A project conserving a rare breed of bird has been crowned first runner-up in the MoD Sanctuary Awards 2019.

Following an increase in the number of stone-curlews across the region, representatives from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Defence Science Technologies Laboratory (DSTL), Landmarc, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) were invited to receive the Environmental Projects award at the annual ceremony in London last month.

According to RSPB there was a population of only 30 pairs of stone-curlews across Wessex in the 1980s, and thanks to the latest conservation work this has increased to around 140 pairs.

Wiltshire Council has also been involved - funding stone-curlew survey work to assess whether developments around Salisbury Plain might have an impact on the birds.

Julia Powell, chairman of judges, said: “The judges were impressed with the longevity of the team’s dedication as well as the close collaboration between several different stakeholders.”

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