- On 4th March 2019
- In Ecology, Engineering
- By William Coulet
Our company policy is Working with Nature and focus on ecology. This is why we are working with the RSPB to support the endangered Little Tern population in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex by combining our innovative GeoBlock Research and Development experience with the RSPB’s knowledge of Little Tern Conservation work.
One of the major problems for Little Terns is the declining suitable breeding habitat, that determines their breeding success. Typically, Little Terns return to the same nest site each year, but their nests are often located in vulnerable areas and washed away by the increasingly common storm surges or overgrown by vegetation. Since suitable habitat is reducing in availability, their odds of breeding success are no longer good enough to sustain the population.
We are currently working on an artificial nest created out of stabilised dredged sediment which will raise the nest above the reach of high tides, make available suitable substrate and prevent vegetation from growing through it. We have presented our initial designs with great success at the 2018 Little Tern Conference in Norwich and worked further with the Essex Little Tern Group to perfect the design. A pilot trial is due this 2019 breeding season. The sites have been carefully selected based on drone surveys from last October (exo-env.co.uk/rspb-colne-and-blackwater-surveys), so fingers crossed for some little tern chicks!