A WILDLIFE documentary maker will set off from Lough Erne tomorrow on an epic walk to highlight the perilous plight of one of our most well-known and well-loved birds.
The rapid decline of the curlew in recent times is something very close to the heart of English woman Mary Colwell, who will set off tomorrow, Thursday April 21, from Humphrey’s Island at 10am and walk to Swanlinbar, before being driven to Sligo to deliver a talk.
Mary will then proceed to walk 500 miles from the west of Ireland to the Wash in Norfolk in east England, finishing at on Sunday, May 29.
Speaking to the Fermanagh Herald, Mary said she had decided to do the walk to help raise awareness of the under-threat bird, which has declined by over 90 per cent in Ireland over the last 20 years.
“The curlew has definitely done something to me, I have always been fascinated by it and its evocative call” she said. “I feel so saddened by its drastic decline in numbers that I am doing this walk alone and unpaid. I am passionate about saving these birds.”
She said she had two reasons for starting the walk in Fermanagh, including a close personal connection to the area.
“I wanted to start in Fermanagh because it’s so beautiful, and because of the fantastic work the RSPB have been doing with the curlew in the area,” said Mary. “I wanted to go to where there is a good news story. Also my mother, Carmel Nugent, came from Enniskillen and she died last year. She would have loved what I’m doing.”
Mary said when she first decided to undertake her epic journey she put out a call online to anyone willing to support her, but putting her up in a bed for a night along her stop off points.
“I put out the plea, and the response was amazing,” she said. “I’m practically sorted now. I have somewhere to stay almost every night. If anyone wants to give me a cup of tea or a sandwich along the way, though, I would be very grateful.”
Mary said anyone who wants to support her walk and help save the curlew can donate to a range of charities she has chosen, including the RSPB and Birdwatch Ireland. Links to how to donate can be found on her website, www.curlewmedia.com, where she will also be blogging throughout her journey.
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Posted: 9:00 pm April 21, 2016