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Hen harriers fight for survival

The survival of hen harriers in England "hangs by a thread", conservationists have warned, as figures showed just seven pairs of the bird of prey nested successfully this year.

The RSPB said there was sufficient habitat for 300 pairs of the rare bird of prey in England, but that persecution of hen harriers remained "devastatingly common" despite the birds having full legal protection.

Of the successful pairs, five nested on the United Utilities estate in the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, the remaining stronghold of the bird in England.