I am a radio and TV producer and writer, specialising in nature and the environment. On April 21st I will set out on a 500 mile walk from the west of Ireland to the east of England to raise funds and awareness about the decline of curlews. I estimate this will take me 6 weeks. This appeal is to support me to launch the walk. I am doing this unpaid and alone. The money will be used for planning, research and logistics, and to keep me going when it gets underway. Once I am walking, all money and fundraising will go directly to curlew recovery projects.
Why am I doing this?
Curlews are beautiful birds. They have a haunting call which encapsulates the wildness of the meadows, marshes and uplands of the British Isles. For generations they have inspired poets, writers and artists, as well as brought joy to anyone who hears them. Yet today their numbers are declining at an alarming rate - so much so they are now on the red list of endangered species in the UK. Over the last 20 years Ireland has seen a 90% fall, Wales 80% and on average 50% through England and Scotland.
© Richard Steel: http://wildlifephotographic.blogspot.co.uk/
I want to do something to help and so I am asking for money to support me to do the walk as effectively as possible. There is a lot to do in the following few weeks if I am going to really contribute to curlew conservation. I also need support for me over the 6 weeks I am walking.
I want to make this walk a big success.
As I cross the British Isles I will give talks as well as media interviews. I will also interview scientists, conservationists, artists, musicians, poets, farmers, walkers - anyone who is inspired by the curlew and the beautiful places it inhabits. All this information will be collated and I will blog, facebook and tweet as I go.
Please note this will be a positive walk - celebrating curlews and what they have given us - no doom and gloom - and there is still time to help them recover.
Glenwherry - an RSPB curlew recovery project area in Northern Ireland. © Neal Warnock
I would therefore be very grateful for any help you can give me to help curlews. And of course, by helping curlews we will be helping lots of other wildlife too.
A ringing and tracking project in Shropshire to help monitor young curlews. © Tony Fox
Curlew recovery projects are getting underway right now across Britain. Once I am walking I will be raising money directly for these different ventures, which are being run by organisaitons such as the RSPB, the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology), Birdwatch Ireland, the Wildlife Trusts, the National Trust and various partnership schemes. I hope that curlews can turn the corner and once more have sustainable and thriving populations.
If you happen to be near my route (see below) - please join me for a while or just say hello. If I am in your area and you'd like a talk about the walk and what is happening to curlews please get in touch.
So, to get me underway and keep me walking, please help me to help curlews and support this Curlew Walk. With all the set-up involved, £16 will propel me a mile.
Thank you very much indeed.
Here is my route so far - more visits and talks being added as I find out more. If anyone can offer me a sofa/bed for the night, or a cup of tea and sandwich along the way, I would be very grateful.
Ireland (N and R)
Day 1 - Thursday 21st April
Enniskillen, Lough Erne – to Swanlinbar (11.7 miles). Picked up by Michael Bell and driven to Sligo for a talk.
Day 2 – Friday 22nd April
Dropped at Ballinamore walk to Lough Rynn castle (13 miles)
O/N Lough Rynn
Day 3 – Saturday 23rd April
Lough Rynn to Longford (15 miles)
Day 4 – Sunday 24th April
Rest Day O/N Longford.
Day 5 – Monday 25th April
Longford – Cloonsheerin Bridge (Royal Blue Way) pick up the Royal Canal Way to Ballymahon (9 miles)
Day 6 – Tuesday 26th April
Ballymahon – Ballynacarrigy (14 miles)
Day 7 – Wednesday 27th April
Ballynacarrigy – Mullingar (13 miles)
Picked up by Birdwatch Ireland and taken to visit Shannon Callows.
Day 8 – Thursday 28th April
Day 9 – Friday 29th April
Shannon Harbour– Tullamore on Grand Canal Way (21 miles).
Day 10 – Saturday 30th April
Tullamore – Edenderry (pass Daigean and Rhode) (16 miles)
Day 11 – Sunday 1st May
Visit Bog of Allen
Day 12 – Monday 2nd May
Edenderry to Tara - mixture of walk and lifts
O/N Navan Tara - thanks to Fiona Smith Darragh, sculptor, for the offer of a night.
Day 13 – Tuesday 3rd May
Tara to Swords - mixture of walk and lifts
O/N Swords with relatives
Day 14 – Wednesday 4th May
Rest day in Swords
O/N Swords with relatives
Day 15 – Thursday 5th May
Ferry from Dublin - Holyhead @ 8:20am arrive 11:50am. Train from Holyhead - Bodorgan train station (Via one of the St Beuno’s churches?)
O/N Mary Stevenson, Anglesey - Thank you.
Day 16 – Friday 6th May
Visit Malltraeth marshes.
O/N Mary Stevenson - Anglesey - Thanks
Day 17 – Saturday 7th May
Malltreath – Bangor (16 miles)
Travel to Pwllheli
O/N Tim Higgins - thanks for the offer
Day 18 – Sunday 8th May
Talk at St Beuno’s church at Clynogg Fwat
O/N Tim Higgins - thanks Tim.
Day 19 – Monday 9th May
Llanberis to Betws y Coed– (16 miles)
O/N Betws y Coed
Day 20 – Tuesday 10th May
Betws y Coed – Pentrefoles (7 miles)
Visit Hiraethog RSPB reserve
Day 21 – Wednesday 11th May
Visit Migneint –
Bus/lift to Bala
Day 22 – Thursday 12th May
Bala to Lake Vyrnwy (13 miles).
O/N Lake Vyrnwyn
Day 23 – Friday 13th May
Lake Vyrnwyn – Llangollen via Berwyn Mountains. Advice and route guidance needed.
Day 24 – Saturday 14th May
Train / bus from Ruabon to Stiperstones
O/N Stiperstones - Alyson Small - thank you
Day 25 – Sunday 15th May
Visit Stiperstones/Long Mynd
O/N Stiperstones - Alyson Small - thanks very much.
Day 26 – Monday 16th May
Shrewsbury – Market Drayton (20 miles)
O/N Market Drayton.
Day 27 – Tuesday 17th May
Market Drayton – Stoke-on-Trent (16 miles)
O/N Stockton Brook
Day 28 - Wednesday 18th May
Day 29 – Thursday 19th May
Visit Roaches in the morning – to Longnor in the afternoon (12 miles)
Day 30 – Friday 20th May
Longnor to Baslow (14 miles)
O/N Baslow Thanks to Jean Gollner for putting me up.
Day 31 – Saturday 21st May
Visit Eastern Moors Partnership project
O/N Baslow Thanks to Jean Gollner.
Day 31 – Sunday 22nd May
Delighted to be keynote speaker for Staffs Wildlife Trust AGM
O/N Bonsall - thanks to Mark Eddowes
Day 32 – Monday 23nd May
Bonsall to Bolsover (15 miles)
Meeting Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and their new Centre.
Day 33 – Tuesday 24th May
Bolsover to Tuxford (19 miles)
Day 34 – Wednesday 25th May
Tuxford to Lincoln (16 miles)
Day 35 – Thursday 26th May
Rest day Lincoln/talk
Day 36 – Friday 27th May
Lincoln to Woodhall Spa (17miles)
O/N Woodhall Spa
Day 37 – Saturday 28th May
Visit Woodhall Spa with Lincolnshire WT
O/N Woodhall Spa
Day 38 – Sunday 29th May
Woodhall Spa -Boston (18 miles)
O/N Boston END