Peregrines, people and places

A pair of peregrine falcons inspired a community project managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

The birds have been breeding on Derby Cathedral’s 16th-century tower since 2006.

Implementing a programme of training workshops for volunteers and making contact with a wide range of marginalised communities, the programme has created a team of Peregrine Champions who advocate the project in their own communities and also throughout the city and beyond.

A camera and live streaming were put in place just in time for the 2013 breeding season. The project has developed education packs and resource boxes for schools and run a series of Watch Points each summer where people can see the birds ‘for real’ through telescopes.

At the peak of the season (when there are small chicks in the nest) some 10,000 people a week log on to see the birds and read the blog. Occasionally the significant traffic has caused the city council’s IT network to crash, though this problem has now been resolved. 

People have logged on from over 70 countries but the focus now is to engage with local audiences that might not normally watch urban wildlife but who may really benefit from the ‘virtual community’ that the web cams and blog have created.

 

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