orde-Powlett said one of his gamekeepers saw two ospreys together in the area and this gave him confidence that a pair might be establishing a territory.

With the help of Mike Thornley of the Thornley Wildlife Trust and his riverkeeper and former tree surgeon Brian Towers, two platforms were built and the birds built a nest on one.

Mike Thornley building a platform on Bolton Castle Estate (Mike Thornley/PA) / PA Media

Both chicks hatched in mid-June and are now ringed.

The mother of the new chicks is known as Blue KS1 and was rescued in Glaslin, Wales in 2018, but her mate is unrelated.

KS1’s mother is known as Mrs G and has been returning to Wales since 2004.

Her father, known as Aran, has been with Mrs G since 2012. It is believed to be the first offspring of Aran.

Mr Orde-Powlett said he had seen ospreys in the area for 20 years but in 2019 saw a pair and decided to stock the two ponds.

“We were delighted when they finally built a nest on one of our platforms and we saw the hen apparently sitting on something – we hoped an egg – in May, which means June. The eggs are likely to hatch in the middle of the year,” he said.

“One of our keepers has taken a keen interest and is checking the nest every day of incubation.”

Brian Towers building a nesting platform on Bolton Castle Estate (Mike Thornley/PA) / PA Media

Mr Orde-Powlett added: “We were pretty confident of a chick but when we went to ring them we were delighted to discover two of each sex, one.”

Simon Warwick, director of the Lower Uri Conservation Trust, said the adult male appeared to come south to Nosterfeld Nature Reserve near Masham, most days to fish.

“All our research indicates that this pair is the first in Yorkshire in the historic period – incredibly interesting and hopefully the start of a Yorkshire dynasty”.

The Osprey expedition flight is Ms Dench’s first since she was involved in a mid-air collision that killed her cameraman Dan Burton.

He has said that his journey will be as much dedicated to his late partner as it is to conservation.

Ms Dench survived the crash but suffered life-changing injuries.

Now, just months out of hospital, the Australian-born biologist, who still has one leg in a metal brace and needs crutches to walk, set off on a Flight of the Osprey expedition on Monday.