CAN you help Herefordshire Wildlife Trust protect the county's endangered curlews?

The curlew is an iconic wetland bird of our countryside which is in serious decline throughout the country.

It has a haunting call and an unmistakable long, curved bill.

In the past, Curlews bred in significant numbers on Lugg Meadow, but last spring just three pairs attempted to breed on Lower Lugg Meadow, none successfully.

The public are being asked to keep dogs on leads on the Upper Lugg Meadow as the birds no longer nest in the area because there is too much disturbance.

The Lower Lugg Meadow is closed to the public by law from March 1 to July 31 each year to ensure the birds are not disturbed.

This year further precautions have been taken with temporary electric fencing around the areas where the birds nest. It will protect the nest from predators such as foxes but also stop disturbance from any people that stray on to the site.

If walkers or dogs disturb a bird while it is sitting on eggs, it will often fly up, leaving the nest vulnerable to predators such as crows.

Curlew declined by 46 per cent across the UK from 1994 to 2010.

The Birds of Herefordshire report in 2017 says there were 77 records from 33 sites. Though not confirmed, it is thought that curlew bred at just seven of these sites so ensuring Lugg Meadow continues to support a breeding population is vital.

If you want to help protect these birds, contact: Chris Robinson or James Hitchcock