July 19, 2024

A famous Denbighshire home for a colony of birds is ready for new arrivals.

Volunteers joined together with Denbighshire County Council’s Countryside Service staff to make ready the Gronant Little Terns colony site.

 

The Little Tern fly back to the area from West Africa at the end of April to bred at the nesting habitat the beach offers, a mix of shingle and sand.

Gronant beach near Prestatyn is the largest breeding colony found in Wales and known internationally as it contributes to over 10 percent of the entire UK breeding population as well as supplementing other Little Tern colonies.

For nearly 20 years, Denbighshire Countryside Services staff have led the way with support from partners in protecting the Gronant beach colony.

Last year a total of 209 fledglings were confirmed, the second highest recorded at Gronant.

Working alongside volunteers from the North Wales Little Tern Group, Countryside staff have prepared the area to encourage the birds flying in to breed in safety.

A 3.5km perimeter fence and three kilometres electric fence have been put up around the colony site to protect the birds from ground predation, these will be removed at the end of the breeding season to ensure a no trace policy on the area which is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Early May, the visitor centre near the site will be manned once again to also help monitor the progress of the colony and protect its occupants.

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We are so grateful for the volunteers for helping make ready the colony site for the little terns and especially for all the support they give to this important protect right through the season.

“Our Countryside teams also work incredible hard to protect this colony and maintain this biodiversity for the birds and together with the volunteers they can be immensely proud of what they do.”