News and Views from Bennetts

News | 06 September 2022

Success for the common crane chicks at WWT Slimbridge

Bennetts Cranes is thrilled to announce that WWT Slimbridge has had their most successful year yet for the number of common cranes, nesting, hatching, and fledging.

Bennetts sponsors WWT Slimbridge to support their work towards creating better breeding habitats for the common crane in the UK. The sponsorship is part of Bennetts ‘Cranes for Cranes’ campaign which helps to raise awareness of the bird and improve breeding chances.

The common crane was extinct in the UK for nearly 400 years, until 2010 when the ‘Great Crane Project’ was launched to reintroduce them back into the landscape. The project was completed in 2015 and since then the common crane population in the UK has significantly improved.

This year two common cranes at Slimbridge (Kia and Chocolo) – who are often seen on Slimbridge’s Rushy Lake – hatched two chicks and successfully fledged one. Chocolo first arrived at Slimbridge in 2019 after abandoning his previous partner who had been injured and lost her foot.

Ruby and her un-ringed wild partner also hatched two chicks and successfully fledged one. This pair can usually be seen at Slimbridge’s South Lake. They also received another chick that has successfully fledged from Phelps and Elizabeth Royal. These cranes can be seen from the northern end of Slimbridge.

Unfortunately, not all chicks make it. For Oakie and Sherbert, this was the case for their two chicks. As well as Monty and Evie who attempted nesting three times but had no success.

Reserve Manager at Slimbridge Dave Paynter said: “This has been our best breeding year yet for the cranes and we hope this is, in part, due to some of the habitat improvement on the reserve over the past two years. This was made possible with the help of Bennetts Cranes and their ‘Cranes for Cranes’ campaign which aims to raise awareness of the species and help build better breeding habitats”

“Now that the young birds can fly, they’re less vulnerable to natural predators. With recent reports implying cranes are here to stay in the UK, this is another boost to the future of our growing UK population.”

Bennetts is delighted to play a part in helping these chicks survive and is continuing its sponsorship this year. The team at Bennetts will be doing another corporate volunteering day at the site this autumn to continue work to improve the habitat.

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Photo credit: WWT and Jonathan Bull.

News and views from Bennetts Cranes