Partnership work benefits reserve

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Partnership working with the police is helping a north Northumberland nature reserve to protect its wildlife.

Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve (NNR) stretches from Cheswick Black Rocks in the north down to Budle Bay in the south.

It includes special habitats and is an important haven for birds which use the sand dunes and shore to breed.

Natural England, which manages the reserve, is putting every effort into ensuring our wildlife and coast are protected throughout the year and during the important shorebird breeding season from April until August.

This year, in addition to other areas, the reserve has more fenced protection at Goswick Sands. Alongside this, there are new dedicated shorebird wardens who have been out and about talking to the public and keeping a close eye on the reserves important coastal habitats and birds.

Natural England’s reserve warden for Lindisfarne NNR, Mhairi Maclauchlan, said: “There are a couple of issues which, without a doubt, affect our breeding shorebirds particularly at Goswick Sands.

“Dogs off leads can be an issue as shorebirds nest in exposed areas and even a well-behaved dog can cause birds to lift and expose eggs and chicks to all sorts of dangers.

“Many people don’t realise that the reserve has bye-laws, one of which includes keeping dogs on a lead or close at heel.

“Illegal off-road driving can also be an issue as it destroys habitats and disturbs wildlife. However, with support from the police and local residents, we are tackling this issue.”

Northumbria Police’s Insp Davy Garrick said: “Northumbria Police officers are working with partner agencies and members of the community to gather information and intelligence about any activity which adversely affects wildlife and the environment.”