ELECTRICAL fences have been put in place to protect the Little Tern colony near Prestatyn.

Denbighshire Countryside Service staff have been working at Gronant Dunes to install the electric fenced pens, whilst adhering to social distancing measures.

This comes after the dainty seabirds were disturbed by off-roading vehicles; quad bikes have been driving over vital shingle nesting habitat.

Cllr Tony Thomas, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “The Little Tern colony at Gronant is one of Denbighshire’s most important habitants and I’m pleased this work has been carried out to protect it.“Over the last 20 years the hard work and dedication of Countryside Services and an army of volunteers has paid off and it is now the most successful colony in the UK.

“Last year, 206 fledglings and 166 breeding pairs of little terns nested in Gronant and I would urge members of the public to ensure they are considerate of the habitant and don’t disturb the birds.

“If left unprotected there is a real danger the little terns could be disturbed to an extent where they do not return and this iconic species is lost from Wales forever.”

Gronant is Wales’ only breeding colony of little terns.

The colony will continue to be monitored with a staff presence throughout the season, which runs from May to late July.

Countryside Service is working with North Wales Police to prevent further damage.