THE Duchy of Cornwall has shared its continued involvement in recovering endangered Curlew birds on Dartmoor, one of the most important Southerly breeding populations.
Curlew, classified on the UK Birds of Conservation Concern’s ‘Red list’, breeding population has declined by 85% since 1985.
The Dartmoor Curlew Recovery Project takes place on Duchy land, Where landscape scale plans have been devised to enhance Curlew habitat, undertake targeted predator control and use an innovative technique developed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust to ‘head-start’ Curlew. The Dartmoor project is the first UK upland example of its kind for Curlew conservation.
60 Curlew have been reared and released to date, with a further 30 to be released in July and August this year.
Tom Stratton, land steward at the Duchy of Cornwall in Devon, said: ‘It is hugely rewarding to be involved in such an exciting project that brings together farming, conservation, and people. We are so grateful to all those, particularly our farm tenants, The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, who have helped make this happen.’
Duchy of Cornwall farm tenants and brothers, Neil and Mat Cole, have played a pivotal role with support from the RSPB, Natural England and the Dartmoor National Park Authority, to spearhead the conservation of Curlew.
Neil Cole, Duchy of Cornwall Tenant on Dartmoor, added: ‘My family and I are pleased to support this innovative project, which is a reminder of the strong relationship between farming and the environment, and we very much hope to hear the evocative call of the Curlew once again on Dartmoor in the years to come.’