Farmers can help save our wading birds

Numbers of wading birds such as  lapwing have declined significantly, due in part to a reduction in suitable feeding and nesting habitat.
Numbers of wading birds such as lapwing have declined significantly, due in part to a reduction in suitable feeding and nesting habitat.

A project to improve wading bird numbers in the Borders is being funded by the Quixwood Moor wind farm operators NTR plc.

Tweed Forum has been commissioned by Scottish Borders Council to work with farmers particularly in the northern and eastern Borders to identify upland sites suitable for the creation and management of an environment featuring ponds and wader scrapes, that will help wading birds - curlew, lapwing, snipe, oystercatcher and redshank - to thrive.

The RSPB is providing expert advice on creating optimum habitat conditions such as rush-cutting, and participating farmers will get advice on grazing management to support wading birds.

A recent report identified significant problems for wading birds in Scotland and Derek Robeson of Tweed Forum said: “The full reasons aren’t clear, but are believed to include climate change, predation and the loss of appropriate habitat.”

Andy Tharme, SBC’s ecology officer, said: “This partnership project has been developed to help off-set impacts of a wind farm but we hope it will grow into a region-wide initiative.”