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The merlin, Britain’s smallest raptor, is doing well on managed grouse moors. The respected British Trust for Orni-thology maps the bird’s distribution in England regularly, while the Moorland Association (MA) assiduously keeps records of where gamekeepers work in the uplands. A neat, comparative study commissioned by the MA and conducted…

The British Trust for Ornithology’s Atlas data shows that merlin numbers have significantly increased on moorland managed by gamekeepers in the last 20 years and conversly fallen by a similar amount in other upland areas. Head keeper Fred Mitchinson is delighted. “I take great pride in knowing I have had…