Public response to RSPB appeal secures Scottish site for nature
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.