World Curlew Day judges

In 2024, we are being joined by three guest judges for our World Curlew Day Competition! Each guest judge will assist Mary Colwell in choosing the winning entries from a category.

Meet the World Curlew Day judges:

Head judge: Mary Colwell

A photo of Mary Colwell in front of a green field

Mary is a writer, TV and radio producer and conservationist, whose massive walk across the breadth of the UK in 2016 helped raise the profile of the Curlew, and led her to write the greatly influential Curlew Moon and the founding of Curlew Action.

Mary loves long distance walking, camping, reading and cycling, as well as wildlife and storytelling, and it is her passion for telling the story of the curlew that has helped launch it into the public consciousness in the past few years.

Baking competition judge: Xanthe Clay

Headshot of Xanthe Clay

Xanthe Clay has been a columnist for The Telegraph for 25 years. She is a Trustee of the Andre Simon Food and Drink Book Awards, Academy Chair for World’s 50 Best Restaurants and previously President of the Guild of Food Writers. She loves curlews and cake.

Poetry competition judge: Jasmine Isa Qureshi

Green-tinged photo of Jasmine Isa Qureshi surrounded by plants

Jasmine Isa Qureshi (they/she), is a journalist (BBC Wildlife, Gaytimes, Metro, etc.), writer and marine / queer - biologist and ecologist, working as a researcher previously for the BBC Natural History Unit, The Mindfulness Initiative on Climate Youth Resilience, and currently works with grassroots organisation WildCard on increasing engagement and support for rewilding campaigns in the UK.

As a trans, Pakistani, non-binary, and muslim woman, she has often found that her need to intertwine her identity in her work is required for authenticity and creativity to thrive. She is also a published Poet, an Ambassador for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, an advisor on the committee of RSPB England, and a presenter, speaker, workshop facilitator and wildlife TV Researcher.

She is currently working on her first book!

Artwork competition judge: Ruth Weaver

Headshot of Ruth Weaver outside with binoculars, with a rainbow in the background

Ruth is a professional, self-taught wildlife artist specialising in drawing birds. Her drawings aim to reflect the birds' personalities and behaviour as well as the intricate details of their plumage. Since beginning her art in 2020, Ruth has used her bird drawings to raise over £500 for various bird conservation charities both in the UK and abroad.

She is a keen nature nerd, and when she isn't drawing, she's normally out birding.

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