The aims of Curlew Action are to inspire and enable the conservation of curlews, Europe`s largest wading bird, alongside other farmland and wetland wildlife across Britain, whilst advocating for curlews and the landscapes that support them.
It also aims through education, from primary through to degree level, to increase the connection between people and nature encouraging appreciation and protection.
The curlew is a symbol of the wild and is much loved across the UK. By supporting work at a local level, but based on a national network of knowledge, the conservation of curlews can be ensured throughout Britain. As curlews are a bioindicator species this work will also help a whole suite of farmland and wetland wildlife.
Local people know their land best but often need advice and support on the ground and most landowners are committed to not only keeping curlews on their land but ideally increasing their numbers. Curlew Action will support the work that needs to be done.
Fieldwork requires training of volunteers, especially in the breeding season, building relationships between landowners and conservationists and provision of hardware eg. electric fences, nest cameras, data loggers etc.
Regional conferences and meetings will provide networking and information sharing.
A free-to-all website will provide a focus for knowledge sharing, conservation advice, scientific research and training videos. It will act as a national hub to encourage those in the field and for the collection and sharing of data.
From an education perspective there is a disconnect between people and the natural world with children and adults alike knowing little about the plants and animals that surround us. We lack an understanding of migratory and invasive species, seasonal change and the losses that have occurred over the last few decades. A GCSE in Natural History is the first step to put this right encouraging a fascination with nature throughout secondary school and beyond. The aim would be to extend the programme to A Level, then to university degree level.
Curlew Action will be involved in the production of textbooks and other educational material to back up these courses.
The Trust will also build and operate crowd-funding software which allows individuals to buy land that supports curlews for the Curlew Trust, which would in turn manage that land for the benefit of the curlew and for education.
Restore Our Planet has provided funding which has resulted in the creation of Curlew Action.
In 2022 Curlew Action started a scheme in Lancashire for junior schools under the Junior School Network project. Schools will be taken, fully supervised and accompanied by an expert, to the nearby moors to learn about the birds in the breeding season and at Morecambe Bay in the winter. The children will learn to identify curlew,understand their ecology and appreciate their importance as a bioinficator.
Restore are pleased to help with the supply of suitable binoculars.
© Richard Steele
© Tony Cross
© Peter Rutt
© Richard Steele