Year-6 primary school children have been working with the Wild Ingleborough project to raise awareness about curlews and other ground-nesting birds, so that everyone who enjoys visiting and walking in the area can do their bit to help protect them.
The beautiful wading birds, with their long beaks and mournful song, return from the coast to the uplands every year to make their nests on the ground, on farmland and moorland. Some can live for as long as 20 to 30 years, but sadly their numbers are declining, due to changes in land use and loss of habitat.
Visitors and walkers can help to protect curlews and other ground-nesting birds, such as lapwings, by sticking to paths between March and August, and making sure their dogs are on leads - both helping to minimise disturbance and giving the birds a better chance of raising their chicks successfully.
Ellie Parker, community engagement officer for Wild Ingleborough, said: “Spring is a time when many people come from near and far to enjoy the countryside around Ingleborough, and it’s also when several species of ground-nesting birds, including the iconic curlews, are at their most vulnerable as they return to the uplands to attempt to raise chicks.
“There are many reasons why curlews’ populations are declining so dramatically, as the children discovered during their research, but we can all help give them the best chance of breeding successfully, by making sure we don’t disturb their nests.
“Thanks to the hard work of Year 6 at Settle and Kirkby Malham Primary Schools, we now have some wonderful resources which we can use to help spread the word.”