Once common in Shropshire, curlew numbers have declined by 77% in 20 years.
The Curlew Appeal with has been running for a number of years now. The work has focussed on nest protection and tagging of young curlew chicks in Clun Forest and Clee Hills. It also facilitated the launch of two new Community Groups to estimate curlew numbers in the Severn Vyrnwy floodplain and in the Morda area of Oswestry.
Funds raised have allowed several curlew nests to be protected from predators and further monitoring has taken place across Shropshire. Read more here.
We have supported the work of the Curlew Country project and their ‘Headstarting’ work .
What is a curlew?
The curlew is Britain's largest wading bird. They are associated with the upland moors, meadows and lowland food-plains. They are distinguished by their long bill, which can grow over 20cm long and is used to feed on worms hidden well below the surface. Their haunting call was once a common sound in the Shropshire Hills, but is becoming a increasingly uncommon sound.
Why are they disappearing?
There are a number of reasons: habitat changes such as a loss of wet grassland and intensive farming have had an impact on curlews across the UK. But even in environment-friendly rural property, increasing numbers of predators are also impacting breeding success.
What can be done to save them?
Shropshire Wildlife Trust is fundraising will continue to help curlews in key areas in the Clee Hills, the Clun Forest, the Stretton Hills, Oswestry Hills and the north Shropshire Mosses through the work of Curlew Country. Improving habitat is key in ensuring that these unique wading birds do not disappear from the Shropshire landscape completely.
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