UK tower crane rental company Bennetts Cranes has agreed to support a crane conservation project.
Cranes for Cranes will see the company sponsor a habitat restoration project at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Slimbridge centre in Gloucestershire in order to help to support the recently reintroduced population of the UK's largest bird - the common crane.
Cranes - also known as Eurasian cranes - had been extinct in the UK for more than 400 years before they were reintroduced around 10 years ago after eggs taken from other parts of Europe were hatched and the birds raised at Slimbridge. Over the period of five years the trust has released close to 100 hand reared young cranes at a secret location in the Somerset Levels and Moors. Despite taking them to ideal habitats, a number of cranes returned to the Slimbridge reserve over the following years. The conservation campaign will look to create the perfect breeding conditions for the small number of cranes who return to the centre to lay their eggs.
Managing director Edward Seager, said: “This is a very exciting and inspiring project for us to be involved with. We’d been looking for a project we could get involved in that would be beneficial for our environment, and cranes seemed the perfect fit. It’s even better that we can see the work and get involved in this project at Slimbridge because it is only a few miles from our headquarters. We are extremely proud to be supporting this project by WWT to secure the breeding population and increase crane numbers in the UK for future generations to enjoy.”
WWT Slimbridge reserve manager, Dave Paynter, added: “It was so exciting when the cranes that were reared here at Slimbridge and released onto the Somerset Levels chose to not just visit but to stay and attempt to breed here. We didn’t think that the habitat was quite what the cranes would be looking for but they had other ideas. Five pairs have attempted to breed over several years, so far only four young have been successfully fledged so improving the habitat is needed to give them a better chance of success.”
A team volunteer day is planned for summer, where the Bennetts team will help with building habitats and islands. For updates on the project, or to donate to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, visit: Cranes for Cranes campaign webpage.