Upland species

The Red Grouse is a plump game bird that is only found on upland heaths. In the past, the management of many heather areas was tailored to encourage stands of heather at different ages of growth, which would encourage Red Grouse. Few shoots exist in the National Park and the spread of bracken and rank grasses has reduced the areas available for Red Grouse. It can still be found in areas of dense heather, where it will remain hidden from sight until distrurbed, when it will suddenly take flight and dive back into the heather some distance away.

Another bird of heather moorlands in the Golden Plover. It has distinctive golden plummage in summer. In winter they move to the lowlands where they form large flocks, sometimes with other birds such as Lapwings.

The Ring Ouzel is best thought of as a mountain blackbird. Slightly smaller than its cousin, the males have a striking white band across the chest. Ring Ouzels are now scarce within the National Park and can only be found in a few secluded upland areas. They are summer visitors to the park and will eat a variety of insects and berries.

The Hen Harrier is a magnificent bird of prey now very rare in the UK. It was once intensively hunted as it feeds mainly on game birds. Now protected in the UK, it is still very rare but may be seen in the National Park sweeping over the heather uplands in winter.

The Southern Damselfly is a globally threatened species found only in western Europe and north africa. Britain is it’s most northerly location, where it breeds in moorland streams. Smaller than most other Damselflies, it has a weak flight and rarely flies above the height of the surrounding grasses.

Use the navigation bar on the left to explore more of the uplands.