On Friday 23rd March 2018, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales convened a summit to discuss the future protection of the threatened upland wader populations, specifically the Curlew.
Europe’s largest wader, the Curlew has seen a recent population decline of 64% in the UK and its global status is listed as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The meeting was gathered with the aim to unite expertise from up and down the U.K., to join forces and work together to find ways protect these unique species. Attendees ranged from members of the R.S.P.B., the British Trust for Ornithology, representatives from the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, as well as independent researchers and experts.
The Dartmoor Wader Project has been in operation for thirteen years; the project having been inspired by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and involves Natural England, the RSPB, MoD, Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) and The Duchy of Cornwall. The objective of the summit was to identify what more might be done to conserve these precious species going forward.
Addressing the attendees, The Prince said,
"We've been lucky enough over such a long time to play host to these remarkable birds in these islands of ours, and the uplands are in many ways such a unique feature of them, not many other countries have anything quite like what we have, so it just seems to me, in a very basic and simple way, we have, at the end of the day, an ultimate responsibility to manage and look after, certainly those people who are lucky enough to be involved with the uplands in one way or another, whether farming or landowning or whatever else, or even walking, we have a responsibility to maintain the opportunity for other species with which we share this planet to go on doing so."
"I have always had a passion for the curlew, to me it is most hauntingly magical with its cry, it almost produces tears now just to think of it. When I go up to Scotland next week for a few days just before I have to go off to Australia I shall look forward to hearing the curlews up in Aberdeenshire. It is such an evocative moment in the year when they appear on the uplands, on the moors, it raises my spirits. And the thought of not hearing it is too awful to contemplate."