Pub­lic re­sponse to RSPB ap­peal se­cures Scot­tish site for na­ture

Bird Watching (UK) - - News -

RSPB Scot­land has an­nounced that a crit­i­cal site on the Sol­way Firth has been se­cured for na­ture. More than 40,000 Sval­bard Bar­na­cle Geese mi­grate to this area ev­ery year, with a quar­ter of these set­tling at Merse­head RSPB. In Oc­to­ber 2016, the con­ser­va­tion char­ity launched an ap­peal to raise £285,000 in just one month to ex­pand Merse­head by 112 hectares and make an even big­ger home for the geese, and other wildlife through­out the year. The pub­lic re­sponse to the ap­peal was out­stand­ing, with many species set to ben­e­fit from the in­ter­con­nected habi­tats cre­ated. Merse­head is home to the only Scot­tish pop­u­la­tion of the coun­try’s rarest am­phib­ian, Nat­ter­jack Toads, plus Yel­lowham­mers, Lin­nets and Lap­wings, and in au­tumn and win­ter it has Teal, Wi­geon, Oys­ter­catch­ers, Golden Plovers and Curlews. Over the next two years, RSPB Scot­land will be work­ing to re­store the spe­cial salt­marsh and sand dune habi­tats on the new part of the re­serve. This will cre­ate more nest­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for birds such as Red­shanks and Sky Larks. Vis­i­tors will be able to fur­ther im­merse them­selves in the na­ture rich Sol­way Firth through new ac­cess trails.

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