These elegant seabirds which come to the UK to breed after wintering in Europe and Africa, have sadly suffered large declines in numbers in recent years, due to a lack of food availability for their chicks, a loss of the coastal sites they need to nest in, and disturbance by human activity. RSPB Hodbarrow is a stronghold for them in Cumbria, along with the Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Foulney Island reserve.
The event therefore aims to celebrate these remarkable species in the area and highlight how people can help them. A variety of activities will be included throughout the site to keep the whole family entertained such as bug hunting, pond-dipping, tern-themed crafts and badge-making.
Expert guides will be on hand both in the hide and along the seawall to show visitors the incredible 1800 pairs of Sandwich terns that are nesting this year, and help them discover more about these birds and the other wildlife that calls Hodbarrow home. The Cumbria Wildlife Trust will also be attending with information and marine-themed activities
Mhairi Maclauchlan, RSPB Warden at Hodbarrow said: “Following a very successful breeding season for these special seabirds that nested here last year, it is looking like we’re in for another good year in 2018. We want to show what a fantastic home for nature Hodbarrow is and encourage the public to get involved. From birds to toads and bugs to wildflowers, the site is an ideal place to experience wildlife. Our seabird celebration offers families the chance to discover more to the weird and wonderful creatures that live here and uncover what makes Hodbarrow such an important place.”
Pete Jones, Reserves Officer at Cumbria Wildlife Trust looks after Foulney Island Nature Reserve, along with seasonal warden Alice Brooke. They will both be on hand at the tern celebration event to welcome visitors.
Pete said: “We’re delighted to be joining the RSPB for a celebration of the wonderful terns we have nesting on these two sites. We’ll be running a variety of activities throughout the day, including some fun marine-themed arts and crafts, ideal for all the family. We look forward to seeing you there!”
The seabird celebration will take place from 11am-3pm and is free entry. Donations are welcome for the activities.
For more details on wildlife spectacles and facilities at the nature reserve, visit rspb.org.uk/hodbarrow