Protection zone to boost beach-nesting Ringed Plovers


South Tyneside Council is asking beach users along the Durham coastline to tread carefully to avoid disturbing nesting waders.

The council has established a temporary protection zone on Jackie's Beach in Whitburn in response to concerns over nesting Ringed Plovers. Fencing and signs have been put up as part of the conservation project, with a team of volunteers also working to engage with beach-goers.

Breeding Ringed Plovers can be severely disturbed by dogs on beaches (Damian Money).

The area is known for having multiple pairs breed each year but, due to disturbance, most chicks do not survive. New signs request people to stay away from fencing on the beach and keep dogs on leads.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, lead member for neighbourhoods, said: "It is important that we provide this wildlife with space, reducing our disturbance, so we can enjoy the wildlife from a distance. Although protected within the fence, disturbance can cause parents to abandon the eggs so please give the fenced area lots of space."

Northumberland County Council began a similar project in May.