From a distance the uplands look relatively bleak and empty but when you start to examine them, spend time on them and look harder you realise they are a safe haven for many species of plants, birds, reptiles and mammals. Many species depend on the uplands for their breeding and nesting season. One particular focus of the Living Uplands project are red-listed species of birds including Lapwing, Curlew and Ring ouzel. They have all declined significantly in recent years and are now under severe threat.
It is extremely important that we learn and understand how relevant upland areas are to these species so that we can preserve and protect them for future generations. Many factors affect these areas including human activity, the weather, fluctuations in predatory animals and natural resources.
Content for the Natural History section of the website has been under development over recent months. First to be added is an online access to the Natural History of Upper Teesdale book, the most recent edition published by Durham Wildlife Trust.
Our photographer kept a diary of a number of Lapwings, from April to June, to add a little colour and additional information to the basic data the annual count provides.
Collated data and research was used to develop a strategy to halt the decline and aid recovery of the water vole across the Tyne, Wear and Tees; and a successful application to National Lottery Heritage Fund towards the Naturally Native project.
Free to use education resource provides teacher plans and pupil activity for Key State 1 & 2. Easy to download. First pack now available, more soon.
Across four years of data collection, the range of birds counted includes two-thirds that are on either the red or amber BTO endangered list.
The promise of new life on the Uplands makes spring an early summer a wonderful time of year.
The third year for Durham Wildlife Volunteers undertaking an Upland bird count.