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SOS “Save our Curlews” Campaign, and Community Wildlife Group Surveys – 2020

1-Curlew-Leo SmithAn important part of the SOS “Save our Curlews” campaign is knowing how many breeding pairs there are, where they are, and the population trends across the County.

The campaign is therefore supporting and encouraging the 11 Community Wildlife Groups across Shropshire, to monitor Curlews. The Groups cover 267 tetrads where the vast majority of the County’s Curlew population was found in the recent 2008-13 Bird Atlas project.

In 2019, around 94 – 115 pairs were found altogether, the vast majority of the County population. Over 320 CWG members participated, and put in over 2,370 hours, a clear indication of the commitment of local people to saving our Curlews.

In 2020, these 11 Community Wildlife Groups will be repeating their Curlew surveys (also looking for Lapwing, and, as an optional extra, a number of other threatened species). This usually involves three half-day visits, around 1 April, 1 May and mid-June.

All the groups need more helpers.

The surveys are easy, simple instructions are provided, and fieldwork training is available for anyone that wants it. The results are used to promote local conservation. In particular, they pinpoint Curlew territories to help the “Save our Curlews” campaign to locate and protect nests.

For further information about the “Save our Curlews” campaign see the SOS website, www.shropshirebirds.com/save-our-curlews/

A meeting to present the results of the 2019 survey, and make plans for 2020, including deciding who surveys which square, is being held in most areas (see below).

Tanat to Perry (Oswestry south): Wednesday, 4 March, Morda Village Hall

Upper Onny : Monday, 9th March, The Crown, Wentnor

Camlad valley: Tuesday, 10th March, The Horse & Jockey, Churchstoke

Abdon: Thursday, 12th March, Abdon Village Hall

Rea / Hope Valleys: Monday, 16th March, Minsterley Village Hall

Strettons area: Tuesday, 17th March,  Methodist Church Hall, Watling St., Church Stretton

Three Parishes (Oswestry North): Thursday, 19th March, The Pavilion, St Martins Road, Gobowen

Clee Hill: Monday, 23rd March, Recreation rooms, 22a Clee Hill High Street

Severn-Vyrnwy Confluence              contact Michael Wallace michaelwallace47@gmail.com

Upper Clun                                          contact Michelle Frater 01588 640909

Kemp Valley                                        contact via website

All meetings start at 7.30pm, and everyone will be welcome. The results of the survey by each CWG in 2019 will be available on the relevant CWG part of this website before the meeting. Contact details can also be found on the website.

Anyone who wants to help the Save our Curlews campaign is encouraged to get involved in one of the Community Wildlife Groups

Curlew Distribution Map and Community Wildlife Group Areas


Who We Are & What We Do

Welcome to the website for Shropshire’s Community Wildlife Groups. Wildlife is an important part of our landscape and natural heritage but much of it is disappearing.  Community Wildlife Groups give local people a chance to do something about this by finding and recording wildlife (both plants and animals) of all types, especially species which are in decline, so that existing populations and habitats can be conserved. The Groups:

  • bring together people interested in wildlife,
  • undertake survey work to establish the status of key wildlife species and their habitats,
  • encourage and enhance local interest in wildlife, and
  • actively promote conservation.
Wall brown (Lasiommata megera)

Wall brown (Lasiommata megera) – one of the butterfly species being sought in Group surveys.

If you want to contribute effectively to local knowledge and conservation and you live or work in one of our Group’s areas, we welcome your involvement.  Groups are for everyone in the community, not just experts.  Your enthusiasm and interest in the area are far more important than specialised knowledge.  Most of the target animals and plants are both important and easy to recognise and search for.  You will receive initial training on identification and simple survey methods, and regular support and advice.  Expect to learn a lot and have fun doing it.   This is “citizen science” at its best! There are currently eight Groups and more may be created where there is sufficient interest.


Southern Shropshire’s eight Community Wildlife Groups (CWGs). The grid on this map shows 10 km squares of the Ordnance Survey national grid reference system. Group names are abbreviated but are identified (and linked) in the list in the following text. Note the area of coverage of the SACWG overlaps that of the UOWG, the KVCWG and the RVCWG: the boundaries of the RVCWG and the SACWG are shown with appropriately coloured lines in the overlap areas. CWG projects are defined by the behaviour of and habitats used by the wildlife studied so that Group boundaries should be regarded as nominal. For a full-screen version of this map, click of the image. To return to this page, use your browser’s “back” button.

Most of the area covered by the Groups is in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  For more information on areas of operation, programme of activities and contact details for any group, select its name below.

  • The Upper Onny Wildlife Group (UOWG) covers 126 square kilometres between Long Mynd and the Welsh border, mainly between the Long Mynd and the Welsh Border (from just north of Bridges, Pennerly and Shelve, as far south as Horderley and Bishops Castle), in the parishes of Ratlinghope, Wentnor, Norbury, Myndtown, More and Lydham.
  • The Upper Clun Community Wildlife Group (UCCWG) covers the catchment area of the River Clun west of Clun, including the valleys of the River Unk and the Folly Brook, plus that part of the Bettws y Crwyn parish that is outside the River Clun catchment area.
  • The Kemp Valley Community Wildlife Group (KVCWG) covers 84 square kilometres around Brockton, Lydbury North and Kempton, including Colebatch, Clunton to Aston on Clun, and Hopesay to Edgton.
  • The Clee Hill Community Wildlife Group (CHCWG) covers 80 square kilometres, centred on the open hill land of Titterstone Clee and Clee Hill common. It extends approximately as far as Knowlegate and Knowbury to the south, Bitterley to the west, Cleedownton and Bromdon to the north, and Catherton Common and Doddington to the east.
  • The Strettons Area Community Wildlife Group (SACWG) covers 108 square kilometres, centred on Church Stretton, and includes the Long Mynd and Stretton Hills. It extends approximately as far as Longnor to the north, Church Preen to the east, Marshbrook to the south and to the western edge of the Long Mynd.
  • The Wenlock Edge Community Wildlife Group (WECWG) is a relatively recent addition to the CWG family. Follow this link to learn how to become involved in the activities of this new Group.
  • The Camlad Valley Community Wildlife Group (CVCWG).  This new group’s area corresponds roughly with the Camlad catchment and includes Churchstoke, Hyssington, Priest Weston and Chirbury.
  • The Rea Valley Community Wildlife Group (RVCWG) is another newly-formed group.  As its name suggests, it covers the catchment of the Rea Brook and encompasses Pontesbury, Minsterley, the Stiperstones and the Hope Valley.

Several Groups are monitoring the breeding success of the declining Lapwing. (Photo: John Harding)

Most of these groups are monitoring their local Lapwing and Curlew population, along with other target bird species, local plant life and butterflies.  Other activities include surveying hedgerows and verges, identifying potential County Wildlife Sites, and running Bird, Plant and Butterfly Walks to attract new members. All want new members to help with survey work.  Remember that training is provided for people who want it. Each of the Groups will make collective annual decisions about the continuation of current projects and new surveys of other species and types of wildlife, based on local interest and demand.

Species rich verge near Craignant

If you have any general questions about the Community Wildlife Group concept, need help locating your local group or have comments on or problems with this website, contact us.   If you are interested in participating, please provide your name, address, preferred email address and a phone number.  (Please note that your name and contact information will be used only for Community Wildlife Group purposes and will not be passed to any other person or organisation.)

Page updated: 20/02/2020 by CB

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