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Read by Charley
Conservation can take many different forms and the AWT pursues them all as much as possible. For example:
The ringed plovers nest on Platte Saline beach where disturbance from humans and dogs is a problem. So to protect the nests the AWT launched a public awareness campaign asking residents and tourists to consider these birds when using the beach.
Using signs, news articles and radio presentations, the importance of protecting a ringed plover population of just a couple of nests was highlighted to the community in an effort to get a consensual agreement to the minimal disturbance to these birds during the breeding season
Historically humans have destroyed many habitats to utilise the materials they produce. This is most obvious in the chopping down of forests and woodland. The Alderney Community Woodland is a project to restore this habitat to Alderney and increase our islands diversity. With over 10,000 trees planted since 2010 the AWT are very proud of this project and manage the site carefully to encourage the growth of the trees into a mature woodland.
Longis nature reserve is managed by the AWT to encourage the diversity and spread of wildlife. Invasive plant species, such as Hottentot Fig, are removed whilst a grazing project is carried out to control the bracken and manage the grassland.
The freshwater ponds are monitored, reedbeds planted and habitat expanded to increase the space for a diverse range of wildlife.
The Ramsar site is also a nature reserve and to protect our seabirds Burhou is closed to visitors on land during the whole breeding season.
These efforts, and so many more, are the work of the AWT staff and many willing volunteers. We are proud of our achievements, learn from our mistakes, and are always trying our hardest to help wildlife in a world that has been greatly impacted by the presence of humans. But it is not just the work of local organisations that are important, conservation must occur on a much larger scale to help wildlife and we will learn about this next week.
Back on Monday we went to check on the progress of our common tern colony. Whilst most of the nests still contain eggs there are a few that have started to hatch.
This is always an amazing thing to see and shows that our common terns are progressing in their season. They are later than last year though, when at this time all the chicks were about ready to fledge rather than just hatching. So hopefully this year they will catch up over the coming few weeks and successfully raise their chicks. However, some of the nests have been on time this year and there were 5 large chicks ready to fledge.
Even though they are a bit late this year it is still great to get to see the colony develop, especially when we can catch on camera the first steps on a very young chick!