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Helping to protect breeding curlews in the Darley Beck catchment area within the Nidderdale AONB.

Curlew numbers are declining drastically throughout the UK but the decline in lowland farming areas has been catastrophic. Curlew are now almost entirely confined to the Pennine uplands.

The Darley Beck catchment, a few miles from the moorland line, is a grassland farming area where curlews come to breed annually but their numbers have declined noticeably in recent decades. We suspect that this is due to poor breeding success.

The two causes of breeding failure that are recognised as important factors in other similar grassland areas are predation and modern grass harvesting techniques. This project aims initially to establish the breeding success of curlews in the Darley Beck area and the relative effects of these two factors on breeding. Subsequently, we aim to devise with the farmers, changes to farming practices so that they may be able to mitigate some of the adverse effects.

Supported By:

Nidderdale AONB and the Farming in Protected Landscapes Project.