Project Background


The Curlew Country project started in 2014 as the Ground nesting Birds Recovery project, one of 14 projects forming the Stiperstones and Corndon Hill Country Landscape Partnership Scheme (LPS). nest monitoring footage

The project quickly developed from the profile that was included in the LPS. The original focus was on awareness-raising within the LPS area together with some low key monitoring. The existing Curlew Country Project places great importance on working constructively with land managers to find out what is preventing the curlew from breeding successfully and then taking pragmatic steps to save the curlew. Generally we have found that local people treasure the curlew population and are keen to help.  Core funding was sought and technical and ornithological expertise of local partners was engaged through the formation of a Project Advisory Group. Through this support we have been able to run the wider project for two years.


  • The farmers who have waived compensation for disturbance to agricultural activities throughout the lifetime of the project
  • The dedicated Community Wildife Group volunteers who give up their time once a month to carry out adult wader surveys which help inform the project
  • The artists inspired by our work to help by donating to or creating for the project
  • The Project Advisory Group who have given up time to come to meetings and help with essential technical advice1


The project has developed substantially, from the profile that was intended when the Landscape Partnership Scheme was set up.  The new project requires a great deal more funding than the original amount allocated to it.  We are very grateful to the following contributors who have helped fund the Curlew Country Project:

  • Heritage Lottery Fund (2015, 2016 and 2017)curlew in flight
  • Natural Resources Wales (2015, 2016 and 2017)
  • Stiperstones NNR (2015)
  • Natural England, legacy fund (2017)
  • Jean Jackson Trust (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Powys County Council (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • National Trust (2015)
  • Whitley Trust (2017)
  • Wader Quest (2017)
  • British Trust for Ornithology (2017)
  • RSPB – loan of specialist nest cameras and rappa electric fencingthermacrons provision (2015, 2016)
  • Shropshire Hills AONB Conservation Fund (2015)
  • Rappa Fencing (2107)
  • Shropshire Ornithological Society (2015, 2016)
  • Upper Onny Wildife Group (2016)
  • Mere Singers (2016)


Amanda Perkins, Project Manager
Tony Cross, Consultant and Field Ornithologist
Simon Cooter, Natural England
Dave Cragg, Natural England
Peter Carty, National Trust
Roger Draycott, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, attending meetings when needed
Joy Howells, Landscape Partnership Scheme Manager


During the curlew breeding seasons of 2015 and 2016, field ornithologists monitored over 30 nests.  No chicks survived.  Only 3 nests in each year survived beyond egg incubation stage to hatch chicks.

Follow the link to view the full 2016 Nest Monitoring Report.

2016 nest outcomes

2016 nest failure chart


Follow the links to download the 2015 nest monitoring pilot project. Curlew Recovery Project 2015 Report

2015 nest outcomes

2015 nest failure chart


colour ringed curlewCOLOUR RINGING

Ornithologist Tony Cross has been working with volunteers over the past three years to colour ring curlew at their pre-breeding roosting site at Dolydd Hafren.  Over a hundred birds have now been ringed.  Charting the whereabouts of these birds helps to build up a better national picture of curlew behavior and an understanding of their needs. A good number of these colour ringed curlew are breeding in the Scheme area.

Please report other colour ring sightings and if possible readings to Tony: 

or the BTO colour ring reporting  website:

as soon as possible, to help update the much needed research on curlew movement and activity.

SATELLITE TAGS                                                                      

Satellite tagged curlew in Bowland
Dolly with mate in the Forest of Bowland

Whilst colour ringing, Tony and David managed to successfully fit satellite tags to two female birds. Tags kindly donated by Ecology Matters.  We have named our tagged birds Dolly and Fran. Dolly has made her way up to the Forest of Bowland AONB where the RSPB have run a wader project since 2001.  The local project officer spied her with a mate nesting in 2016, but soon afterwards we had firm reports of her on the coast of Counties Waterford and Wexford in Southern Ireland, which means that it is likely that her nest failed. She is back again this year nesting in the almost identical place.

Fran was last spotted around Hay on Wye in 2016 but has gone quiet and we have not heard more.

Look for our news to see updates.   Follow these links for more information:
Blog ‘Ruffled Feathers’ by Tony Cross
Forest of Bowland RSPB website

Read about Curlew Country’s Arts Activities here…