New RSPB partnership aims to safeguard future of Scroby Sands wildlife

RSPB regional director, James Robinson, left, and lead warden Danny Hercock, right, with E.ON Scroby

RSPB regional director, James Robinson, left, and lead warden Danny Hercock, right, with E.ON Scroby Sands Wind Farm plant manager, Peter Lawson, on Great Yarmouth beach as the two organisations get together in a scheme to monitor and promote the wildlife of Scroby Sands. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Since re-emerging from the sea less than 20 years ago it has become known for its flocks of birds and colonies of seals. Now, a new partnership is hoping to safeguard the future of wildlife on Scroby Sands, the piece of land just off the shore of Great Yarmouth, which has been nicknamed the 'jack in the box island'.

Scroby sands 5 Jan 2017. Pictured: Several hundred seals, many with young that have survived the win

Scroby sands 5 Jan 2017. Pictured: Several hundred seals, many with young that have survived the winter storms. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

Conservation charity the RSPB has paired up with energy company E-on - which operates a wind farm just off Scroby Sands - to ensure protection is there for species making use of the island - in particular little terns.

The partnership aims to raise awareness of the wildlife there and educate people on how they can help protect it.

James Robinson, regional RSPB director, said: 'When Scroby Sands started to re-appear we soon noticed it was very special.

'We realised many of the little terns that had previously nested on North Denes were going there, so it is becoming a really important place for wildlife.

Late afternoon light brings highlights some of Norfolk's sites seen from the air. Seals on Scroby sa

Late afternoon light brings highlights some of Norfolk's sites seen from the air. Seals on Scroby sands. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk


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'It's important not only for little terns, but also for seals, so we knew we needed to do everything we could to protect this wonderful wildlife spectacle.'

The island has become home to hundreds of the vulnerable birds, as well as welcoming thousands of grey seals, as seen earlier this year in a spectacular overhead photograph taken by Mike Page.

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It has also greeted a number of other species of tern, such as the common, sandwich and roseate.

The partnership will see E-on's visitor centre utilised, to allow the RSPB to spread tips and advice on how best to conserve the species living on Scroby Sands.

The Scroby Sands Wind Farm off Great Yarmouth beach where E.ON and the RSPB are working together to

The Scroby Sands Wind Farm off Great Yarmouth beach where E.ON and the RSPB are working together to monitor and promote the wildlife on the Sands. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Dr Robinson added: 'We always look to engage with local businesses, communities and the public in our work so this is an ideal way for us to do this.

'Scroby Sands is providing a really safe place for both terns and seals, so it's increasingly important it gets the protection it needs.'

Peter Lawson, plant manager of E-on's Scroby Sands wind farm, said: 'We are really looking forward to protecting wildlife through our visitor centre, so this partnership will be very important.

'On the site we take a great deal of interest in wildlife, and they take interest in us too - we often see seals poking their heads up to watch us work.'

The Little Terns on Yarmouth Beach are later than in previous years with only a few pairs starting t

The Little Terns on Yarmouth Beach are later than in previous years with only a few pairs starting to breed.Some Little Terns on the beach at Yarmouth. Picture: Adam Scorey Copy: Emily Dennis For:EDP/Gym News © EDP pics 2004 Tel: (01603) 772434 - Credit: ©EDP pics 2004 (01603) 772434

To find out more about little tern conservation, visit www.littleternproject.org.

The seals and cormorants at Scroby Sands
Pictures: Mike Page

The seals and cormorants at Scroby Sands Pictures: Mike Page - Credit: Archant

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