Skip to content
A young curlew

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

Head-starting the recovery of breeding Curlew on Dartmoor by rearing and releasing birds in a safe habitat.
  • Environment

More than 80 birds successfully released into the wild in the last three years

The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF) awarded £204,703 over three years to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in 2019. WWT are committed to protecting wetlands and the wildlife who depend on them, both through the creation and preservation of wetlands and pioneering conservation science.

Supported by PWCF, WWT is working to establish a self-sustaining population of breeding Curlew on Dartmoor, returning the bird to one of its former habitats. Since 1970, the UK has lost 65% of its curlew population. Captive reared chicks were released into appropriate habitats on Dartmoor.

These habitats were located on farmland owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, and have been managed to create the optimum environment for successful reintroduction. This habitat management has also benefitted other species and enhanced wetland areas across Dartmoor.

The project was inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales, who is also patron of WWT. His Royal Highness convened a National Curlew Summit in 2018, and has a keen interest in the reintroduction of the ground-nesting birds to Dartmoor.

Through careful monitoring and careful release of curlews to appropriate areas, WWT hope to reintroduce a breeding colony of the rare bird to Dartmoor.

To learn more about the work of WWT, please click here.