Take care during lambing and nest building season

People enjoying the North Pennines countryside are being asked to take special care during spring, the critical time when both wildlife and farm livestock will be rearing their young.

Dead redshank in road. Pic NPAP/Rebecca Barrett

Dead redshank in road. Pic NPAP/Rebecca Barrett

The North Pennines AONB Partnership is appealing to drivers to slow down for sheep with young lambs which wander the moors and roads freely, and for the breeding wading birds such as lapwing, redshank and curlew.

Chris Woodley-Stewart, the AONB Partnership’s Director said: “Often the birds are attracted to moorland roadsides because they like to feed in the short grassland there.

“In the spring birds like lapwing also perform dramatic aerial displays during which they swoop and plunge while calling loudly.

“Unfortunately lapwings can fly right in front of passing vehicles and every year many of these beautiful birds are killed when they collide with cars.

“If motorists drop their speed they will reduce the chances of this happening.

Dog owners should also take care

“As for a lamb, that’s someone’s livelihood grazing by the side of the road, and many are killed each year by drivers.”

Dog owners are also asked to be particularly vigilant where breeding birds are concerned.

Mr Woodley-Stewart adds: “The North Pennines also provide important nesting sites for many species that are rare elsewhere in the country – birds like black grouse, grey partridge, snipe and curlew.

Because they nest on the ground, these birds are vulnerable to being disturbed, injured or killed by dogs during the breeding season.

When walking in heather, meadows, pastures or rough grazing where birds may be breeding, we’re appealing to people to put their dogs on a lead between March and July to help protect these precious birds.”

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