Join us in going Wild about Whaaps on World Curlew Day

Friday 21 and Saturday 22 April, World Curlew Day Drop-In Event 12-4pm

The evocative burbling cry of the Curlew, affectionately known as Whaap here in Shetland, is sadly commonplace in few places in the UK, and the fact of its familiarity in Shetland is something to be celebrated.

 Curlews are not the only special species for which Shetland is a refuge, and this has been recognised by Species on the Edge. This new partnership programme is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Species on the Edge is working across seven project areas, including Shetland, to safeguard, celebrate, and strengthen the status of target species, of which Curlew is one of eight in Shetland. The programme is delivered by seven conservation charities and NatureScot, with RSPB Scotland taking the lead in Shetland.

Curlew, alongside other so-called farmland waders such as Lapwing, are experiencing dramatic declines across the UK with causes rooted in human activities, such as changes in farming practices and other land uses, as well as climate change. World Curlew Day (on April 21) is a grassroots initiative dreamed up by Mary Colwell, a committed champion of the Curlew. The aim is to highlight the plight of the Curlew, to unearth and celebrate the meaning it has for people across the UK, and to encourage people to take responsibility for the future of the Curlew and other special species in any way that they can.

Join us at Spiggie Hide on Friday April 21 and Saturday April 22 between 12-4pm to participate in a range of indoor and outdoor activities as we go Wild about Whaaps!

  • Enjoy a guided walk (running on the hour) to RSPB Scotland Loch of Spiggie and the opportunity to observe Curlew and other waders. Discover why Shetland is so important to these species. Binoculars and scopes will be provided but feel free to bring your own.
  • Add to a long tradition of celebrating the iconic and charismatic Curlew in art by following some creative prompts for drawing and writing at Spiggie Hide. Basic materials will be provided but you are also encouraged to bring your own art and craft materials.
  • Children and families can get stuck into various activities to discover more about the Curlew.
  • Indulge in some hot drinks and baked goods while perusing a range of books, watching videos, and listening to music inspired by these brilliant birds.
  • Find out about opportunities to get involved in taking action for Curlew and other treasured and threatened species found in Shetland, perhaps through taking part in surveys.
  • Crofters and landowners can discuss land management for Curlews, at RSPB Scotland Loch of Spiggie and explore features such as the new scrape that provides vital feeding habitat for waders.

Please park at Spiggie Hide at the north end of Loch of Spiggie for the event, and wear weather appropriate clothing and footwear if participating in the guided walk. The route will follow the public road along the edge of Loch of Spiggie but the route may be wet and it may be necessary to step onto grassy/muddy verges to allow vehicles to pass.

For more information on Species on the Edge, please visit the Species on the Edge webpage at or come along to our launch event on May 4th 3pm-7pm at Isleburgh Community Centre in Lerwick (more information to follow).

You can also contact:

Molly Harvey – People Engagement Officer, Species on the Edge

Tom Allen – Project Officer, Species on the Edge