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Lucky escape for Kestrel chick at High Lickbarrow

Kestral chick safe in the hands of its rescuer National Trust ranger James Archer at High Lickbarrow Farm. Credit National Trust Fiona Green

A KESTRAL chick had two lucky escapes when it fell out of its nest at the National Trust’s High Lickbarrow Farm.

Ranger James Archer got a call from property operations manager Fiona Green to say it was in a bush having fallen from its nest and needed rescuing before two cats investigated it further.

National Trust ranger James Archer with the rescued Kestral chick. Credit National Trust Fiona Green

“We realised the chick had not fledged, but had tumbled from its nest at the top of the barn, and that two local cats were rather interested in it” explained James Archer.

“Luckily it was easy to pop it back in its nest once I had retrieved it from the bush, whilst Fiona kept the cats at bay. It won’t be long before the chick has a full set of flight feathers which means it will be better equipped to keep itself out of harm’s way.

“The Kestrel is a familiar bird of prey, which came to our screens in Ken Loach’s famous 1969 film ‘Kes’, a story about a working-class boy in northern England and his pet kestrel.

“They are now in decline and listed as a species of conservation concern across Europe. So we are very pleased to have them here” added James.

National Trust ranger James Archer returning Kestral chick to its nest in the barn at High Lickbarrow Farm. Credit National Trust Fiona Green

High Lickbarrow Farm, near Windermere, was gifted to the National Trust in September 2015 following the death of local donor Michael Bottomley. The Trust is tasked with looking after the remarkable plants and wildlife found on the farm and its unusual herd of Albions. Directly managed by Trust staff it is their only ‘in-hand’ farm in the North of England.

Close to housing and bustling Windermere and Bowness, the land is full of wildflower-rich pastures, abundant bird song and becks with native white-clawed crayfish. The barn is home to a barn owl – nested at one end – who seems at peace with the kestrel stationed at the other end.

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