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PRESS RELEASE: Curlew Country Project on a mission to save local curlew population

Friday November 18th, 2016 | Stephanie

tony-mary-and-mandi-4The Curlew Country Project aims to save the significant population of breeding curlew between and around the Stiperstones and Corndon Hills.

30 people gathered this week at Kerry Vale Vineyard, Churchstoke to find out more about the Curlew Country Project.  They heard about the project and how it has gained national recognition with its ground breaking work to save our local curlew population.

Curlew have declined in Shropshire by about 75% since 1990.  In the Stiperstones and Corndon Hills area there are between 37 and 43 breeding pairs of curlew.  This dramatic decline is happening throughout the country.

For two years the Stiperstones & Corndon Hill Country Landscape Partnership Scheme has been monitoring curlew nests to determine why these beautiful birds fail to breed successfully.

Award winning ornithologist, Tony Cross, has led this monitoring work which he described at the event.  Two years of nest monitoring with cameras have shown that most nests are predated at egg stage and the few chicks that hatch have also all been predated, mainly by foxes.  This year we surrounded the nests that hatched chicks with anti-predator fencing.

Project Manager, Amanda Perkins, explains “The Curlew Country Project works closely with farmers and the local community.  In the coming years we hope to implement a range of measures to help more curlew breed successfully.  This will include trialling traditional fox control as well as new ideas such as the protective electric fencing never before used for curlew in the UK.”

mary-presentation-2Journalist and broadcaster, Mary Colwell Hector, also spoke at the event to give a national perspective of the decline of curlew and what needs to be done to save them.  In May, Mary walked from the west coast of Ireland to the Wash on the east coast of England to raise awareness of the plight of curlew.  This curlew ambassador is devoting a year to try and help save this iconic species.

For more information about the Curlew Country Project visit www.stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk/curlewcountry


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