Plight of Norfolk’s little terns highlighted in free boat trip at Blakeney

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 June 2014 | UPDATED: 11:45 30 June 2014

A Little Tern nesting on Gt. Yarmouth beach. Picture: Keiron Tovell

A Little Tern nesting on Gt. Yarmouth beach. Picture: Keiron Tovell


A rare chattering seabird which migrates to parts of Norfolk to raise its young is under threat from walkers who stray too close to breeding colonies.

The little tern, which chooses some of the county’s shingle beaches to lay and incubate eggs, can become disturbed by walkers and fly off leaving its young vulnerable to predators.

And to highlight their plight, the National Trust has organised a Blakeney boat trip, allowing bird enthusiasts to spot the little terns feeding out at sea.

Although a trip planned for Friday was cancelled due to bad weather, the trust has re-arranged the trip and has called for the public to attend.

Seasonal ranger Paul Nichols said the trip was to highlight the colony and aimed to stop the decline in the little terns. He said: “We are hoping to gain public awareness to make people aware of the issues and dangers facing the little terns.

“They need quiet shingle beaches with little vegetation, but all their favourite places are places people like.

“We are trying to give them a bit more space as the eggs are very small and will crack easily. If you see fences around an area with little terns, give them a wide berth. Every year we get people who will walk through the fences.”

To take part in the free boat trip visit the National Trust Blakeney website over the next two weeks.

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1 comment

  • Whoever is managing the Horsey Estate at the moment- National Trust etc-doing a brilliant job on land, masses of swallowtails this week. But by jove they have made a horrendous error in improving access to and opening up all year round the car park for Horsey Beach. This was once a matter of walking some distance or risking your car's suspension but now every man jack and his kids and dogs can access the beach easily and bring all their noise and ignorance to a formerly very quiet place-meaning seals, nesting birds like terns and the beach flora are disturbed and churned up. This beach should have been kept as limited access to protect the northern ends of Winterton beach and Horsey itself. If it takes a bit of effort to get there, then it might command more respect. There is plenty of space at Hemsby and Sea Palling for the sorts who dont like to walk more than a few yards from their cars or who think their dogs are gods. Years ago north Winterton beach used to have a huge colony of nesting terns.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, June 30, 2014

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