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Thousands raised for award winning conservation project to help save UK’s fastest declining bird - North York Moors National Park Authority

Celebrities, artists and environmental defenders banded together to raise thousands for a dedicated conservation project committed to saving one of the UK’s most critically endangered birds. The North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project recently received an £8,000 boost following a series of high-profile fundraisers, which included a silent art auction and an eBay sale of over 30 ‘doodle-a-dove’ sketches created by stars of the screen.

Since the 1970s there has been a staggering 93 per cent decline in the Turtle Dove population and there may now be fewer than 100 birds nesting in the whole of Yorkshire. However, the North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, North York Moors National Park Authority, Forestry England and Howardian Hills AONB in partnership with RSPB, Scarborough Borough Council, and North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre, aims to help these birds.

Richard Baines, Turtle Dove Project Officer, said: “Even though we still need more funding to keep the project going, the support we have had has been overwhelming. I would like to thank all the artists, celebrities and members of the public as well as the National Lottery Heritage Fund for all their support. Such contributions are vital towards reversing the major decline of Turtle Doves that now leaves these once common creatures fighting for survival. We’re very fortunate that the landscape of the North York Moors provides one of the last remaining strongholds for the species and we are absolutely committed to increasing the amount of suitable habitats for them. This unique bird is on the brink and we must all do what we can to help.”

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