Call of the Curlew: Singing and Songwriting workshops

9th July 2024

Curlew by Alan OwensThree singing and songwriting workshops inspired by the call of the curlew, led by nature writer, Karen Lloyd, and musician, Mary Keith.

(Note – You only need to attend a single workshop – though you’d be welcome at two if super keen!). 

  • Central Dales Workshop:

Venue: Malham Methodist Chapel, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 4DA

Date: Saturday 3rd August 2024

Time: 10:00am - 4:30pm

  • Northern Dales Workshop:

Venue: Leyburn Arts Centre, North Yorkshire, DL8 5DL

Date:  Sunday 4th August 2024
Time: 11:00am -  5:30pm

  • Nidderdale Workshop:

Venue The Owl Barn, North Yorkshire, HG4 3PU

Date: ​Sunday 11th August 2024
Time: 10.00am to 4:30pm

  • Performance at the North of England Curlew Conservation Awards:

Venue: Masham Town Hall, Market Place, Masham, HG4 4DY

  •  Sunday 18th August 2024
  • 3:00pm to 8:30pm

10 of the 20 places at each workshop have been allocated for people directly linked to curlew conservation – whether this is on farms, in a reserve, at the coast or in the uplands. You might contribute directly to curlew conservation through your work, the arts or through volunteering.

10 places at each workshop are totally open to all and will be allocated on a “first come-first serve” basis.

No ability to read music is required.

The workshops are totally free – however, you will have the opportunity to donate to Curlew Action on the day.

To book one of the places reserved for curlew conservationists, you will require a password – to access this, contact Matthew Trevelyan at, stating how you are involved in curlew conservation.

Call of the Curlew Workshop Description:

The call of the curlew heralds spring and has inspired a wealth of folklore, poetry, art and music. Their unique vocalisations - which feature complex harmonics and pitch variations - are often described as haunting, but just as often as ecstatic. Calls are composed of both major and minor tones and can provoke strong feelings of both sorrow and joy. Perhaps this explains why curlews have stirred such a range of responses from poets, musicians and writers.

Mary and Karen will use the call of the curlew as the melodic starting point for new songs, written and composed together with workshop participants.

There will be the opportunity to perform the songs in Masham Town Hall, as part of the North of England Curlew Conservation Awards (on August 18th).

Karen is a renowned nature writer with a special affinity with the north of England and editor of “Curlew Calling”, a recently republished anthology of writing and poetry celebrating curlews. Mary Keith is a freelance musician who has worked with numerous theatre groups, choirs and communities around the world.  Mary and Karen have worked together since 2016 when they took part in the Curlew Country Arts Project in Shropshire.

This event has been supported with grant funding from the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and the Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme.

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