Think ahead. It's July 2015, and the sun is slowly burning the morning mist off the marsh.

Suddenly a call rings out. And there, rising majestically out of the vapour, are the tallest, most glorious birds you have ever seen; their long necks stretched out and ruby heads glowing in the sun. Your heart almost stops.

Cranes look magnificent. Their trumpeting calls sound astonishing. And they have a courtship dance that has to be seen to be believed.

Before hunting and the draining of our wetlands wiped them out, cranes were plentiful in the UK. Today, about 15 pairs are holding steady in East Anglia, but for a real chance of bringing back their former numbers across the wetlands of the UK, cranes need help.

What we'll be doing

To have a thriving population of cranes back in the UK's wetlands – where they rightfully belong – is the vision we'll be working towards with many others over the next six years.

We have a plan to release 100 cranes into the Somerset Levels and Moors over the next six years.

The carefully planned process starts with taking eggs from healthy populations overseas, then incubating the eggs, nurturing the chicks and then carefully releasing them into a protected environment.

The end product will be a thriving, expanding population of wild cranes. We'll be able to watch these majestic creatures naturally spreading out through the UK's wetlands, the habitat the RSPB devotes so much energy to conserving.

Donate now

Donating online is easy and ensures that more of your money is used for conservation.

Donate now

Or you can also donate by:

Telephone: Our Membership Services team can also take donations over the phone. Call 01767 693 680, 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday

Post: We can accept donations by cheque too. Please make cheques payable to The RSPB and send them to: The Great Crane Project, The RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL

Our target

With your help we need to raise £1,500,000

Why we need your help

We hope you'll want to play a part in helping this project succeed, so that the sight and sound of cranes can be enjoyed by people across the UK once more