The estate team at Bolton Castle have been awarded the NGO Educational Trust’s prestigious Bellamy Award for their hard work to conserve the seriously-threatened curlew.
The bird has suffered a massive 48 per cent population decline in recent years, but has found a safe haven on the Estate in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, where conservation efforts by the estate’s team, including the gamekeepers, have seen curlew numbers soar by up to 1,000 overwintering birds.
Ian Sleightholm, head gamekeeper at Bolton Castle, said, “Helping curlew is our number one conservation task on the estate. It’s been hugely satisfying to see our hard work pay off when we see more breeding pairs and this award means a lot to the team.”
“We estimate that we have 170-220 pairs of breeding curlews and between 200 and 700 birds in the over-wintering flocks, occasionally sighting over 1,000.”
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