Project to show off the wildlife of the Brecks

Stone curlew and chicks'Picture by Chris Knights ANL-140528-171148001
Stone curlew and chicks'Picture by Chris Knights ANL-140528-171148001
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Three conservation bodies are working together to give people a closer look at the rare wildlife of the Brecks.

Wings Over the Brecks is one of 37 ground breaking projects financed by a £2.2 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant to help people realise how special the area of sandy heathland is.

Next summer the Forestry Commission, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the RSPB, will enable live video footage to be seen from the nests of rare Brecks birds including nightjar, woodlark, goshawk, hobby and stone-curlew.

It will be shown at the visitor centres at the Forestry Commission’s High Lodge and Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Weeting Heath reserve and at roaming displays run by the RSPB in Thetford and Brandon.

The cameras will be put in place by specially trained volunteers.

Sammy Fraser, RSPB Brecks community engagement officer said: “Wings over the Brecks is such an exciting project as it will provide close up views of iconic species some of which I have never seen before.

All the target birds are nationally rare, though hobbys are often seen over East Anglia’s wetland reserves.

The Brecks are the stone curlew’s nesting stronghold in the UK, where they get special protection. As ground nesting birds, they, the hawk-like insect-eating nightjar and the woodlark are all well camouflaged, making them difficult to spot.

Sammy is also seeking volunteers to work on the project.

But if you cannot wait until next year, you can get a first hand taste of what the Brecks has to offer the RSPB is holding a free Wild Night Out at the Forestry Commission’s High Lodge on Friday June 20 .

You can spend a night under the stars and go on a guided walk looking out for ‘ghostly glow-worms and ghastly goatsuckers’, an old name for nightjars, with the Thetford-based British Trust for Ornithology.

To volunteer for Wings over the Brecks or book onto the Wild Night Out, email or call 01842 753732. Picture RSPB/Chris Knights