Welsh Curlew Conference, Wednesday January 24th, 2018
I am organising a one day conference to highlight the plight of the Curlew throughout Wales. The venue to be confirmed. Please can you contact me if you work with curlews in Wales or would like to help them to return. The conference will be opened by Welsh naturalist and TV presenter Iolo Williams.
"The curlew is such an iconic species in Wales. It's an integral part of our cultural and natural history and it's vital that we do everything possible to prevent it from disappearing altogether as a breeding bird."
Curlew used to be common throughout Wales, thousands bred on the mountains, fields and valleys and were part of Welsh life. From the 1980s numbers of breeding birds plummeted and a recent estimate puts breeding pairs at around 600.
On 24th January 2018, a day conference will be held (venue to be confirmed) which will bring together people who have an interest in Curlew – farmers, landowners, conservationists, politicians and bird watchers. We will explore what work is being done for Curlew in Wales and what practically needs to happen to bring them back.
I would be very grateful if you could let me know the following:
· Is anyone in your area working on Curlew?
· Do you have members that would be interested in attending this conference?
· Do you have historical records of the numbers of Curlew that bred in your area, and the present situation?
I would be very grateful for your help and please reply to:
Engagement with the natural world has never been more important. Children in secondary school interest in the world around them. Putting nature back into the heart of education, as a core subject, will keep continuity and allow those with a keen interest to develop it further, producing the naturalists and conservationists for the future.
The petition has been closed early because of the General Election, but it gained 10,000 signatures and will get a government response. I will post that when received. Thank you to everyone who helped.
Sir David Attenborough - "Good luck with your marathon walk"
The Curlew Walk is now finished and a heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped by offering bed and breakfast, encouragement, donations, expertise and kindness. As a result of the walk two workshops have been held so far to devise ways forward.
Results of the Walk
A Curlews in Crisis workshop was held in Higginstown in Central Ireland on Friday November 4th. This resulted in a curlew Task Force which will push through protection for the birds in the next breeding season.
In February 2017 a second workshop was held at WWT Slimbridge which focussed on the plight of southern curlews. There are now fewer than 250 pairs breeding in southern England. This resulted in a Southern Curlew Forum which joins together those already working on curlews and offers a platform for advice and information exchange, as well as field visits. So far, it has been invaluable to prepare for the 2017 breeding season.
To donate to curlew recovery projects - click on the logos....
The 19th Century naturalist, explorer, inventor and writer, John Muir, has long fascinated and inspired me. Born in Scotland in 1838 into a fundamentalist Christian family, he emigrated from Dunbar to Wisconsin when he was 10 years old.
In the land of natural abundance and opportunity he led the hard and unforgiving life of a frontier farmer, enduring tremendous adversity. For many this would have crushed and cowed the spirit. In Muir however bitterness never emerged, rather he went on to discover God, joy and wonder in the natural world.
His articles in newspapers and magazines were so inspiring that he turned a money-hungry America to look up from their balance sheets and outwards to the landscapes of their continent with new eyes, and in so doing saved much of it for the common good. His passion for nature and love of people lead him to become a founding father of the National Parks of America. He was the founder and first President of the Sierra Club.
Listen to a podcast I did on John Muir with Soul of California:
To read some reviews, please look here.