In historical times a widespread breeding species in British wetlands, cranes were over-hunted and their habitat destroyed, and by the 17th century they had become extinct. A tiny population became re-established in
Ironically, news of the captive hatchings and planned reintroduction scheme comes at the same time as wild birds have nested outside
The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust hopes that its Great Crane Project will restore a viable breeding population of 100 cranes to secret wetland sites in
Staff at Slimbridge will be rearing the six chicks using crane costumes and crane heads made out of litter pickers so that the birds don’t become too accustomed to humans.
These chicks will become the star attraction at Slimbridge’s new ‘
Photo: Common Cranes at Lakenheath by Andy Hay (RSPB)