Like birds of a feather, Cornwall’s premier bird society has joined forces with a college group to provide students with a unique opportunity.
Cornwall Bird Watching & Preservation Society (Cornwall Birds) has teamed up with The Cornwall College Group’s Newquay campus, offering its students the chance to learn more about the county’s birdlife, their habitat and conservation.
The students, who specialise in wildlife education, animal behaviour and zoological conservation, will be given a rare insight into many protected conservation areas across the county that are maintained by the society.
Students will have access to Cornwall Birds reserves, including the members-only wetland near Wadebridge, enabling them to observe the wealth of bird species indigenous to Cornwall while gaining expert advice from the on-site wardens. The students already regularly visit Porth Reservoir to survey birds and will now be able to take part in more surveys organised by CBWPS.
Chairman of Cornwall Birds Mark Grantham, said: “This is the first time that Cornwall Birds, which has been in existence since 1931, has welcomed a large organisation as a member and I’m really looking forward to working with the College to further the cause of bird study and conservation in Cornwall”.
Cornwall Birds has hides at several key locations to enable bird watchers to enjoy birds comfortably and to minimise disturbance. The society has the advantage of being able to concentrate on smaller reserves, which most national conservation bodies would find it difficult to justify. Such important places often support rare plants and insects as well as birds and on some reserves, the society is actively involved in land management to improve specialised habitats for birds and other forms of wildlife.
Arlin Slater, who lectures in Zoology at Cornwall College Newquay, said “it will prove invaluable to our students to be given this opportunity”.
“The managed wetland site near the camel estuary is excellent for wintering wading birds that visit but also all other wildlife attracted to the area. We have been treated to the expertise and hospitality of Warden Adrian Langdon and volunteer Dave Thomas, who have been excellent at engaging with our students.” Arlin continued.
“There have been huge benefits to the students by getting out into the field, gaining practical experience and honing ID skills that will prove useful to many in their future careers. It’s also enlightening to see the good work that Cornwall Birds does and the valuable service their reserves provides local wildlife.”
For more information on the range of Wildlife Education, Animal Behaviour & Management and Zoological, Marine & Ecological Conservation courses available at Cornwall College Newquay visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0330 123 2523.
For more information on Cornwall Birds including details of membership, please visit www.cbwps.org.uk