§ Mr. Kilroy-Silk
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the number of herons; and if their number is declining.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
In 1983 the British Trust for Ornitholiogy estimated the population of herons in568W England and Wales as 5,150 breeding pairs which showed a slight fluctuation but no significant decline. No comparable figures exist for Scotland, but a figure of 1,500–2,000 breeding pairs has been estimated.
I understand that later this year the BTO will be undertaking a complete census of the heron population, which will provide up to date information for the whole of the United Kingdom.