A conservation project helping to protect one of the UK’s rarest seabirds has suffered a major setback after around 50 nests were lost.
The Little Tern Recovery Project at Crimdon, which is run by the RSPB, was damaged on Friday, 16 June, with almost every nest devastated.
It is believed that someone may have entered the site with a dog or dogs and anyone who has seen any suspicious behaviour in the area or who knows anything about the incident should call 101 and report it to the police.
Durham County Council is one of ten partners involved in the project, offering protection for the birds which are a schedule 1 listed species due to their rarity.
Coralie Niven, Heritage Coast’s Crimdon Project Officer, said:
“This is a devastating incident and very disheartening given all the time and effort put into the project by staff and volunteers.
“We would urge people visiting the site not to get too close to the colony fence line as the birds are now a lot more easily disturbed.
“We hope the remaining nests will survive and that those who have lost nests will try again.”