On 21st April 2016 I am walking from the west of Ireland to the Wash in Norfolk to raise money and awareness for curlew, one of the most charismatic birds in Britain. In December 2015 the common curlew (Eurasian curlew, Numenius arquata) became a red-listed species, which means its decline is so rapid it is in danger of extinction unless we take action to help. Curlew are known particularly for their haunting, evocative call, which embodies wild places. You can see them along coasts and estuaries during the winter and come spring they breed on moorland and mountain slopes. The UK is home to 25% of the world population and is of international importance. We have a profound responsibility to protect this lovely bird. Curlew were once so common it was taken for granted they would always grace our wilderness, but in Ireland they have declined by over 90%, in Wales by 80% and an average of 50% throughout England over the last 20 years. They are threatened by many things such as changes in land use, draining of wetlands and urbanisation - especially on their breeding grounds. I will be launching a webpage,
The Curlew Walk
, once I am underway where people can donate to curlew projects directly. The RSPB, BTO and Birdwatch Ireland are all undertaking curlew work. I am doing this alone, unpaid, as I am passionate about saving these birds - the sound of the wilderness must always be blessed by the call of the curlew.
Voted in top 30 most influential conservationists in the UK by BBC Wildlife Magazine
I am a freelance writer and producer. www.curlewmedia.com Recent series on Radio 4: Saving Species, Shared Planet and Natural Histories. My book John Muir –
The Scotsman Who Saved America’s Wild Places
was published in Nov 20