European Curlew Fieldworker Workshop

by Mary Colwell in Norwich, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 3rd January 2024 we successfully raised £22,538 ( + est. £807.25 Gift Aid ) with 279 supporters in 42 days

Time is running out to save declining Eurasian Curlew populations from extinction. Help us equip fieldworkers across Europe to save them.

by Mary Colwell in Norwich, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Extra funds will enable us to support fieldworkers to attend from across the UK and Europe, allowing this workshop to have the largest possible impact.

What is the problem?

The Eurasian Curlew, once a familiar sight and sound across the British countryside, is facing dramatic declines. Since the 1980s, numbers have dropped by 98% in Southern Ireland, 80% in Wales and 60% across England and Scotland. 

In the last 75 years, two of the world's nine Curlew species - the Eskimo and the Slender-billed Curlew - have already gone extinct. Across the UK and Europe, widespread, systemic issues such as farming techniques, high levels of predation and poor habitat mean the Eurasian Curlew may follow suit. Right across the board they are failing to produce enough young, and it is the fieldworkers – those on the ground monitoring and protecting them – who are on the frontline of the battle to save them.  


Like many birds, the Eurasian Curlew does not belong to a single country. Many of the UK's wintering birds will breed across northern Europe in countries like Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany, we share these beautiful waders and all of us have a duty to help them. This means we cannot work alone, we must share our knowledge and experiences, creating Europe-wide working relationships across the Curlew's breeding range. 

Fieldworkers rarely come together, this is a unique and exciting opportunity to gather all this information in one place, forging new insights and connections and inspiring fresh ideas.  


Unique and inspiring

Our European Curlew Fieldworker Workshop will develop an international community and build up essential networks of cooperation and research. Through our work with the Curlew Forum - a network of 15 English Eurasian Curlew organisations - we have seen how effective this model of connection and cooperation can be.

The workshop will be three days focussing on practical conservation including skills such as ringing and tagging, nest protection and liaising with landowners and volunteers. As fieldworkers are often paid very little or volunteer their time for free, it can be difficult to find resources for meetings. To ensure we reach as many people as possible we aim to offer a travel bursary. We have already received expressions of interest from nearly 100 fieldworkers across 13 European countries.


This is first European fieldworker workshop. Not only will it target the people in the best position to protect and monitor curlew populations, but it will be accessible to those who might not otherwise have had this opportunity.

As well as bringing people together we will be strengthening our invaluable Fieldworker Toolkit -  a free online resource offering guidance in state-of-the-art Curlew conservation practice - and creating a more connected international community, a key part of our fight to protect the Curlew. 

The wonderful venue, varied expertise and wide-ranging programme of talks and events are already in place. Now we need your help to make it happen.

What can you do?

We need to raise money to host this event and Aviva's Community Fund is providing match funding, doubling your donation.


Every single £1 is essential and we are offering some exciting curlew-themed rewards which could make a beautiful Christmas present for a nature-loving friend. For those who are able to give larger pledges, please get in touch with us so we can discuss what we can offer to you and your organisation.



Who are we?

Curlew Action is a small, dedicated, UK-based team, as well as an international movement of passionate people united by the drive to protect this remarkable bird and the wildlife that shares its habitats. We are uniquely connected to the changemakers in the Curlew sphere, both with fieldworkers and with those making policy. This means we are well-placed to put on training and networking events which have the most profound impact on the success of the Curlew at all levels of action and decision-making. To learn more, check out the projects and people that make up Curlew Action.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£100 or more

5 of 30 claimed

Curlew gift pack

Donate £100 to receive a pack of gifts guaranteed to put a smile on any Curlew-lover's face. This will include a set of our gift cards, a Curlew Action pin badge, and a signed copy of Mary Colwell's Curlew Moon. Plus, with match funding you will be providing £200 of essential fieldworker training! Order before December 10th to receive your gifts in time for Christmas.

£40 or more

7 of 15 claimed

Mini Curlew sculpture and badge

Get your hands on one of a limited run of adorable, handcrafted and unique mini Curlews (6 cm x 2.5 cm) from sculptor Sarah Brabbin. Sarah's work captures the essence of British wildlife to bring it to life in your home. Order by 10th December to get this in time for Christmas, otherwise we will get your order to you as early as possible.

£65 or more

5 of 10 claimed

Jim Northover print and signed book

Jim Northover’s woodcut print ‘Curlews at Pett Level’ is available from a limited run, numbered and signed by the artist. These will make a fantastic wall piece or gift for a friend. You will also get a signed copy of Mary Colwell’s Curlew Moon so you can learn about the wonderful bird on your wall! Order by 10th December to get this in time for Christmas, otherwise we will get your order to you as early as possible.

£150 or more

5 of 5 claimed

Curlew sculpture and gift set

We are privileged to offer five larger, stunning glazed Curlews (11 cm x 5 cm) from sculptor Sarah Brabbin. Sarah’s work captures the essence of British wildlife to bring it to life in your home. This unique piece will come with a pack of our cards, a Curlew Action pin badge and a signed copy of Mary Colwell’s Curlew Moon. Order by 10th December to get this in time for Christmas, otherwise we will get your order to you as early as possible.

£200 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Curlew and chick by Sarah Brabbin

One handcrafted, black and gold ceramic sculpture of a Curlew and its chick (32 cm x 17 cm x 11 cm) is available from wildlife sculptor Sarah Brabbin. You can see this beautiful, unique piece in the images in our project overview. Order by 10th December to get this in time for Christmas, otherwise we will get your order to you as early as possible.

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.