Release of endangered bird species at Sandringham Estate

A milestone for partners in large scale curlew release

We’re pleased to announce that the Eurasian curlews that experts from our Pensthorpe Conservation Trust team hand reared from incubation in a purpose built facility were released at Sandringham Estate in the presence of HRH Prince of Wales yesterday (27th July 2021).

This was a huge milestone for the all conservationists involved in this large scale Natural England led partnership as it saw the release of one of the country’s most iconic yet threatened birds, the Eurasian curlew. Our Head of species management at Pensthorpe Conservation Trust, Chrissie Kelley and her team reared the endangered birds by hand following an initiative in partnership with Natural England, the British Trust for Ornithology and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

Chrissie Kelley said: “The Pensthorpe Conservation Trust has been working in partnership with these organisations to protect the curlew and we’re really proud to have been involved in this innovative project to boost the population in the East of England – we knew that it was imperative to step in and make a change before it became too late.”

“Curlew eggs are destroyed on Ministry of Defence sites in this area as they pose a huge danger to aviation but the breed is one of the UK’s highest conservation priorities as the country has lost nearly half the breeding population over the last 25 years.

“To know we have played our part in rearing the chicks and getting them ready for release is extremely rewarding, and as some of the birds have been fitted with satellite radio tags we look forward to learning more about their onward journey.”

To find out more about the curlew release yesterday, please click here


Photography credit: Martin Hayward Smith