Essex Wildlife Trust launches beach-nesting birds campaign


Essex Wildlife Trust (EWT) has launched a new campaign to raise awareness about sensitive beach-nesting species in the county.

Called Share our Shores, it has been set up by the trust, Bird Aware Essex and the RSPB.

EWT said beach-nesting birds such as Ringed Plover, Eurasian Oystercatcher and Little Tern have been facing declines since the 1980s.

Ground-nesting species such as Eurasian Oystercatcher are prone to disturbance on beaches (Chris Miles).


Birds on the beach

The public has been urged to follow simple guidelines so that nesting birds can lay their eggs and raise chicks safely. They include:

  • Know where the birds are – be aware of the main nesting sites;
  • Respect zoned-off areas;
  • Back away if you see a beach-nesting bird.

Camouflaged eggs can be trampled underfoot, the charity explained, and the risk of disturbance increases in summer as beach-goers head to the coast.


Supporting wildlife

Adam Nixon, EWT coastal ranger, said: "We monitor our beach-nesting bird populations closely each year because they are so vulnerable to human and natural pressures.

"Seeing the first few chicks tottering along the Essex coastline is a special sight and we want to give these chicks the best chance at surviving.

"It's almost impossible to spot a nest on the beach sometimes, so respecting our Share our Shores signs and spreading the word is a great way to support wildlife."