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Breeding blueprint for golden eagle

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By Abbey Morton
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Breeding blueprint for golden eagle

PLANS are being drawn up which could see golden eagle chicks raised and released in the Moffat Hills.

It is part of a project which could help boost the breed in the south of Scotland.

The initiative – known as the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project – has been pledged more than £1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and has the backing of the Scottish Government.

It aims to boost numbers of the iconic bird in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

At present there are only two to four pairs locally, with limited nesting success, but it is believed there is habitat for up to 16 pairs.

The project’s organisers are now keen to hear local opinions on the initiative which could see eagle chicks raised and released in the Moffat Hills and various locations in the Scottish Borders.

They have already launched an online survey to gather as many views as possible, and are hosting public meetings and drop-ins at Moffat, Peebles and Selkirk later this month.

Project manager Cat Barlow said: “We’d like to hear from as many people as possible.

“We think this project is incredibly exciting.

“A revived population of golden eagles offers great opportunities for tourism and wider benefits for people and nature in the south of Scotland.

“We will be inviting organisations, community groups and schools to the events – and we would like to hear everyone’s views: for or against.”

All information gathered will be used to develop the next phase of the funding process.

­The events are being co-ordinated by the Southern Uplands Partnership and the Moffat meeting will be held in the town hall on September 29, with drop ins from 3- 6 pm and the main meeting at 7 pm.

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