Quarry Products Association of Northern Ireland



Return of the Raptors

At over 200mph… we enter the territory of the world’s fastest animal… the peregrine falcon…


Keep up with the adventure… online, via weekly BBC Radio Ulster updates and in two television specials on BBC One Northern Ireland.

Beginning in the spring of 2007, BBC Northern Ireland teamed up with the Quarry Products Association NI (QPANI) and the Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group (NIRSG) to bring you the story of two families of peregrine falcons as they raise their chicks.

Webcams have been places at two peregrine nesting quarries, Patrick Bradley Ltd Craigall Quarry, Kilrea and Cemex (NI) Ltd Carrowdore Quarry. Capturing every moment of the peregrine chicks’ development from hatching to their first faltering flight, images are streamed to an interactive BBC Northern Ireland website, so you won’t miss a thing. The website also provides a valuable education resource for pupils and teachers in its “Teachers Zone”  

Northern Ireland has only 7 species of breeding birds of prey, or raptors: buzzard, merlin, hen harrier, goshawk, sparrowhawk, kestrel and peregrine falcon… one of the lowest diversities of raptors in Europe. The NIRSG monitors the population of these birds and in collaboration with QPANI endeavours to find out more about the peregrine to help safeguard their future.

The quarry industry provides essestial materials for Northern Ireland's roads and buildings, supplying over 24 million tonnes of aggregate products per year and the raw materials to build 12,000 homes... these quarries additionally provide 12,000 homes... these quarries additionally provide homes for 40% of the peregrine population in Northern Ireland. The peregrine once decimated by toxins in the food chain, have now recovered and they thrive in these man-made environments, breeding new generations of the earth's fastest predator.


Return of the Raptors is in association with


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Keep up with the adventure...  

Online: www.bbc.co.uk/raptors


Listen: Return of the Raptors was a weekly feature  on Radio Ulster - Your Place and Mine during the breeding season.


Watch: 'Return of the Raptors' was a 2 part series on BBC Northern Ireland.

Marc Ruddock (NIRSG) keeps a close eye on nesting peregrines at Moorfields Quarry with James Buchanan (Quarry Manager)  
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