SWS Broadband pledges support to pioneering organisation in its aim to bolster declining curlew population

A Shropshire wild bird conservation organisation has launched its annual curlew live nest update thanks to technology supplied by local fibre broadband specialist SWS Broadband.

Curlew Country, which is based in the Stiperstones and covers an area throughout the Shropshire hills and Powys, is offering the public an insight into the nesting activity of these rare birds online via its Curlew Cam.

Curlew Country started work on the ground in 2015 to discover why curlews were failing to breed successfully on farmlands. It now works from grass roots up in partnership with farmers, land managers, volunteers and the surrounding community, to try and save the local population from disappearing altogether. In the UK alone curlew numbers have declined by about 50 per cent in 25 years due to predation and habitat loss.

Combined with rapid declines across Europe, the Eurasion Curlew is currently classified as ‘vulnerable’ on the European Red List, meaning that the species is at risk of extinction. The UK hosts around 25 per cent of the Eurasion Curlew population, and the Shropshire and Welsh borders is a hotspot for the red listed species.

Amanda Perkins, who leads Curlew Country, which was the first organisation of its kind to start curlew recovery in the UK, said: “Curlew Country pioneered curlew recovery techniques, which are now central in the race against time to save these birds from extinction. Our regional stronghold is one of only a handful of known population groups of this size outside managed moors and reserves in the north of England. The mesmerising bubbling call of the curlew is etched in the hearts of local rural communities who greet the herald of spring as emblematic of better times ahead. Saving these precious birds from being lost is more than just species conservation.

“Support, whether it be grants, direct donations from the public or in-kind from businesses such as SWS Broadband, really helps to keep us going. Enabling access to a nest via Curlew Cam, provides the public with a wonderful snapshot of the lives of these beautiful birds and we can’t thank SWS Broadband enough.”

Rachel Corner, sales director at SWS Broadband, said: “Curlew Country is very close to our hearts, as it is not only based in the Stiperstones from where we launched our business in 2005, but like us is intrinsically focussed on supporting the very best of rural Shropshire.

“In addition to the nest cam, we plan to offer marketing and promotional support to Curlew Country, as well as encouraging members of our team to participate in volunteering days to help maintain the site.”

People wishing to view the nesting birds may do so through Curlew Cam here: https://curlewcountry.org/curlew-cam/. Countryside code quizzes, learning resources for schools and a donation button are also available at https://curlewcountry.org. To find out more about SWS Broadband and the rural connectivity solutions it provides visit www.swsbroadband.net.

Picture: (left to right) Amanda Perkins and James Warrington, project officer, Curlew Country and Rachel Corner, sales director, SWS Broadband.

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