recorded WeBinars

Photo by Tony Pope


The uplands are central to both biodiversity and society as a while, but big changes are on the horizon - climate change, farming schemes renewable energy - to name a few. How do Curlews fit into this changing landscape?


One of the biggest threats to curlews in the UK is our high numbers of generalist predators. High predation levels are having a serious impact on our wading bird populations. This is an emotive and nuanced topic but one which must be addressed.

How do we live alongside predators while also protecting biodiversity?

FORESTRY (27/09/2022)

During our fourth seminar in our Conservation lessons from the curlew series, we discussed the impacts of tree planting on Curlews. Curlews avoid nesting close to densely wooded areas, likely because of the increased risk of predation. In some cases Curlew habitat has been lost and nests abandoned following well intentioned tree planting. How do we balance the need to protect our wading birds with the very real need to plant more trees?


Curlews have had a huge impact on our culture, from myths and legends to music, poetry and art. Listen to Mary Colwell in conversation with musician, Merlyn Driver, artist and curlew scientist, Rachel Taylor and writer, Karen Lloyd.

HEADSTARTING (16/03/2022)

Mary Colwell in conversation with Geoff Hilton and Nigel Jarrett from Wildfowl and Wetland Trust and Amanda Perkins from Curlew Country about the role of headstarting in curlew conservation. Headstarting is a conservation practice in which eggs are raised in controlled conditions, once chicks are ready to fledge they are released back into the wild. In order to maintain the current curlew population we need an extra 10,000 chicks a year. Headstarting is not a silver bullet to save curlews but every fledged chick is precious and headstarting programmes across the country are doing vital work helping to support a struggling British population. Photo by A Bicheno, Curlew Country


This was an online discussion on curlews, nature and the farmed landscape. Most curlews breed in fields, both in the uplands and the lowlands. They face many dangers from agricultural machinery to disturbance to predation. In this informal session Mary Colwell talks to a fieldworker, Mike Smart, who is monitoring and protecting the birds in Gloucestershire, to Richard Hanby, a Gloucestershire dairy farmer, and to Jake Fiennes, the Conservation Manager for the Holkham Estate in Norfolk. Jake is at the forefront of melding farming and nature, and has big ideas about how the natural world and our need to produce food can fit together.

Our upcoming seminars in our series 'Conservation: lessons from the curlew' will all be recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel and added here. 

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