Why plans to reintroduce sea eagles to Norfolk and Suffolk were scrapped

A 'Say No to Sea Eagles' sign put up by farmers in Suffolk in 2010.
Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

A 'Say No to Sea Eagles' sign put up by farmers in Suffolk in 2010. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Less than a decade ago, the white-tailed sea eagle could have become a common sight in East Anglia's skies if conservationists had had their way.

A white-tailed eagle was photographed at the Buckenham Marshes this week Picture: JAMES LOWEN

A white-tailed eagle was photographed at the Buckenham Marshes this week Picture: JAMES LOWEN - Credit: Archant

Nature lovers wanted to introduce 75 of the birds of prey to selected sites which they claimed they were once native to, in order to establish a breeding population.

But Natural England's plans were greeted by an outcry from farmers, who feared the birds would help themselves to free range lambs, piglets and poultry.

MORE - Plans to introduce sea eagles scrapped


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In June 2010, the government's conservation advisor said that it was withdrawing as lead partner for the project after a heated debate.

Its chief scientist said at the time: 'We have taken the decision to withdraw from the project at this stage because we believe it would be inappropriate to commit public funds to an extensive public consultation over a project that we would, in the foreseeable future, be unable to fund.'

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