Northumberland beach users asked to watch out for nesting birds
Beach users along the Northumberland coastline are being asked to tread carefully because of nesting waders
Signs have been placed along beaches warning people of nests which may be difficult to see. Ringed Plovers nest on sandy and shingle beaches, making them vulnerable to walkers and dogs who can often disturb them without realising.
Breeding Ringed Plovers can be severely disturbed by dogs on beaches (Damian Money).
Last year 14 chicks successfully fledged from the nest protection areas on the county's coast. Senior wildlife ranger Richard Willis said: "Disturbance and trampling are serious threats to these birds and so it is vital that we provide fenced refuges where they can safely nest and we ask everyone to give these areas lots of space, especially if a dog is present."
Local residents and volunteers are supporting the Space for Shorebirds campaign by keeping rangers informed of nesting sites so they can be given protection once the season gets under way.