Hen Harriers – winter roost survey


Since winter 1983/84 Hen Harriers have been subject to a national winter roost survey, which has been supported from the outset in the New Forest. Since the survey’s inception most roosting areas within the Forest have become more fragmented due to habitat change, while their usage has become more erratic. Casual human disturbance has also increased markedly. Responsible behaviour in the vicinity of roosts is thus essential, and all observers are urged to adhere to the following code of conduct.

  1. Please keep to established tracks and do not linger when walking to and from your watchpoint.
  2. Do not enter the site at any time of day.
  3. Please watch from a sensible distance (several hundred metres) and do not approach the roost area.
  4. Wear dull clothing and watch from in or around cover to break up your silhouette. Keep to this cover throughout your stay and maintain a low profile. Do not stand in the open and attract unnecessary attention!
  5. Do not publicise details of roosts, or of any other sighting that may attract additional people to the area of harrier roosts (e.g. Great Grey Shrike), on the bird information services or local bird discussion groups without first consulting the owner or administrator of the land.

Sites used by harriers in the New Forest are current fully covered for the national Hen Harrier Winter Roost Survey, but offers of help from those with knowledge of roosts elsewhere in the county are welcome.