The launch of this year’s Operation Seabird took place on Thursday 14th April, with organisations across the Yorkshire, Humber and Lincolnshire coast coming together to raise awareness of our spectacular wildlife.
First launched in August 2020 on the Flamborough Headland, the Humber Nature Partnership will be supporting this day of action, as the coastline prepares for the Easter break. The day will involved visible police patrols along the Humber Estuary European Marine Site to look out for disturbance and antisocial behaviour, and offer advice to visitors about how they can minimise their impact on our coastal wildlife.
Regarded as one of the most important estuaries in Europe for its wildlife and habitats, the Humber Estuary is home to a number of protected bird species and vital habitats. During the spring and summer months, the reedbeds and shingle on the beaches support elusive and sometimes rare species such as Bittern, Marsh Harrier and Little Tern during their breeding season. Over the autumn and winter months, the land and skies around the Humber Estuary fill with migrating birds such as Pink-Footed Geese, with the rich and fertile habitat providing a welcome food source after their long journey from Scandinavia, Iceland and beyond.
Humber Nature Partnership (which includes local authorities along the Humber and Lincolnshire Coast, Natural England, Environment Agency, RSPB, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and many other stakeholders) unfortunately received nearly 100 reports of wildlife disturbance from members of the public during 2021. Many of these incidents were likely by people who did not know they were causing an issue such as impacting breeding success or overall health of these legally protected species and habitats.
More information about how to responsibly enjoy our great outdoors can be found on Countryside Code (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code/the-countryside-code-advice-for-countryside-visitors) or the Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership website (https://ymnp.org.uk/discover/caring-for-our-coast/)