Monitoring & science
Historically, black-tailed godwit numbers declined in the UK as a result of land drainage and habitat loss. The population of godwits in the fens today is small and vulnerable, and appears to be limited by poor breeding success. We’re undertaking research at the Nene Washes to understand what is driving the productivity of black-tailed godwits at this important site.
We’re taking steps to enhance the habitat for black-tailed godwits and other waders at the project sites. We’re increasing the number of wet features (such as scrapes) at the Nene and Ouse Washes. These features help the fields to maintain their wetness throughout the breeding season and provide areas for birds to feed. We’re also taking steps to limit the impact of predation on breeding success .
We're bolstering the breeding population in the Fens and helping to re-populate the Ouse Washes by giving godwits a helping hand during the particularly vulnerable incubation and rearing phases. Using artificial incubation and protecting the chicks during the rearing period, we can fledge three to four chicks from each nest. These birds are released onto carefully chosen sites with good breeding habitat.
We want to raise awareness about black-tailed godwits, their conservation and the amazing wetland habitats they call home. We’ll be setting up a local schools programme, as well as running a number of events for interested members of the local community. If you’d like to find out more about how you or your local group can get involved in the project, please get in touch.
Planning for the future