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Curlew Country Choir raises the roof

Wednesday May 18th, 2016 | Stephanie

Walking with Mary CH150 people took part in the Curlew Country activities around the Stiperstones over the weekend.

This was the first in a series of public art events organised by the Stiperstones & Corndon Landscape Partnership Scheme to raise awareness of the plight of local curlews.

Scheme Manager, Joy Howells, explains “Our local curlew population diminished by 30% in the last 11 years. The Curlew Country Arts Project is helping to raise awareness and highlight the work we’re doing to try and halt this drastic decline.”

The Curlew Country Arts Project was inspired by Mary Colwell-Hector’s Curlew Walk. Mary is walking from the west coast of Ireland to The Wash on the east coast England to raise awareness and funds for curlews. She joined the Curlew Country activities as she walked through the Shropshire Hills over the weekend.

Mary Keith surrounded by singers Priesweston VHThe Curlew Country Choir attracted over 60 people. They sang a specially composed piece written by poet, Karen Lloyd, and put to music by composer and choir leader Mary Keith, as well as some traditional curlew folksong. At the same time another workshop was taking place with sculpture Bill Sample. Families and friends created larger than life curlew lanterns using willow and tissue paper. Mary Colwell-Hector joined these sessions and gave a talk in the evening about her Curlew Walk.

Joy continued, “The weekend has been a great awareness raising success and has launched our local Curlew Appeal. We are currently monitoring curlew nests for the second year and raising money to trial nest protection methods. There are lots of ways for people to get involved in this campaign; letting us know if they see or hear curlews, joining their local Community Wildlife Group and bird surveys, donating to the appeal and supporting the events to come through the Arts Project.”

Mary CH and Bill Sample with curlew sculptureOn Sunday, Mary Colwell-Hector met volunteers from the Community Wildlife Groups who have been surveying curlews for many years. She also met and talked with farmers involved in the Curlew Recovery Project. At 3pm members of the public joined her on the Curlew Walk and enjoyed a guided walk around the Stiperstones National Nature Reserve with Reserve Manager, Simon Cooter.

The Curlew Recovery Project web-page has lots of information about the project, how to support the Curlew Appeal, updates about 2016 nest monitoring, a quick and easy way to record your sightings online, the Curlew Country Arts Project and the adventures of Doly & Fran, curlews we are tracking by satellite!


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