Fencing will protect nesting birds

FENCING has been put up at a nature reserve to protect ground-nesting birds who could abandon their chicks if disturbed.People walking at Felixstowe's Landguard Nature Reserve are being asked to be extra vigilant and to keep dogs on a short lead when approaching the beach at the far end of the peninsula.

FENCING has been put up at a nature reserve to protect ground-nesting birds who could abandon their chicks if disturbed.

People walking at Felixstowe's Landguard Nature Reserve are being asked to be extra vigilant and to keep dogs on a short lead when approaching the beach at the far end of the peninsula.

The work - carried out by a team of volunteers organised by Landguard project officer Esther Mander and including Suffolk Coastal rangers, volunteers from Greenways and members of the Landguard Partnership - will protect ringed plovers, oystercatchers, shelducks and meadow pipits.

Council cabinet member Mary Neale said: “The safe area will be made as attractive as possible to the birds, but this is no guarantee that they will decide to lay their eggs within it.

“The fence will not obscure the view, so visitors will still be able to enjoy Landguard Nature Reserve and could even catch a glimpse of the birds and their offspring.

“If they feel threatened, birds will fly away and leave their eggs or chicks behind, which is why it is important for members of the public to be aware that birds could be nesting in the nature reserve at any point along the shore, and to behave considerately when they are on the beach, particularly when approaching the fenced-off nesting area.”

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There has been a marked decline in the number of ground-nesting birds in Suffolk, but the Landguard Partnership is hoping the site will in time become an established nesting site.