Volunteers wanted to survey wading birds in Dales

A curlew on Redshaw Moss.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) is looking for volunteers to boost wildlife conservation efforts by carrying out surveys of wading birds this spring.

People who come forward will get the opportunity to visit local farms to record the number of waders – such as curlew, snipe, lapwing and redshank – present in specified fields or areas of land.

The YDNPA will use the survey results to help farmers who are applying to be part of Countryside Stewardship agri-environment schemes, which are administered by Natural England.

A training day for volunteers will be held in Wensleydale, on Sunday, April 7.  The survey work itself will involve three visits to each farm, the first between 17 April and 8 May, the second between 9 May and 29 May, and the third between 30 May and 19 June.

Prospective volunteers are invited to contact YDNPA Wildlife Conservation Officer Ian Court on 01756 751602 or ian.court@yorkshiredales.org.uk  for full details, including the venue and time of the training day.

Ian Court said:  “We have a priority list of farms to survey, where current agri-environment scheme agreements are coming up for renewal.  The more volunteers we have, the more farms we can survey.

“And ultimately the more farms we can survey, the more land will end up being managed to benefit these birds.

“People can make a real difference to wildlife conservation by becoming a volunteer.”

He added:  “A number of breeding wader species are undergoing significant population declines in both the UK and elsewhere in Europe. This makes the relatively stable populations in the Dales nationally important.”