Actively Saving Species

Pensthorpe Conservation Trust has been involved with corncrake conservation for many years including more recently the breed and release programme in the Wensum Valley since 2015. The success of this work meant that wild-bred birds returned and bred in East Anglia for the first time in over 50 years.

At Pensthorpe everything we do to the landscape is for the benefit of native and migratory species, our Conservation Grade farm is managed to create the ideal habitat for rich biodiversity.



Corncrakes have suffered a steep decline in numbers this was first noticed 150 years ago and by the 1990’s they were extinct as breeders in England. In Britain they were restricted to islands off the northern and western coasts of Scotland. Corncrake are red-listed in Britain.

They are a farmland species that used to be synonymous with summer, the crexing of the male corncrake is such a distinctive sound so although they are seldom seen their call can fill the air. Loss of secure habitat at key stages in the breeding season of these birds has heralded a devastating blow to their numbers.

Corncrakes migrate to Africa in the autumn and during this journey tens of thousands are killed by trappers.

Heard a Corncrake?

If you do hear a corncrake crexing here in Norfolk, email us: