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Winter Bird Appeal

Please can you help us raise £19,330 so we can do even more on our nature reserves to help Cornwall's declining bird populations?

A recent report by *Defra shows that populations of wild birds continue to decline. Sadly many birds such as linnets, skylarks and reed buntings are still in trouble. This is real cause for concern and why we have launched our Winter Bird Appeal. With your help we can carry out more practical conservation work on our nature reserves that will make them even better for our declining birds. We will create havens for them to feed and breed.

Can you help us by making a donation today? Any amount, small or large, will make a difference.

*Wild Bird Populations in the UK, 1970 to 2013. Annual Statistical Release. October 2014. The Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Linnets continue to decline, photo by Amy Lewis

Farmland birds

  • Declined by 55% since the 1970s.
  • Downward trend continues with a 10% decline in the last five years.
  • Loss of habitat and reduction in food sources has had a huge impact on linnets, skylarks, reed buntings and yellowhammers.

What we can do with your help

  • Continue our work creating 23 acres of birdseed crops and fallow land across our Churchtown Farm Community Nature Reserve in Saltash and Windmill Farm Nature Reserve on the Lizard. These living bird tables provide an abundance of food for birds such as linnets, skylarks, reed buntings an many finches during the winter hunger-gap.

If you can make a donation today we will be one step closer to helping our farmland birds recover.

Water and wetland birds

Whooper swan, photo by Adrian Langdon

  • Declined by 17% since 1975.
  • Declined 12% in the past five years.
  • There is growing concern for these birds that need wetter habitats to feed and raise their young.

What we can do with your help

  • We will create more wet habitat at Maer Lake Nature Reserve near Bude and Windmill Farm Nature Reserve on the Lizard (both sites are cared for in partnership with Cornwall Birdwatching and Preservation Society). This will include areas of wet vegetation which are good for snipe as well as shallow water areas for delving black-tailed godwits and dunlin.
  • We will start phase one of the public access project on Middle Amble Marsh Nature Reserve near Wadebridge. As well as creating habitats for birds, it's also really important to inspire people to care for our wild birds. If people don't care, our wildlife doesn't stand a chance. Creating access to our nature reserves ensures people can watch and enjoy the birds that use them. To see a thousand golden plovers coming into land or a greenshank delving into the mud are those first experiences that won't be forgotten. Good access for bird-watching also means that we get many more people telling us what birds they have seen and when. These bird-sightings records are essential for studies that tell us how bird populations are fairing, meaning we can concentrate our conservation efforts where they are most needed. But creating good access is not always easy and costs money. We need another £3,500 to match fund our grant from Nature England to renovate the access track at Middle Amble Marsh Nature Reserve.

If you want to help create more wetland habitat and give people better access to enjoy birds, please give a donation today.

Woodland birds

Treecreeper photo by Amy Lewis
  • Good news - populations are currently stable
  • Bad news - they remain down by 28% since the 1970s.
  • Once of the biggest issues for woodland birds is the lack of woodland management. We carry out coppicing, thinning, and create glades in our ancient woodland sites, ensuring they continue to provide prime habitat for birds and other woodland species.

What we can do with your help

  • At Cabilla and Redrice Woods near Bodmin we monitor the success of our woodland management work by studying next boxes during the bird breeding season. Staff and volunteers inspect up to 80 boxes every week, regularly finding nuthatches, great tits and blue tits. We are hoping the uncommon pied flycatcher will breed here once again too. We need to raise £3,000 to ensure we can continue this vital monitoring project, which includes replacement next boxes.

Anything you can afford will help, please donate today.

Coastal and seabirds

  • Declined by 24% since 1986
  • Monitoring seabird populations is vital to their conservation as our influence on the marine environment is different to that intervention we an make on land.

What we can do with your help

  • Monitor seabird populations on our Looe Island Nature Reserve. Volunteers and our Island Warden will record great black-backed gulls, cormorants, shags, fulmars and oystercatchers. We need to raise £1,500 to ensure this vital monitoring programme can continue this year.
  • Help the chough's population grow and spread. The Trust own cattle to graze parts of Penhale Dunes, near Perranporth, to help choughs return to this area. Thanks to the grazing they are now regularly spotted here. But to continue the grazing during 2015 we need to raise £1,630. This will help pay for transportation, vet fees, mineral licks and welfare checks.

How much to donate

  • £20 will by buy two bird nest boxes
  • £50 will sow one acre of birdseed crops
  • £100 will pay for a mineral lick, essential for cattle grazing coastal grassland
  • £500 will pay for all our replacement bird boxes at Cabilla and Redrice Woods
  • £1,000 will renovate 10 metres of access track at Middle Amble Marsh Nature Reserve.

Please help us reach our goal of £19,330 by giving a donation today. It will make a genuine difference to Cornwall's wild birds. Thank you!

Printing costs of the letter and leaflets produced for this appeal have been generously covered by Four Way.

Any funds raised above the amount required will be used for nature reserves management.

If you have any questions about our Winter Bird Appeal please contact Callum Deveney, Head of Nature Reserves via email or call (01872) 273939 ext 222.