01 February 2018

Primary school pledges support to declining bird

Curlew Close Up

CHILDREN at a rural mid-Suffolk primary school will be playing their part in saving the Curlew, a native British wading bird under threat of extinction, when they hold a day of fun and educational activities on 7th February 2018.

The event at Thorndon Primary School boasts a visit from Dr Roger Draycott, the head of advisory services at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT). The leading conservation scientist’s talk to the children will highlight the importance of curlew to the British countryside, what can be done to save them and how the youngsters can make a practical difference.

The activity day has been organised by Richard Negus who is a passionate member of GWCT. The 46-year-old has been raising money to support the Trust’s ‘Action for Curlew Campaign’ since learning of the bird's alarming rate of decline. His major fundraising efforts culminate when he competes in the grueling Northumberland Coastal Path Marathon on 24th February. Generous donations have seen him raise £1,600 to date and he’s now getting the local community involved.

Pupils at Thorndon next week will be making masks for curlews and fat balls to provide additional winter feed for farmland birds, as well as learning techniques how to identify the popular species.

Richard NegusRichard, who is a gardener and writer, pictured, said: "My two aims in running the Northumberland Coastal Path Marathon are to raise funds to support the GWCT's Action for Curlew Appeal and to build awareness of this iconic bird's plight.

"Dr Draycott's visit will help to achieve both of these goals. In particular, he will instill in the next generation of young country people the vital roles they can play in conservation. It’s great to be engaging with this primary school on how important game and wildlife are in our beautiful countryside.”

Hannah Gant, head of school of Thorndon Primary School, added: “We are proud to support this very important and worthy cause and hope we can raise awareness throughout the whole community.

"Many of our children come from farming families and these are the next generation that can play an active role in supporting and caring for their environments. As a small rural school, we appreciate the opportunity to have such a renowned expert as Dr Draycott visiting us.”

At a later date, pupils at the school will be running the equivalent of Richard’s 26-mile run to raise extra proceeds.

To sponsor Richard, visit here.

Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

ISDN radio broadcast line – at our Fordingbridge HQ we have an ISDN radio broadcast line, allowing us to conduct interviews remotely.

For information, contact:
Kate Williams
Telephone: 01425 651000
Email: press@gwct.org.uk

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