Cranes for Cranes

We’re supporting WWT Slimbridge to improve the breeding chances of our native Common Cranes

Cranes are the UK’s largest bird, but until recently the species was all but extinct from our landscape for almost 400 years. Bennetts Cranes is extremely proud to be supporting the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, an organisation that was part of the Great Crane Project between 2010-2014 to raise Crane chicks and release them into the wild.

We are sponsoring a project at WWT Slimbridge, in Gloucestershire, to create a better breeding habitat for a group of Common (or Eurasian) Cranes that returns each year to lay their eggs at the reserve. We are delighted to support this work which has benefits both locally and nationally, with the aim of bolstering the population of these fantastic birds for generations to come to enjoy.

Watch out for our updates on the chicks and how they get on.

Why Cranes for Cranes?

Construction has a big impact on our environment, from materials use, to carbon emissions. At Bennetts, we wanted to find a way to support a project that would improve our environment for future generations. And what better way than for (tower) cranes to support one of the tallest species of crane? The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) is one of the UK’s leading conservation charities, enhancing and preserving vital wetland habitats, and WWT Slimbridge is just a few miles from our headquarters. This allows us to not only support via financial contribution, but also to volunteer our time to the habitat restoration and see the impact the project has first-hand. Our long-term vision is to make Cranes for Cranes a national, industry-wide campaign to help secure the population of Common Cranes in the UK for the long term.

WWT itself is driving a Blue Recovery – an initiative to conserve and enhance wetlands nationally to fight climate change and help nature recover and restore our wellbeing. Download the PDF on Wetlands and Wellbeing from WWT and Mental Health Foundation.

Common Crane and a tower crane

The breeding programme

The habitat restoration project

The reserve at Slimbridge remains one of the best places to observe these majestic birds so the plan is to transform this area to encourage the cranes to regularly visit and maybe settle and nest. This means clearing the land of scrub, taller vegetation and fences as they like flat, open spaces, and also creating islands with water-filled ditches to deter predators like foxes.

The result will lead to much better breeding, feeding and roosting conditions that provide safe refuge for the cranes and their young.

Other benefits of this work include better flood management and enhanced biodiversity as other wildlife like otters, voles, eels and dragonflies will also thrive.

Bennetts Cranes is proud to support this work and the team will be helping out with the clearance work.

Slimbridge reserve team

About the Common Crane

Two Common Cranes

WWT Slimbridge

The crane habitat restoration project is located at the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust’s Slimbridge centre which is just 7 miles away (as the crane flies) from Bennetts HQ in Gloucestershire. This was the first WWT site set up by Sir Peter Scott who, among many other vocations, became a staunch conservationist of the UK’s wetlands. He established the Trust and centre here in 1946 which he opened to the public and from here he broadcast many TV programmes to encourage a love of nature for everyone. Slimbridge is now one of 10 UK WWT sites where you can discover a world of wetland nature.

WWT Slimbridge