Turtle-y Brilliant

The one about the new Turtle Dove conservation project in North Yorkshire

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Cropton Forest, where last spring I first got involved in the Turtle Dove volunteer surveys in the North Yorkshire Forest District.

30 days wild day 28

I nearly called this post Lovely Dove-ly, or possibly Talking Turtle. Readers of this blog who caught my Day 25 contribution, ‘Triffic Tripits’ may already have detected a propensity for corny word-play in my blog titles. (A Tripit is a birders’ contraction of Tree Pipit, if you were wondering.) Anyway, the purpose of this post is to share with you some news of a brilliant new conservation project to help Turtle Doves in North Yorkshire which got underway recently, made possible by a substantial ‘Our Heritage’ grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project is finessing its name as we speak. It was initially pitched to HLF as ‘Only Two Turtle Doves’ – An urgent quest to save our summer visitor’, paying homage to the bird’s usual, and for many people only, reference point the Twelve Days of Christmas carol, where two turtle doves receive mentions second only to the partridge in the pear tree.

I’ve spent some my day in the company of inspiring and enthusiastic partners of said Turtle Dove project, to which I am contributing some time and input ‘in-kind’ with my Scarborough Borough Council hat on. The North York Moors National Park, Howardian Hills AONB, Forestry Commission, RSPB and the N.E. Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre are also partners. We discussed progress since the project officer was appointed a few weeks ago.

I could wax lyrical about this project at length, but space is at a premium and much of it has been expressed better elsewhere, so instead I would like to recommend you read these recent blog posts about the North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project. I’m sure a dedicated website and social media outputs will fire up very soon so stay alert!

Here is an excellent summary blog, rich with useful links, on the North York Moors National Park blog, (which incidentally I recommend you follow), announcing the imminent project: https://northyorkmoorsnationalpark.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/two-turtle-doves-one-turtle-dove-and-then-there-were-none/ 

This one (on the same NYMoors blog) is a first missive by the new-in-post Turtle Dove Project Officer, Richard Baines, who will be based at The Park offices for the three years of the conservation programme: https://northyorkmoorsnationalpark.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/turtle-doves-back-with-a-purr/

If your appetite is undimmed you can see my earlier announcement about the project on the Connecting for Nature blog and sense my excitement to be involved in a humble capacity as a steering group member:

https://connectingfornature.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/two-turtle-doves-exciting-conservation-project-secures-funding/

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Dawn at Dalby Forest listening for Turtle Doves on 25/6/17
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Some dense hawthorn scrub where Turtle Doves might choose to nest
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The North Yorkshire forests, like Dalby are proving to be Important for Turtle Doves.