THE work of protecting the Little Tern colony at Gronant has carried on over recent months, despite the covid-19 outbreak, with Denbighshire Countryside Service introducing safe working measures to protect the colony from human disturbance, predation and extreme weather events.

Now a video, narrated by naturalist Iolo Williams has been produced to highlight the great conservation work going on at the location and charts the history of the five year project from its start to present times.

The colony, the last remaining one of its kind in Wales, is amongst only a few colonies across the UK implementing protection for the little terns this season, making our efforts more important than ever. It is of vital importance that we continue to protect the last little tern colony in Wales, despite these exceptional circumstances faced during 2020.

The work is carried out by wardens with support from volunteers, but due to the covid -19 restrictions, staff from Denbighshire Countryside Services have taken over warden duties. To date, the counts of birds has been 300+, with 172 nests created and many chicks are now appearing.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “At the very beginning of the season, fencing was put in by 3 members of staff whilst working at a safe distance and implementing sanitation procedures to prevent any potential cross contamination. In total we managed to construct 7 pens, with 2 additional areas of strap fencing which encapsulate areas of prime breeding habitat.

“The team has faced a number of challenges, including quad bike users tearing up the nesting areas of shingle, then came the storms and high tides that washed away some of the nests, and there is the constant threat of predation from foxes and kestrels. These issues have been addressed as best possible by the small team, through police involvement, repairs to fencing under difficult conditions, and having a daily warden presence to ward off predators and intrusive humans.

“It is on track for being a good season for the colony, thanks to the great efforts of Denbighshire Countryside Service staff. They have overcome this year’s challenges with the usual enthusiasm, willingness and a clear focus on protecting the Little Tern colony for future generations.

“And what better way to celebrate the work on the project to date than having it documented on video. The footage shows the little tern in its habitat and speaks with volunteers that have been involved in the ground-breaking project. We hope people enjoy the film and get a real taste of the project and the honour we have in Denbighshire of being involved in such great conservation work."

The video can be found at: