FOR the second year running, the stunning grounds of Bolton Castle are hosting an educational festival about the bird believed to be Britain’s greatest conservation concern, the Eurasian curlew.
The North of England Curlew Festival will be raising awareness of the bird’s plight throughout the country through a range of activities between Friday 8th and Sunday 10th June.
From guided curlew safaris to family painting and writing activities, a Society of Wild Life Artists exhibition, plus poetry, music and talks for those with an interest in learning more or getting involved.
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) will be among several wildlife charities discussing their latest work and research into curlews.
Chief executive Teresa Dent CBE will be focusing on the Trust’s Action for Curlew campaign, which was launched last year to encourage people to log breeding pairs on their land. This information allows the GWCT to assess which measures are needed across the country to try and save this bird.
It comes after there are just 300 pairs of breeding curlews left south of Birmingham and, at this rate of decline, it’s estimated they will vanish from this region in eight years’ time.
“These are alarming figures but the site visits our advisory department are carrying out are showing positive signs as well as the hard work our members are doing to reverse these declines, including marathon runner Richard Negus raising nearly £2,500 for the campaign,” said Teresa.
“Events like these make a real difference and I’m thrilled to be part of it.”
Organising the array of activities are environmental journalist and writer Karen Lloyd, Society of Wildlife Artists member Fiona Clucas, Mary Colwell, who walked 500 miles to raise awareness for curlews, and Tom Orde-Powlett.
He said: “For many of us, these birds’ songs and calls are what brings the landscape to life and the beating heart of the countryside in spring. This is never clearer than when I talk to gamekeepers and people like the writer, journalist and conservationist Mary Colwell, who is such a great champion for curlews. The passion that exists to protect them is deeper than a wish to support conservation – they define our cultural identity and to lose them would be to lose a part of ourselves.”
“This is the second time we’ve hosted an event like this and, judging by last year’s turnout, it should be a huge success.”
The agenda in full can be seen by clicking 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.
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