The Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) was once a common farmland bird species.
In recent decades the habitat types that Lapwings rely on have been lost from the Welsh landscape, resulting in a drastic decline in the breeding population of Lapwing in Wales.
In the mid-1990s Parc Slip Nature Reserve had up to nineteen breeding pairs of Lapwing. In the spring of 2014, just one pair of Lapwing nested at the reserve and although the pair had two broods, none of the chicks fledged to adulthood.
Over the past two years, the staff and volunteers at Parc Slip have been working hard to increase and improve nesting and foraging habitat for Lapwing at Parc Slip.
Key tasks included:
ï) Scrub removal to reduce perches for aerial predators
ï) Introduction of Highland Cattle to graze the fields
ï) Creation of pools and scrapes to provide feeding habitat
ï) Creation of shingle banks for nesting sites
ï) Installation of 1,000 metres of electric anti-predator fencing
ï) Over 350 volunteer hours on the project over 2 years
The next stage of our project is to create an artificial floating island on the Northern Wetlands lake at Parc Slip to provide nesting sites for Lapwings.
They are made from floating materials and can be topped with cockleshells, shingle, or short turf. Small ledges on the raft would prevent other birds such as Canada geese from swimming onto the raft and taking up all the nesting space.
The Lapwing rafts would provide a safe, isolated area for the nests and eggs, where land-based predators would be unable to gain access. By nesting together on the raft, the Lapwings would be able to mob aerial predators and might have a better chance at warding them off.
The cost to create and install a Lapwing Raft is £2,000.
Could you help us raise this money to provide valuable safe nesting places for Lapwings at Parc Slip?
Please get in touch on 01656 724100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Anything you can give will help. Thank you.