The Curlew Recovery Partnership (CRP) was launched on 01 March 2021, and is the outcome of Curlew Recovery Summits hosted by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales on Dartmoor in March 2018 and at Highgrove in February 2020.
The aim of the CRP is to provide co-ordination and support to those engaged in Curlew conservation, while also providing benefits for other threatened species and habitats and helping people to connect with nature. The Partnership has been set up with financial support from Defra and will explore opportunities to embed Curlew recovery within Defra’s new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) and the Nature Recovery Network.
The CRP Chair, Mary Colwell, wrote Curlew Moon in 2018, instigated the first ever World Curlew Day in 2017 and is a seasoned campaigner for greater appreciation and understanding of wildlife, spearheading the campaign for a GCSE in Natural History. Her work to promote the plight of the Curlew won Mary the BTO’s Dilys Breese Award for Outstanding Science Communication in 2017 and the WWT Marsh Award in 2018.
The CRP Manager, Prof Russell Wynn, has worked in UK science and conservation for over 20 years, including former roles as Associate Director for Government, International and Public Engagement at the National Oceanography Centre and Chairman of the Seabird Group of UK and Ireland - Russell also has extensive field experience of Curlews in England, including on his home patch of the New Forest.
The CRP Steering Group comprises nine organisations actively engaged in Curlew conservation; their logos, representatives and organisational profiles are provided below:
Bolton Castle Estate is situated in mid-Wensleydale and supports a healthy population of breeding and overwintering Curlews. Over the last five years, the Estate has been actively engaged in a variety of conservation and monitoring projects, focussed on several species of waders and raptors. As well as habitat management and predator control, Curlew work has included: canon-netting and colour-ringing; monitoring breeding success with surveys, cameras and thermologgers; managing an in-hand farm for the benefit of waders; and hosting the Bolton Castle Curlew Festival. Tom-Orde Powlett represents Bolton Castle Estate on the Steering Group.
British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Belfast (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations. Dr Samantha Franks represents BTO on the Steering Group.
Curlew Action is dedicated to supporting the conservation of curlews by raising awareness of their plight, advocating for conservation effort, sharing information and best practice and through education about the natural world. Mary Colwell represents Curlew Action on the Steering Group.
Curlew Country is a pioneering Curlew recovery initiative spanning the English and Welsh borders. Started in 2015, it enables natural nest and head-starting Curlew recovery success. Curlew Country raises all its own funds for fast conservation action on the ground and works in partnership with farmers, land managers and wider communities with the support of volunteers. Its work includes: Curlew Nest and Chick Monitoring and Protection, Public Engagement, Training, Advice and Arts Activities. Amanda Perkins represents Curlew Country on the Steering Group.
Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate, extending beyond the geographical boundaries of Cornwall, covering nearly 53,000 hectares of land across 21 counties, mostly in southwest England. It comprises arable and livestock farms, residential and commercial properties, as well as forests, rivers, quarries and coastline. Under the guidance of the current Duke of Cornwall, HRH The Prince of Wales, it is the Duchy’s responsibility to manage this estate in a way that is sustainable, financially viable and of meaningful value to the local community. Tom Stratton represents the Duchy of Cornwall on the Steering Group.
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is proud to be at the forefront of conservation research. Key to our belief is that our findings can be put into practice in a real-life, working countryside wherever possible. In addition to research, giving practical advice has always been key to our work. We were founded in the 1930s to understand declines in grey partridges and, having spoken to those people managing land up and down the country, we set up our own demonstration shoot and started providing advice. That’s something we have done ever since. If we want our countryside to thrive – for wildlife, to preserve the wonderful, often rare, landscape, and produce the food our growing nation requires – those managing the land need to have the knowledge and the tools to make it work. Dame Teresa Dent represents GWCT on the Steering Group, with Dr Andrew Hoodless as a co-opted member.
Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. Established in 2006, our work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public. James Phillips represents Natural England on the Steering Group.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations. Mike Shurmer represents RSPB on the Steering Group.
The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) is a charity working to save wetlands globally and in the UK for wildlife, people and our planet. WWT runs ten reserves across the UK, managing 3000 hectares of the best wetland habitat in the UK, and providing inspirational experiences to encourage people to value wetlands and the amazing wildlife they support. WWT, together with partners, are involved in three significant conservation projects working to save the Eurasian Curlew in the UK. Dr Geoff Hilton represents WWT on the Steering Group.
Our network already includes over 200 contacts representing several hundred people across England dedicated to Curlew conservation. We are also developing a network map for the CRP that will be available here, illustrating linkages with local, regional, national and international Curlew initiatives.
We are very grateful to the photographers who have kindly provided their images for use by Steering Group organisations and/or their representatives and which feature on this website, including Tom Streeter, Nigel Voaden, Andy Page and Marcus Ward.