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Millom businesses step up for nature

Last modified: 14 November 2012

Little tern at nest, stretching wings

The terns will be able to safely raise their chicks behind newly built protective floating fences.

Image: Chris Gomersall

Millom businesses are helping to protect a rare bird species in South Cumbria.

Builders merchant Travis Perkins and wire fencing producer Tornado Wire have kindly donated materials to RSPB Hodbarrow to help build habitat for vulnerable breeding little terns.      

Staff and volunteers at the reserve near Millom have been constructing floating islands to provide areas for the terns to nest when they return from Africa next spring.  The terns will be able to safely raise their chicks behind newly built protective floating fences. The work is part of the ‘It’s Your Tern’ project, funded by the Copeland Community Fund and WREN.

The Millom branch of national builders merchant Travis Perkins donated enough timber for the creation of two floating islands, while fencing wire producer Tornado wire gifted the £300 worth of galvanised mesh required for the fencing from their Millom factory. Local farmer Robert Morris-Eyton also kindly donated some barrels to help the islands float.

Mhairi Maclauchlan, Assistant Warden at Hodbarrow, said: “We approached local businesses in July to see if they could help us out with some of the material. We got a brilliant response and, with their help, we have been able to make exciting new habitat for breeding little terns.”

Fewer than two thousand pairs of little terns breed in the UK each year and the ground-nesting colonies on beaches can be easily disturbed by human activity. This has led to a decline throughout their European breeding grounds and, therefore, the protection of South Cumbria’s 65 pairs is very important for their conservation in the UK.

Hodbarrow nature reserve is open at all times. For more information, visit

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Nature is in trouble – so millions of people are stepping up to help. Our wildlife has been disappearing at an alarming rate. But small steps make a big difference. If we all act together and get stuck in, we can save our wildlife.

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