A company in Cardiff has become the first company in Wales to sponsor the satellite tag of a Woodcock bird.
Office and document storage provider, The Maltings, has paid £3,000 for a satellite tag to be fitted to a Woodcock, named Malt, to help the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) discover more about the under-researched birds.
Woodcocks are largely nocturnal which means that they are difficult to research. However, it is now believed that the UK has a breeding population of 78,000 breeding pairs, and an additional 1.1 million woodcocks from Russia and Scandinavia migrate to the UK in the autumn to escape the harsh winter conditions of their breeding grounds, and then make the return migration in the spring to breed.
In order to discover more information about the species renowned woodcock expert Andrew Hoodless is encouraging people to help fund the organisation’s research efforts, and The Maltings has become the first company in Wales to announce its support.
To date, research has been conducted by catching and ringing the birds to track their travels. Since 2007, numbers ringed have risen from the low hundreds to over 1,200 each winter with the help of Owen Williams, the well-known sporting artist.
With the satellite tag tracker, it will provide researchers with real-time, factual information to monitor the bird’s ongoing travels.
Nick Williams, chairman of The Maltings, said: “I have always been interested in Woodcocks and find the migration habits fascinating. When I spoke to the GWCT, which has been pioneering woodcock research in the UK, I realised just how important it was for us to know more about these birds, which is why I agreed to sponsor a satellite tag for Malt. From the most recent data, Malt is currently in Russia and we’re looking forward to continuing to track his travels.”
Owen Williams, from The Woodcock Network, said: “We are now starting to gain valuable data into these special birds and this is down to more people helping with Woodcock ringing and more birds being fitted with satellite trackers. Malt was caught in Cardiganshire where its tracker was fitted which was very appropriate as Cardiganshire is Nick’s home county.
“We’d like to thank Nick and The Maltings for becoming the first company to sponsor the satellite tag. This valuable and enlightened support has enabled us to learn so much more about woodcocks. This information will help us take conservation measures to ensure a healthy future for the species. It has been an honour to have Nick, who is so passionate about woodcocks to help me in fitting his tag to a woodcock here in Wales.”
The Maltings Limited is a Grade II listed Victorian Malt House in the heart of Cardiff which has been established for thirty years as a centre for records management and storage, as well as a provider of self-managed and serviced rented office space.
It has begun a refurbishment programme which has seen the company invest £3m in developing previously used storage space into state-of-the-art serviced and self-managed offices, and improved facilities for existing and new clients. To date, the company has introduced a café, a fully equipped on-site modern gym, meeting rooms, conference and video conferencing facilities, communal kitchen areas, shower rooms and break-out seating areas. The Maltings also offers clients a free shuttle bus into the city centre.