Back from the Brink!

Back from the Brink!

The Red Kite was voted ‘Bird of the 20th Century’ and Wales’ favourite bird, the story of the Red Kite in Britain is a remarkable one, and rightly celebrated as one of Britain’s greatest conservation successes.

In mediaeval times the kite was abundant in towns and cities. In London, it was protected by Royal decree, in recognition of its service in removing refuse and dead animals that could otherwise harbour diseases. In the 14th and 15th centuries the Red Kite was probably the most numerous and familiar bird of prey in Britain. All this was to change.

In the mid 16th century a series of parliamentary Acts were invoked aimed at controlling ‘vermyn’. As a result, over the following three hundred years, the unfortunate kite was systematically slaughtered. By the turn of the century a mere handful of pairs survived in the remoter valleys of mid-Wales.

The subsequent recovery of the kite in Wales was not simply a matter of luck: a huge amount of time, money and effort have been invested in the past and so, in 1996, the Welsh Kite Trust was set up to ensure that the success already achieved was continued.

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