News article

Council steps up protection for ‘red list’ birds on St Mary’s Lands

Alarmed by the rapid decline in their numbers both locally and nationally, Warwick District Council, is taking urgent measures to protect nesting Skylarks and Meadow Pipits on St Mary’s Lands.

Recent reports in the national media (Times, BBC 4.3.21), have highlighted the concerns of conservationists, that these species who nest in low grass, could be wiped out altogether, due to the increased numbers of eggs being trampled or disturbed by dogs. This is a particular problem in parkland areas which have been heavily used by dog-walkers during the lockdowns.

A Local Wildlife Evaluation of St Mary’s Lands undertaken in 2011 and an Ecology Study performed in 2019 have shown a 25% decrease in pairs of Skylarks and a 40% reduction in Meadow Pipits. Further estimates taken during 2020/21 have indicated a further decline.

The Council is hoping that the installation of temporary barriers on a small area of the Warwick public space during the current bird nesting season, will help to protect these ground nesting birds during the crucial breeding time.

The fencing and signage will be in place until the end of the nesting season.