If you are going to be travelling through or visiting the North Pennines in the coming months then please do be careful around wildlife.
This is an very important time for wildlife and livestock as well. Farm animals are rearing offspring and need attention and respect.
Drivers are are being asked to slow down by The North Pennines AONB Partnership – especially when near farms that have sheep with young lambs. In some areas of the North Pennines the sheep and lambs will go on the moors and roads freely. As well the breeding wading birds such as lapwing, redshank and curlew will be on the moors.
Chris Woodley-Stewart, the AONB Partnership’s Director, pointed out that often birds are attracted to moorland roadsides because they like to feed in the short grassland there.
“In the spring birds like lapwing also perform dramatic aerial displays during which they swoop and plunge while calling loudly. Unfortunately, lapwings can fly right in front of passing vehicles and every year many of these beautiful birds are killed when they collide with cars. If motorists drop their speed they will reduce the chances of this happening. As for a lamb, that’s someone’s livelihood grazing by the side of the road, and many are killed each year by drivers.”
As well, if you own a dog, the North Pennines AONB wants you to be careful, especially around breeding birds. Chris said that the North Pennines is an important habitat that provides nesting sites for many species that are rare elsewhere in the country – birds such as black grouse, grey partridge, snipe and curlew.
“Because they nest on the ground, these birds are vulnerable to being disturbed, injured or killed by dogs during the breeding season. When walking in heather, meadows, pastures or rough grazing where birds may be breeding, we’re appealing to people to put their dogs on a lead between March and July to help protect these precious birds.”