The Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project
During the following breeding seasons, the cameras and blog brought all the action and updates to over half a million visitors.
You can get regular updates on the Peregrine Blog.
The ancient stone tower of Derby cathedral dates back over 470 years. Records suggest that peregrine falcons have roosted and hunted from the tower at many times over the centuries. But then in the mid-20th century, their numbers crashed suddenly. They were virtually wiped out from many parts of Britain and the world.
A pesticide called DDT - dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane was found to be the culprit. It caused thinning of their eggshells which then cracked during incubation. Only after DDT was banned, and peregrines given legal protection, did their numbers slowly start to recover. They began to return to their former haunts.
In 2006, a young pair showed strong signs of wanting to breed on Derby Cathedral, but there were no suitable ledges. So we built and installed a wooden nest (position shown ringed in the adjacent picture). Three young birds were successfully raised. In 2007, staff from Derby City Council's Museum Service installed two webcams and began a Peregrine Falcon blog to keep everyone up-to-date with events. A third camera was installed on top of the tower in 2008. It is now possible to watch peregrines all year round at Derby, whether feeding and roosting on the tower, or raising young on the nest ledge from March through to June. Infrared vision lets you watch them at night, too.
Peregrine photographs and pictures
Twenty video clips from the 2009 season can be viewed by following this link to a special video page on the project blog. You can also find them on our YouTube channel. They range from courtship, mating, and egg-laying through to hatching, ringing and fledging. Check out the Blog for regular updates and new videos from the current season.from YouTube)
A fantastic DVD entitled “The Peregrines of Derby Cathedral” is now available for purchase. It includes a large number of high quality and intimate video highlights from past breeding seasons. Each is described with a commentary by Nick Moyes from Derby Museum and Art Gallery. The DVD lasts about 35 minutes and tells the story of Derby's peregrine falcons and features Chris Packham, well-known as a BBC TV presenter.
The DVD is available to order by post at £9.99 GBP, post free, from the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust office in Belper.
You can also buy copies direct from our Derby Museum shops or from Derby Cathedral.
To pay by debit or credit card and have one posted direct to your home at no extra cost (if you live in the UK) please phone the Wildlife Trust on 01773 881188 (Mon-Fri 9am - 4.30pm). Your copy will be dispatched the same day. UK cheques should be made payable to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and sent to the Trust at: East Mill, Bridge Foot, Belper, Derbyshire, DE56 1XH. We can post abroad but we'll ask you for an extra 'donation' of £1 towards the higher postage costs.
Project partners and acknowledgements
For more information about the project please contact: Derby Museum and Art Gallery, The Strand, Derby DE1 1BS. Telephone 01332 641901
The Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project has benefited from the help or support of many people: N. Brown; N. Moyes; N. Evans; T. Grantham; W. Dillon; J. Osborne; K. Brewer; Eco-Watch; T. Cairns; J. Salloway; D. Slinger; M. Mallender; J. Heaton; R. Kilgour; E. Jones; H. Hopkinson; J. Connolly; R. Jones; C. Parkinson; J. Taylor; E. Drewitt; N. Dixon; P. Precey; the BBC, plus the many peregrine watchers and, of course, to the vergers and authorities of Derby Cathedral without whom none of this would have been possible.
Funding or material support for the web cameras came from many sources: Many small donations at Peregrine Watches; other anonymous gifts; Derby City Council's Wild Derby, Development and Tourism, Highways Department and ICT units. The peregrine project partners have high hopes for developing these webcam services in the years ahead as additional resources or sponsorship permit. Please contact either Derby Museums or Derbyshire Wildlife Trust if you would like to contribute to this project.
Supporting and donating
We are grateful to the following individuals who have made donations to keep the project and the webcams running, or have given other support in kind.
- (2010): D. Knight, Canada.
- (2009): T. Akers, Newark; S. Allen, Derby; L. Andrews, Neston; J. Baum, Derby; R. Blackwell, Derby; D. Bond; British Falconers' Club; P. Brooks, Nottinghamshire; T. Chesterman, Northumberland; Cooper, Sutton in Ashfield; S. Davis, London; Derbyshire Ornithological Society; A. Froggatt, Birmingham; C. Henstock, Dronfield; A. Holmes, Shrewsbury; C. James, Kegworth; K. Kolling, USA; J. Mak, Hong Kong; H. Naylor, Alfreton; L. Oagerby, Notts; K. Patrick, Ashbourne; Mrs Sandison, Blyth; J. Sawford, Derbyshire; C. Self, Bristol; R. Sharp, Austria; M. Shaw, Abbots Bromley; G. Smith, Derby; N. Smith, Derby; R. Smith, Belper; Sue in Bucks; J. Taylor, Derby; O. Taylor, Canada; J. White, Belper; D. Wright, Canada; R. Zantvoort, France; plus many anonymous donors at our Watch-points.
Make a donation
If you wish to support the Peregrine Project by making a donation, there are currently three options:
Donating from within the UK
Either: Ring Derbyshire Wildlife Trust in office hours on (0)1773 881188 to make a payment using your debit or credit card (please specify Peregrine Project) or send a cheque made out to 'Derbyshire Wildlife Trust' and send it to: East Mill, Bridgefoot, Belper, Derbyshire, DE56 1XH, clearly marking it 'Peregrine Project'.
Donating from abroad
- You can also contact your bank and arrange for a money transfer to DWT. For details of the Trust's bank, for example, the sort code, please email email@example.com
- Please confirm in writing that you are keen to see any unspent element of your donation carried forward to a subsequent financial year.
- Because we do list individual donors' names, please tell us if you would prefer to remain anonymous.