Rare birds sighted

PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 June 2012

Cranes have been spotted in Somerset

Cranes have been spotted in Somerset

Archant

A GROUP of unusual birds have been spotted in parts of Somerset after the success of a project to reintroduce them in the wild.

Cranes have been spotted in Cheddar after The Great Crane Project was started by by three major bird charities with the aim of reintroducing them to the Somerset wetlands and improving their numbers in the wild.

Wild cranes died out about 400 years ago when they were hunted to extinction in the UK, but the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, the RSPB and the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust hope Somerset can provide a home for them in the future.

Damon Bridge, Great Crane Project Manager, said: “Our local wetlands provide a home for so much special wildlife. It’s wonderful to see them being used by cranes, which were once so common across the UK.

“The project is working with local farmers and landowners to manage for the crane newcomers and is seeking opportunities to create new breeding areas.

“The birds are a joy to watch and to hear and are proving a real draw to the area. Crane eco-tourism is already contributing to the local economy.”

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