Impacts of forestry on breeding curlew distribution
  We were approached by Forestry Commission England (FCE) to consider addressing five key questions they had identified as being important in terms of impact of forestry on curlew over the next 5-10 years and beyond, in order to feed into FCE’s policy and management in relation to this species and the Curlew Recovery Partnership. Studies on breeding success of curlews themselves would require access to an extensive nest dataset and/or a substantial multi-year or multi-site nest study (potentially also including artificial nest experiments) which we do not feel is achievable in the timeframe although may be worth exploring in the future. However, given the key research questions (relating to woodland type, distance of woodland to breeding sites, topography and woodland extent/configuration respectively), and the rich datasets available on breeding curlew distributions and forest/landcover, there is a good scope to interlink these questions and look at curlew breeding distributions in relation to a range of landscape and forestry variables. This will not directly measure breeding success, but may help inform which habitat/forestry variables (and combinations thereof) appear to correlate positively or negatively with breeding populations and also may generate future testable hypotheses that could be tested in longer-term, or larger-scale projects.
Using our combined expertise in upland bird ecology and spatial statistical analysis, in this project we would take curlew breeding abundance or presence-absence data and carry out a spatial statistical analysis to look for apparent drivers of curlew breeding density or presence among a suite of forestry and landcover variables, at different spatial scales. Furthermore, depending on the time constraints of the analysis, the project could also contain a literature review of the effects of forestry on breeding waders to contribute towards question 4.

  • Start Date:

    1 March 2023

  • End Date:

    1 June 2023

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Forestry Commission England

  • Value:


Project Team