Osprey breeding project marks 25th anniversary

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes


It has been 25 years since an Osprey breeding project was first launched in the nature reserve at the Rutland Water reservoir. The project is still going strong - with a number of pairs returning each year to hatch their chicks on nests around the site.

Abi started out as a volunteer and now helps run the project full time

Abi Mustard has been part of the project for nine years, she started as a volunteer but is now the full time Osprey Information Officer for the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.

The first egg was laid on the 30th of March, which was really really exciting news, and today about a week later we’ve now got three eggs so we’re keeping our fingers crossed and seeing whether there will be a fourth which will be really exciting because it will be the third year that Maya has laid for eggs if that happens.

Abi Mustard

Currently closed to the public because of Covid restrictions, it plans to reopen next week, until then you can keep track of the bird of prey on the Trust's website.


  • Watch: ITV News Anglia covered the reintroduction of the birds at the reservoir back in 1996.


The Ospreys spend the winter in Western Africa and Southern Spain. Then they return to the UK to nest. The reservoir is a prime site for them because it provides an abundant supply of fish.

Since the project began 25 years ago It's helped to build a thriving colony - in fact the project has been so successful it is known as a self-sustaining population so there is no further need to bring further chicks in.