Red Kites at Boughton

Back in the late 1980s, the UK’s Red Kite population dwindled. Their reintroduction has been one of the major conservation success stories of the last thirty years and Boughton Estate has played a major part in this.

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biodiversity, red kites

The Return of Red Kites

Boughton has supported the Red Kite reintroduction programme for over 15 years and had become a flagship centre for the success of the scheme.

During the early stages of reintroduction, the young birds were monitored and tagged. However, as the number of nesting pairs across the estate grew, the programme proceeded without intervention; now only annual monitoring and counts are required.

The success of the programme can also be attributed to volunteers. Local resident, Steve Thornton, from Kettering (pictured with his wife Julie below), was integral to the project. He has volunteered much of his time to the programme and ensured the success of the reintroduction of Red Kites in this area.

The presence of Red Kites has become synonymous with Boughton and its surroundings; visitors always comment on their presence within the grounds. David Cullum, Parks and Gardens Manager, remarks: ‘It has been a joy to be involved in the project. Seeing the Red Kite population thrive on the estate and now support their conservation elsewhere, is a real boost.’

A Success Story

The success of the programme has been remarkable. Earlier this year it was announced that the reintroduction programme within the UK has been so successful that it is now stable enough to support conservation in parts of Spain, where Red Kites are threatened. Birds from the Estate will join others for a new life in southwestern Spain, where it is hoped they will thrive, rescuing the Spanish population.

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