Welcome to our new online toolkit and website. We hope this will provide a handy one-stop-shop for all of your information needs about the marine environment along the Berwickshire and Northumberland coast. The site is intended as a working tool to help those organisations undertaking management of our inshore waters and we welcome feedback on its content and ease of use. Please contact us if you have any queries about the content or suggestions about how it can be improved. The creation of the toolkit has been made possible by a Resilient Heritage grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, whose support we gratefully acknowledge. Thank you also to Northumberland IFCA for administrating the HLF, to Natural England for the additional funds towards costs of the site, and to the many people who made their photographs available for use: Paula Lightfoot, Iain Robson, Tom Cadwallender, The National Trust for Scotland, Stuart Pudney, Natural England, The National Trust, The Environment Agency, James Kitson, Max Kelly, Visit Berwickshire Coast, NIFCA, Kelsey Potlock, and Rory Lane.
At this time of year large numbers waders, wildfowl, ducks and geese are returning from their breeding grounds so that they can spend the winter resting and feeding on our coast. Some of these bird species, such as greylag goose, sanderling, purple sandpiper, redshank and dunlin, are here in internationally significant numbers. It is important to remember that coastal birds use up a lot of energy during these cold, short, winter days and so are particularly sensitive to disturbance. Having to move or fly off to avoid people or dogs can use up valuable energy reserves and reduce the short time available for them to feed. It may take them many hours to make up the energy lost, which ultimately lowers their chances of surviving through to their summer migration.
If you are out on the coast over the winter months then these simple guidelines will help you protect any birds that you see:
● Look out for any feeding or resting birds and take care not to disturb them
● If birds appear become alert and stop feeding then move further away
● Keep dogs away from coastal birds, putting your dog on a lead if necessary
Conservation Advice packages for the Farne Islands Special Protection Area (SPA), the Aln Estuary Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ), and the Coquet to St Mary’s MCZ have recently been published by Natural England.
Theses draft Advice Packages can be used to assess the impacts of ongoing or proposed management activities and include information about:
- Designated or qualifying features
- Habitats and species that they are dependent on and where they occur
- Conservation objectives
- Minimum targets each feature needs to achieve to meet the conservation objectives
- Features which may be sensitive to human activity
- Condition of the designated or qualifying features
- The evidence-base used to create the advice
All of the published Advice Packages for the Northumberland coast can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/northern-north-sea-marine-area-index-map-and-site-packages