A group of farmers is celebrating their efforts to give nature a home - following the arrival of around 40 baby lapwings at Newton Marsh, near Preston.
The three farmers, Tom Benson, George Rhodes and Harry Hall, are delighted with the lapwings’ breeding success, after their work to help the birds while continuing to carry out traditional farming activities.
As members of the Freckleton and Newton Marsh Owners’ Association, the farmers manage Newton Marsh, a protected place which provides an important home for wading birds, like the lapwings.
In a bid to monitor the birds’ progress, the RSPB employed Kathryn Newton to keep a close eye on the lapwings, with the help of a small team of local volunteers.
This work has been funded by Biffa Award, a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK.
Kathryn has recorded 45 nesting pairs of lapwings on the site, which is protected from ground predators, such as foxes, by a high-powered electric fence.
Kathryn said: “It’s been so fascinating and a privilege to monitor this whole nesting process and I am thrilled that the lapwings have had such a fantastic breeding season.”
Marsh manager Tom Benson added: “We are very pleased that we are able to help provide a home for the birds whilst carrying on with our traditional farming activities.
“There have always been lapwings on the marsh and we want to make sure that there always will be.”
Lapwings are found on farmland throughout the UK particularly in lowland areas of northern England, the Borders and eastern Scotland.
In the breeding season prefer spring sown cereals, root crops, permanent unimproved pasture, meadows and fallow fields.
They can also be found on wetlands with short vegetation. In winter they flock on pasture and ploughed fields.
The highest known winter concentrations of lapwings are found at the Somerset Levels, Humber and Ribble estuaries, Breydon Water/Berney Marshes, the Wash, and Morecambe Bay.