Volunteers needed in Seaton Carew to help rare little tern seabird during nesting season

  • Report by Katie Cole

Durham Wildlife Trust are looking for volunteers in Seaton Carew to help one of the UK's rarest seabirds, the little tern, during nesting season.

Wildlife teams have been putting up fences and signage on the beach in Seaton Carew to create a protected area for the birds for their arrival in May.

A spokesperson from Durham Wildlife Trust said: "Usually our fences are just posts and string, that's all we've ever used.

"This year we've decided to put up a chestnut paling fence because it offers [Little Terns] more protection."

She added: "They are our smallest seabird. They are one of our rarest seabirds, and they are amazing to watch."

The little terns have migrated to the North East beach from Gambia, West Africa, every spring for the last five years, after being moved on by crows at Crimdon just down the Durham coast.

There are only 1,900 pairs nesting at fewer than 60 sites across the UK.

Their numbers have seriously declined in recent years as they struggle to find safe beaches to nest and feed their young.

Volunteers are needed to prevent the birds from being disturbed by human visitors - or by local foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and birds of prey - which might eat their eggs and chicks.