Heron happy hour
It's 4.30 in the afternoon at Muncaster - time for heron happy hour! Janet Sumner meets Peter Pennington who explains what goes on. There has been a heronry at Muncaster Castle for centuries, but in the 60s and 70s the numbers fell off considerably. Because the herons were in serious trouble, supplementary feeding was started and soon developed into a tourist attraction. Fish are thrown out on a meadow for the herons, which fly in to get them. About 20 have arrived. Spring is the best time to see them because they need lots of food for their chicks. Some birds are dominant and squabbling breaks out. The public love it as they can get close to genuinely wild animals. It is hard to believe that ten years ago there were only three herons left at the heronry - the improvement is all down to the peculiar, but wonderfully British, heron happy hour.