In a photo, the building at Swallow Moss in Staffordshire looks like a small stone shed, unremarkable, something you might see anywhere around the Peak District. But the story behind it is a sad one, for the environment and the local economy.
For the ‘shed’ was actually a bird watching hide, used by visitors from across the Midlands and southern England, to see a displaying group of the rare black grouse.
But now the moorland edge is silent. The black grouse are gone, as are many of the birdwatchers, who could be spending their money in local B&Bs, pubs and shops, as well as occupying this hide.Instead, those who pursue the nation’s second most popular outdoor pursuit very often go elsewhere. For the Peak District is missing not just black grouse, but the once native populations of many of its most charismatic species, such as the majestic, much-persecuted, hen harrier. [ . . . ] Continue at source