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Page last updated at 08:18 GMT, Friday, 2 July 2010 09:18 UK
Marsh harriers breed in Nottinghamshire for first time

Watch the marsh harriers at Langford Lowfields nature reserve in flight

Marsh harriers are breeding for the first time in Nottinghamshire.

A pair have nested on the Langford Lowfields nature reserve, just north of Newark on Trent.

The reserve is home to the most extensive area of reed bed in the East Midlands, which has been hand planted by volunteers over the last five years.

Warden Michael Copleston said: "It's very unusual to have them this far west. It tells us we're doing the right work. This is good for conservation."

The raptors are rarer than the golden eagle and there are only 360 breeding females left in Britain.

They are mostly found on the east coast and in Scotland but numbers are falling because of the draining of the fens and use of pesticides.

Mr Copleston said: "Building these sort of habitats inland, where we know we have security with them for the future is very, very good for these species.

"Not only marsh harriers but things like bitterns, bearded tits and animals as well like water voles and otters," the warden added.

Langford Lowfields nature reserve is not presently open to the public. The RSPB hold periodic open days and guided walks around the site. If you want to be part of one of these group visits contact the site office on 01636 893611.

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