Chuffed about Choughs
Conservationists are celebrating as a new nest site has successfully produced a brood of wild choughs in the far West of Cornwall – the first in nearly 150 years. The latest developments are part of an ongoing re-colonisation project in Cornwall.
Partners of the Cornish Chough Project are heralding the new brood as a significant chapter in the natural re-colonisation of Cornwall’s iconic bird.
Jon Brookes, National Trust Manager for West Penwith says, "We are thrilled with this new development in our ongoing efforts to encourage the natural re-colonisation of the chough to Cornwall.
"A new pair breeding in the west of the county is great news and their success is down to the local farmers and the RSPB volunteers who put in all the time and effort into safeguarding the nests from disturbance."
Listen to the interview with Jon Brookes, the National Trust's property manager in West Penwith, and Adrian Thomas, the farmer on whose land the choughs are nesting...
Adrian Thomas a tenant of a National Trust farm near St Just in West Penwith added, "It's exciting to know that the choughs have bred successfully in West Penwith as a result of the nature conservation grazing schemes I and other farmers have undertaken with The National Trust and Natural England.
To add to this success story, for the seventh year in succession, the Lizard choughs have successfully raised a brood of four chicks and this year they are all girls.
Claire Mucklow from the RSPB who manages the Cornwall Chough Project explains, "Each year we hope the Lizard pair will breed again and so far they have not disappointed us.
"They are model parents and continue to produce strong healthy chicks but we are particularly pleased with this year's brood because we need more females or 'girl power' in the population."
Peter Bowden from Natural England in Cornwall added, "Over recent years we have worked with many landowners to ensure there are pockets of good quality habitat for increasing the number of choughs in the county.
"Choughs are the icing on the cake for us and we would encourage farmers and land owners to contact Natural England locally, if they think that their land would be suitable for entry into Higher Level Stewardship (HLS). HLS can provide suitable habitats for choughs as well as other wildlife."
The Cornwall Chough Project is a partnership between Natural England, The National Trust and The RSPB to protect the wild chough population, and to promote chough friendly farming of the cliffs.
last updated: 01/07/2008 at 15:01
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