Photo by: @HedgehogHugh
This is a huge part of what we do here at Curlew Action. Raising awareness education and engagement with the plight of the curlew is the foundation of our work. Much of curlew conservation relies on the goodwill of local people and landowners, we will not save them unless everyone feels part of the solution. By creating landscapes suitable for curlews to nest and feed, keeping dogs on leads during the breeding season and putting fences around nests to protect from predators is essential, but so is public support.
Curlew Action is uniquely positioned to raise awareness. Our founder and CEO, Mary Colwell, has been a radio presenter, natural history film producer, author and public speaker. Our trustees have a wealth of experience in communication and engagement roles and our Patron, David Gray, is an internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter who will be raising awareness about curlews during his 2022 world tour!
talks and seminars
Members of the Curlew Action team regularly give talks about Curlew conservation and wider Natural History education. During 2022 we will be running our own seminar series 'Conservation: lessons from the curlew'. Click the button to sign up for a free ticket to our next seminar. Below is a recording of our first seminar of this series, 'Curlew on farmland'.
If you would like a Curlew Action team member to give a talk to a school, group or organisation please get in touch! Likewise if you are looking to give your own Curlew talk and would like some resources.
curlew action at events
Mary Colwell interviewed our patron, David Gray, at the New Networks for Nature 2021 conference in Bath. Mary and David discussed his music, nature and love of curlews, and David performed his song inspired by the mysterious call of curlews 'The Arc' for the first time. He said: 'The curlews song seems to split in mid air and take the heart in two directions at once, I tried to fashion my song in the gap in between. I realised that every time I encounter the curlew’s music, it seems not only comfortingly familiar but also very strange and alien at the same time. My lyric suggests time moving in a circle, within which the curlews voice acts as a gateway. A curving beam, that as it rises, carries us inward, into a world of memory and transcendence, and then beyond that, into a place of obscurity and deep time.’
Below, Mary Colwell and Ellen Bradley at Portishead Saltmash Day, Aug 2021.
Photo by @HedgehogHugh
During his 2022 World Tour, David Gray helped us spread the word about curlews to thousands of guests at his concerts! Below are photos of some of our stands.
Ground nesting birds signs
Curlew Action works to raise awareness about the impact that recreational disturbance can have on ground nesting birds like curlew. In January 2022 we ran a competition asking our supporters to create their own sign to advice the public to be careful of ground nesting birds. Two of these signs were chosen as Curlew Action's official sign which people can use to put up in their local area. To receive a sign please email Ellen, all you have to do is donate for postage. firstname.lastname@example.org
Partnering with UK Youth for nature
Last year Curlew Action supported UK Youth for Nature, the UK's leading youth organisation demanding action on the nature crisis. During 2021 UKY4N ran a series of creative campaigns to raise awareness about the nature crisis. Their Natural Kingdom: Wild Walls campaign featured a series of murals in cities and towns across the UK that drew attention to struggling nature in that area. Curlew Action supported their work to paint a mural featuring a Eurasian curlew in the middle of Manchester! We hosted a seminar about curlew conservation to raise money and awareness for their fantastic project. UKY4N also painted a curlew mural in Belfast. Click the image to read a blog post about the mural.
This year we partnered again and created a 50 meter long sand drawing representing British biodiversity. The drawing featured a Eurasian curlew, Eurasian beaver, Atlantic salmon and an Oak leaf. These species drawn together in the shape of the UK add up to more than the sum of their parts. The curlew was chosen because of its role as an umbrella species; protect the curlew and you protect a whole range of other wildlife.
This biological mega-drawing was started at 8am and by 7pm the whole thing had been washed away by the tide, and with it a powerful message; British biodiversity is declining and if we don't act now we will lose what little wildlife we have left.
The drawing was created on Scarborough beach on the 23rd of March 2022 in time for Earth Hour on the 26th of March. It also coincided with the initial talks UN conference on Biological Diversity, COP-15, happening in Geneva. The youth group wants the UK governments to promise some serious, transparent and actionable steps towards reversing biodiversity loss.
Roger's 1,000 Mile walk for curlews
Our Chair of Trusees, Roger Morgan-Grenville, walked from Lymmington to Cape Wrathe to raise awareness about the decline of curlews. On the way Roger gave interviews for podcasts, radio stations and newspaper articles across the UK to highlight the plight of the curlew. He also raised over £16,000!
“I have always been happier to support the charitable efforts of people who are going the ‘extra mile’ than those who keep well within themselves. The way I look at it, if I am prepared to put my 62 year old body through a bit of punishment for a couple of months, it might inspire people not just to donate, but also to learn a bit more about what we do, and what we all need to do to save the curlew.”
Films, podcasts & publications
Curlew Action uses a variety of media to make information accessible to as many people as possible. Visit our 'About Curlews' page to brows our films, podcasts and publications. Please donate to our media work – thank you!