CONCERNS have been voiced that a rare little terns site is being disturbed by off-road vehicles.

North Wales Police Rural Crime team had to pay a second visit to the Gronant dunes, located between Prestatyn and Talacre, following reports of people off-roading on motorbikes.

Little terns come to the UK every year from West Africa to breed in Gronant.

There is also fears the fragile habitat is being damaged.

Henry Cook, media officer for the North Wales Little Tern Group, said: "It is critical off-roading doesn't occur here because this is one of the most fragile ecosystems in Wales and can't tolerate being churned up by bikes.

"The area is heavily protected in law because the site is home to the last Little Tern colony in Wales and all the other wildlife that lives there including rare Sand Lizards and nocturnal Natterjack Toads. Not only that, but under current pandemic conditions off-roading is very irresponsible behaviour and taking precious police resources up when they could be spent elsewhere.

"We are pleased the rural crime team are taking the threat seriously," Henry added.

"However. The Little Terns have been seen back in the area but we are asking people to not visit for the time-being.

"We will be ready and raring to go to help them once lockdown conditions are lifted."

The beach at Gronant offers a good nesting habitat for little terns as it is made up of a shingle and sand in areas.

With the current Covid-19 pandemic, volunteers are unable to be part of efforts to protect Little Terns at Gronant. Wardens remain on site but are adhering to social distancing rules.

A spokesperson from the Rural Crime Team said they would be stepping up patrols in the area.

The team described the incident as ‘selfish behaviour.’

“They [the offenders] are not only ignoring Covid-19 rules but committing wildlife offences,” they added.