2nd June 2020
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WATCH: Project aims to help wading bird populations

Farmers and crofters are being given the chance to learn more about looking after wildlife on their land.

A new initiative known as Parklife Project is being launched to help boost numbers of wading birds such as lapwing and curlew.

The 10 month initiative is being led by Shetland Livestock Marketing Group in conjunction with RSPB Scotland and other agencies.

It promises to give 10 land managers the chance to learn about birds on their ground, and what they need to successfully nest and raise chicks.

Participants will be asked to collect information on their fields during spring and summer, such as the sward length, the plants they find, and the birds they see.

Information will then be used to create a scorecard to measure the quality of fields for waders.

No prior knowledge is required. Training, guidance and support throughout the season will be given.

But due to current Covid-19 restrictions, training will be delivered online and support will be given remotely.

Anyone interested in taking part should submit an expression of interest form before 19th April. An internet connection will be needed.

It comes as waders are settling to nest on in-bye land in the isles following the long winter away.

Nationally, the birds have seen dramatic declines. Scotland has lost over 60 per cent of its curlews in the last 25 years.

RSPB Shetland has released more information, including a video, on its Facebook page.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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