RSPB Scotland is delighted to have received support from FCC Communities Foundation Ltd. for habitat restoration work at their Forsinard Flows Nature Reserve. FCC Communities Foundation Ltd. is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.
The reserve is located in Sutherland, nestled amongst the rugged peatlands, sheltered straths and mountains of the Flow Country, the largest blanket bog in Europe. It supports a wide array of wildlife – including dunlin, greenshank and hen harrier – and one area of the reserve, Forsinain Farm, provides a mosaic of grasslands and wetlands that is home to breeding curlew, one of Scotland’s most threatened birds. When properly maintained, wetlands like this are the preferred habitat for breeding curlew.
The curlew is the largest European wading bird and it is instantly recognisable with its long, downcurved bill, mottled brown colouring, long legs and distinctive ‘cour-lee’ call. The UK’s breeding population of Curlew is of international importance, being estimated to represent more than 30 per cent of the west European population. There have been worrying declines in the breeding population throughout the UK and across the globe, due to changes in land use and practices that drain or dry out their preferred wetland habitats.