Ospreys are the rarest raptor in Wales and until recently, only a few people knew about them and even fewer had ever seen one. Once widespread throughout most of Britain, ospreys have been hunted, persecuted by gamekeepers, egg collectors and trophy hunters as well as losing out to the pressures of habitat loss. By 1916 they had become totally extinct.
The project aimed to address this through active conservation and surveillance through the involvement of local volunteers. Volunteers get involved by giving visitors information on the ospreys and their behaviour, helping with administration and social media, 24 hour nest protection work (the eggs still require protection) and practical conservation.
Through the lifespan of the three year project, over 150,000 people explored the reserve where the breeding pair nest. The project’s website has over 1.7million connections and thousands of people follow the birds progress through social media.
Thanks to National Lottery money, the Trust has provided a rare opportunity for people across the world to experience and to learn about osprey behaviour. These opportunities are not only enjoyable but also help protect these rare, beautiful birds of prey.
Emyr Evans, Dyfi Project Manager, said: “Thank you for all of HLF's support with our Dyfi Osprey Project over the last few years. It seems almost unbelievable now to think back just to 2010 and compare it with today. No website, no social media, no live streaming, no HD cameras, no audio at all, no volunteer cabin and no office. Oh, and no breeding ospreys!”