Trust awarded money to help thousands of people encounter peregrine falcons

A Staffordshire Wildlife Trust project will give thousands of people the chance to experience an encounter with the fastest animal on the planet after it was awarded almost £10,000 in a national competition.

Last year, The Trust submitted a project to be entered into The Aviva Community Fund to install a camera on the cliffs at its Roaches nature reserve, near Leek, to monitor the stunning peregrine falcons which have nested there in previous years.

The project received thousands of votes from members of the public to progress into the judging stage after beating off competition from hundreds of other projects across the UK.

The Aviva Community Fund supports and recognises important causes in local communities.

This week, the Trust was informed that they had won the money which will enable the cameras to be installed ahead of this year’s Peregrine Watch, which starts in March.

The peregrine falcon is the undisputed fastest member of the animal kingdom, capable of reaching speeds of almost 250 mph when swooping for its prey.

In 2016 Peregrine Watch welcomed over 6,000 visitors of all ages to the temporary base—a converted garden shed—at the base of the cliffs. From this vantage point visitors can look through two telescopes which are trained on the nest hundreds of feet away, high on the cliff.

Now, people will also be able to see the stunning bird of prey’s progress from the comfort of their own homes.

Jon Rowe, Roaches Warden, said

“To hear we’d been successful was a great way to start 2017. We were so grateful to all those people who voted for our project which enabled us to get through to the next stage—and were suitably pleased the judges liked our project.

“Peregrine Watch has grown each year and this money will enable it to be even better in 2017. It will give people who perhaps wouldn’t get the chance to get to The Roaches the chance to see the peregrines—and hopefully their chicks – up close.

“So many people told us we needed a camera so they could see what is going on in the nest.”

Funds will also contribute towards the costs of running Peregrine Watch in 2017, including a refresh of the shelter, branded clothing, interpretation materials and staffing costs.

Peregrine Watch 2017 gets underway in March. For more information or if you’d like to volunteer contact Jon Rowe at the Trust be emailing j.rowe@staffs-wildlife.org.uk

The Trust would like to thank Johnathan Partridge, Financial Advisor with NFU Mutual for submitting the bid into the Financial Advisor category of the award scheme.