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Staffordshire Wildlife Trust calls for volunteers to help with peregrine campaign at The Roaches near Leek

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 09, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

Volunteers are wanted to protect Peregrine falcons at The Roaches during the spring.

Volunteers are wanted to protect Peregrine falcons at The Roaches during the spring.

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The county's leading nature conservation charity is appealing for nature lovers to help them protect a rare bird of prey.

As part of 'Peregrine Watch', Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is inviting local people to join their wardens to look out for the birds on The Roaches this Spring.

It comes after four chicks were stolen from a Peregrine's nest at the site last June.

As well as recording sightings, volunteers would act as a point of contact with visitors to the nature reserve near Leek and pass on information on how to best not disturb them.

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Jeff Sim, land management team co-ordinator at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust said, "Peregrines are protected birds in the UK, and we're lucky enough to have a breeding pair on the Roaches.

"The Trust is seeking volunteers to work with our wardens to help minimise disturbance to the birds and ensure they have the best chance of breeding.

"Volunteers can commit whatever time they can to a watch rota, and no expert knowledge is required.

"They will then be allocated a watch area and equipped with telescopes and the necessary information."

Peregrine Watch was set up by The Peak District National Park Authority in 2008, with responsibility passed onto the trust after taking over the management of the 975-acre site from them in May 2013.

Since 2008 a breeding pair of peregrines have produced 11 chicks on the site.

Designated a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), The Roaches, part of the Peak District National Park, consists of important habitats including blanket bog and upland moorland and is also home to many other specialist breeding and wintering birds such as curlew, red grouse and tree pipit.

All training and equipment will be provided.

For more information on getting involved with Peregrine Watch, contact Eva Martin at e.martin@staffs-wildlife.org.uk or call 07985 476037.

People can also receive free email updates about the Trust's work on the Roaches by emailing info@staffs-wildlife.org.uk with 'Roaches Updates' in the subject box.

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