A WILDLIFE group that has been helping birds and other creatures for a decade has cause to celebrate.

Since starting in 2007, the Clun Community Wildlife Group has been finding the best sites for scarce birds, plants and butterflies.

Many have been adopted as new wildlife sites and over 10 square kilometres of the best habitats are now included in Environmental Stewardship Higher Level Scheme agreements between Natural England and individual farmers.

The results of its wildlife surveys and bird nest box schemes in 2017 and outline plans for next year, will be presented at the annual general meeting.

Although there is much to celebrate, some wildlife is declining, this particularly applies to curlews.

Curlews have declined in the Upper Clun area from 20-22 pairs in 2007, to only 8-9 pairs in 2017, almost all in the far west.

The decline is mirrored elsewhere in Shropshire, a decline from around 700 pairs in 1990 to only 160 in 2010, 77 per cent in only 20 years and nationally in the UK, 62 per cent since 1969, leading to curlew being added to the Red List in Birds of Conservation Concern last December.

The annual public meeting of the Upper Clun Community Wildlife Group will be held on Thursday, 16 November at 7.30pm at Newcastle Community Centre.