Government conservation agency Natural England has given the go-ahead for a scheme to release up to 60 juvenile white-tailed eagles over 10 years at Wild Ken Hill in west Norfolk, the team behind the project have said.

The huge birds of prey, whose wing span of up to 8ft (2.4m) gives them their nickname, became extinct in Britain by the early 20th century due to persecution.

They were reintroduced to Scotland from the 1970s, with the first reintroduction in England, where the species was once widespread in southern and eastern areas, taking place on the Isle of Wight in 2019, and the young birds ranging widely since.

The reintroduction of young birds to west Norfolk is the next stage in bringing back Britain’s biggest bird of prey.

A licence has been granted to conservation organisation the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, and Wild Ken Hill, a rewilding, conservation and sustainable farming project on the west Norfolk coast, for the scheme.

Concerns have been raised in the past about the impact on livestock such as lambs from the birds, which are also known as sea eagles and largely feed on fish as well as various birds, rabbits, hares and carrion.

The team said no issues with conservation sites or farms have been recorded with any of the 13 birds released on the Isle of Wight, in a scheme being run by the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and Forestry England.

The young birds being released in west Norfolk will be translocated from a healthy population in Poland.