What is World Curlew Day?

World Curlew Day is held on 21st April every year and is a grass-roots initiative which champions curlews worldwide. Created by Mary Colwell in 2017, the day shines a light on the dangers curlews face as a result of shifting factors both globally and locally. Many of these are factors deeply linked to human activity, such as land-use and climate change, and so we must take responsibility for protecting these wonderful birds. We use World Curlew Day as a chance to shout from the rooftops about the curlew, and we hope you will too!

Curlew F1 2


On the weekend of World Curlew Day, we have two events in northern England. On Saturday 20th April, we have a two-part event in Farndale, with a three-hour walk on the North Yorkshire Moors to see Curlews in their habitat, followed by an intimate evening event at the famous The Band Room with David Gray and Mary Colwell. Please note that tickets are sold out for both the walk and the evening event.

On World Curlew Day itself, we will be holding another evening event at the Alnwick Playhouse, hosted by the Duke of Northumberland. Tickets are available via the Alnwick Playhouse website.

And as usual, we have our World Curlew Day competition! This year, we've added a new category: Curlew bake-off!

Winners of each category will be announced on World Curlew Day (Sunday 21st April). Details of categories and how to enter below.
- Under 16 art
- Under 16 poetry
- Over 16 art
- Over 16 poetry
- Curlew bake-off (cakes & biscuits, any age group)
Send photos of your entry to by 6pm on Sunday 14th April. All U16 entries will receive a digital certificate, and winners of each category will receive a pair of Curlew socks and a Curlew Action pin badge.


This year was our biggest World Curlew Day yet! Curlew Action held four events:

  • An evening of music and conversation with Mary Colwell and David Gray in Bristol
  • Webinar: 'Curlews in myths and legends'
  • New Forest nature walk, in partnership with Leica Sports Optics and Wild New Forest
  • An evening of music and conversation with Mary Colwell and David Gray in Beaulieu, New Forest

See some of the entries to our World Curlew Day art & poetry competition below!


Over 16 poetry winner, Clare Donnison, read by Mary Colwell

'I still go on'

Under 16 poetry winner, Findlay List, read by Mary Colwell

why the 21st of april?

St Beuno is the patron saint of curlews, the charming story of how and why he blessed the curlew can be found on our 'Curlews and Culture' page. St Beuno's feast day is the 21st of April! It is also the day that our founder, Mary Colwell, began her 500 mile walk for curlews in 2016 - read her book Curlew Moon to hear all about it.

How can I get involved?

Hold a talk, organise a curlew walk, have a curlew coffee morning, hold a curlew-themed art show, create a curlew song or dance, hold a curlew-themed poetry evening, draw a curlew picture, have a Curlew Day at a local school, hold a ‘curlew conversation’ and record people’s memories of when curlew were common… Any money raised can go towards local or national curlew projects. Thank you for supporting World Curlew Day.

World Curlew Day is the perfect opportunity to get involved with Curlew Action, raising both funds and awareness for the plight of the curlew. To find out more, visit our Support Us page.

There are plenty of ways to help raise awareness for the curlew, including hosting an event, creating flyers to distribute locally, or even making a sign warning walkers to keep dogs on leads around curlew nests.

If you want to fundraise for us, you could take part in a sponsored walk or run, or perhaps organise a gala evening with fun fundraising activities and a curlew theme. We've got lots of ideas, tips and resources over on our Fundraising page.

As always, we will be organising lots of activities for World Curlew Day (including our famous art and poetry competition), so keep an eye out for more news throughout our website, social media, emails and newsletters.

world curlew day 2022

world curlew day 2021

We celebrated World Curlew Day 2021 with a series of art and poetry competitions for children and adults, which were all a huge success.

You can see some of the visual artwork in the gallery on this page. As you can imagine, it was nearly impossible to choose winners since we received such amazing pieces!

We were also inspired by the extraordinary poetry created by competition entrants. Winners got to have their poems recorded by David Gray and Brian Briggs of Stornoway. Have a listen to some of this work below.

Curlews (1983 - ) by Paula-Knight, read by David Gray

Curlews by Robin Hargreeves, read by David Gray

Lost (after Rabindranath Tagore) by Sarah-Howden, read by David Gray

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