Monday, 4 April 2016

EU Life+ Shorebird project

The second of Chantal' s (EU Life+ project co-ordinator) blogs. This one looks at the EU Life+ project and what we are doing this year to help give shorebirds a fighting chance on the coast.
This will be the third summer of the Northumberland Little tern project which is an ongoing 5 year project. Our focus this year is to continue fencing off current and new nesting sites with electric netting and also ropes to protect and offer the breeding shorebirds with protected and safe areas to choose from. In April, Lindisfarne NNR and National Trust Long Nanny site with additional assistance from the project shall begin to put our fencing up on beaches along with signage informing the public of these nesting sites.
Electric netting on the beach also look out for blue rope barriers.
Fencing is a valuable method of protecting breeding areas as it not only prevents human disturbance and predators on established sites; it also provides the new nesting opportunities for breeding terns and other shorebirds such as ringed plover to nest. As a result of fencing off a potential site in 2014, there were three pairs of little terns observed prospecting the new area in 2015. The creation of new nesting areas is one of the main criteria’s of the Little Tern Recovery Project and hopefully in the future, this addition will provide little terns with the option of nesting across five potential sites on the Northumberland Coast.         
Signs are put on the beach to help inform the public about sensitive areas.
For people who are out walking their dogs on the beach in the summer, please be aware that they need to be kept under control either on lead or at heel as many of our beach nesting birds are disturbed by dogs near their nests and chicks. Check out our very effective ‘Sharing our beaches with Birds’ leaflet downloadable from the blog page for more information when visiting our coast.

Volunteers and staff are out on the beach from May through to August speaking to the public.

During the breeding season, Lindisfarne NNR and The National trust have a dedicated team of wardens and volunteers who monitor the nesting birds, engaging and raise public awareness along the Northumberland Coast. Without these hard-working folk, we wouldn’t be able to protect these breeding shorebirds and if are interested in joining our team of volunteers, please contact us via email:

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