The lonesome, bubbling cry of the Curlew is something that epitomises the uplands and estuaries of this country. Or at least it used to.
Curlews are in big trouble: they’re fast disappearing from our countryside, with the UK’s population declining by a whopping 46% between 1996 and 2010 alone. Since Britain reputedly holds some 30% of the European population, there is real cause for concern. To drive the point home, in 2008 the Curlew was added to the IUCN’s Redlist of threatened species.
But why are they disappearing, and what can be done? Whilst a cocktail of factors are suspected - drainage and intensification of the uplands, high levels of predation and climate change amongst others - we don’t know the exact contributions of these various facets.
That’s where you come in. By supporting my cycle this September, you’ll be directly contributing to Curlew conservation. Every penny you donate will go to the BTO’s 'Curlew Appeal': it will be used to investigate their distressing decline and inform what action can be taken to save this iconic species from extinction.
Following in the proverbial footsteps of fellow Curlew champions Mary Colwell and James Common, I will be embarking on a 700km expedition this September to highlight the plight of this bird.
Beginning at the tip of Wale’s Llyn Peninsula, I’ll be hopping on my bike and undertaking a 10-day cycle ride to Land’s End at the tip of Cornwall. My route will take in former strongholds for the Curlew in mid-Wale’s uplands, as well as important wintering areas threatened with development, such as the Newport Wetlands.
I will also be popping in to various wildlife reserves en route, and will of course be keeping a species list of every bug and bird I see!
I would really appreciate any donation you can afford, from a few pence to a few pounds. It all adds up. Let’s save this amazing bird before it’s too late
- Listen to the cry of a Curlew
- The BTO's Curlew Appeal
- Mary Colwell's Curlew Walk
- James Common's Three Peak Challenge for Curlews