The leader of a farming and nature partnership is using World Curlew Day (21 April) to highlight that the northern English uplands are the core breeding area for the curlew, a bird of global conservation concern.
David Hill, who is Chair of the Northern Upland Chain Local Nature Partnership (NUCLNP) and part of a family farming in Nidderdale and Swaledale, says curlews are ‘wonderful’ birds.
“Being long lived, up to 30 years, many are undoubtedly the same birds who come back here year after year from their wintering grounds – perhaps the west coast of Ireland or Morecambe Bay.
“This year the curlews arrived amidst the wettest winter on record and no doubt found plenty of worms. But the ground is so hard now that they can forage only in wet flashes where a spring carries water to the surface – we need rain desperately.
“Nature has a way of calming us and the curlew with its haunting call is certainly no exception.”
The full article, published today, can be seen here.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority – a member of the NUCLNP – has sought to engage people in the story of this special bird species, celebrating the moment in February they returned to the hills from the coast to breed, and earlier this month recording their haunting call in upper Wensleydale.
There isn’t a total population figure for curlews in either the large regional area covered by the NUCLNP or in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. However, results of recent analysis of the British Trust for Ornithology’s Breeding Bird Survey suggest the curlew population is stable in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, bucking the national trend of a significant decline.
The National Park Authority’s Member Champion for Natural Environment, Ian McPherson, said: “World Curlew Day gives me the chance to say how much I, along with many other people, cherish the nationally important numbers of curlew that are still present in northern upland areas such as the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
“The National Park Authority is one of a range of stakeholders, including landowners and managers, who are working together through the Northern Upland Chain Local Nature Partnership to try to conserve the curlew for generations to come.”