Space for Shorebirds

Purple sandpipers

Space for Shorebirds

The Northumberland Coast is a stunning part of the world, an opinion shared not only by the people who live and visit here, but by wildlife too. In particular, shorebirds of all shapes and sizes gather on the coast in internationally and nationally important numbers, with most having travelled thousands of miles to get here from their Arctic breeding grounds.

Globally, shorebirds are under pressure, but some species such as curlew, purple sandpiper and ringed plover are in real need of our help, as nationally their numbers have declined rapidly over the past 25 years. Most shorebirds are dependent on a thin zone of intertidal habitat to find food, such as worms and crustaceans. Repeated disturbance reduces their time spent feeding and resting, which can affect their chances of survival.

Space for Shorebirds is the name of the ranger service that Northumberland County Council has created to help to reduce the impact of disturbance from recreation, such as walking and dog walking, upon shorebirds. Our wildlife rangers are regularly out on the coast talking to residents and visitors (and their dogs!) about the incredible birds we share the coast with and highlighting the importance of giving them space so they are not disturbed. We also run guided walks and bird watching events at various locations, aimed at beginners who want to learn more about shorebirds and gain tips on how to tell the different species apart.

More information about Space for Shorebirds and full details of our upcoming events can be found on our website – – as well as on our social media channels, simply search Space for Shorebirds on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

If you see our wildlife rangers on your next visit to the coast, do stop to say hello! Thank you for giving Space for Shorebirds.