During our monthly Wetland Bird Survey at the weekend, dirt bikes were seen driving among the dunes and along the sands at Goswick. The alarm was raised immediately, as this is against the law and can cause high disturbance to the breeding shorebirds not to mention huge damage to the fragile dune systems. We have a responsibility to prevent and report activities like these on our Reserve and the adjacent SSSIs, of which the dunes here are part.
Skylarks, meadow pipits and other birds are all busy raising chicks among the dunes right now - as you can imagine, nests and chicks are easily disturbed by nearby dirt bikes. On the shore and sands, this disturbs roosting and feeding birds and is also a nuisance through noise pollution and degrading the landscape's beauty. Responsible visitors come to the Reserve to enjoy the peace and quiet and don't tend to appreciate motorbikes roaring past! This can also be a public safety issue especially for children and dogs.
Damage to the dunes at Goswick
Although the dunes at Goswick, whilst a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), are not part of the Reserve itself, Natural England has a responsibility under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to ensure features of SSSIs are protected and managed.
This incident has been reported to local Police - luckily, this activity was witnessed but a lot of similar incidents are not. Please call the Natural England Lindisfarne NNR office on 01289 381470 if you see any incidents like off-road driving, or any other suspicious activity, on the Reserve and adjacent protected land.