Over the last two weeks, Ajay and Jo have been working on a little tern decoy project with nearby Holy Island and Lowick First Schools. This started with a talk about the challenges that little terns face (predation, disturbance, the elements), followed by practical decoy-making sessions.
Because the beaches where little terns chose to nest are vulnerable to tidal flooding, this year decoys will be used to attract the birds to safe places to nest on Lindisfarne NNR. This has been done successfully in the past on the Reserve by Andrew. Local potter Ian Kille has kindly been experimenting with clay to create some brilliant decoys and has fired the decoys made by the children of Holy Island and Lowick First Schools.
The schoolchildren, aged 4 to 8, have been making and painting clay decoys whilst learning about the terns and the importance of Lindisfarne NNR (one of just two breeding sites in Northumberland). Their decoys will be put on the beach in the coming weeks and the children will have a follow-up guided walk in the summer when they undertake their beach clean at Sandham Bay.