SCOTLAND'S Game and Wildlife Demonstration Farm, at Auchnerran on Deeside, celebrated World Curlew Day (April 21) with the reappearance of the wading birds in its fields.

A healthy curlew population at Auchnerran is not an accident, but the result of a number of features and actions – the farm’s manager works around the presence of waders in the fields, commencing lambing later, and silage making after that, to accommodate the species.

Coupled with control of foxes and crows carried out by the keepering team on adjacent moorland, this supports nesting, fledging and overall productivity of the farm’s curlew population.

Head of policy at GWCT in Scotland, Ross Macleod, said: “Habitat management is a long-term approach. It takes time to introduce change and see it take effect, but we are fortunate at Auchnerran that we can do this against a backdrop of sympathetic management practice and predator control.

“And we need joined up management thinking, and agri-environment scheme design where habitat management and predator control are not individual choices but are fully integrated. We need these approaches to save such species as the curlew if we wish to see them on our farmland and across our uplands for future generations to enjoy.”